January 2024 update

I should think of a better title… oh well.

Since I’ve been meaning to get back to regular updates but haven’t, and since a quick DM about my bio prompted me to slap up some new pics of the work I’ve been doing since I last updated, and since I feel like putting off today’s housework just a wee bit longer, lol… maybe I should flesh out a bit more of an update beyond “here’s some recent work” pics.

So, I mentioned before about how the Bono Mouse sketchbook begat Ricky B. Rat. It also has now begat another character in the Ricky-verse, Myles Maarav… who used to have a different last name except it turns out there’s a local dude with that same name and while I have no idea if he knew or cared that I had a character I was posting about on Instagram with that name, but some chick took offense and sent a vaguely threatening DM to my FB and I decided for reasons I won’t get into that it was best to give Myles a new last name, one with the the all important verdict from Google:

Anyway, Myles evolved out of what I was calling the “marginal mousemen” such as this:

And I started a comic project with Myles pertaining to Struthless’s Alphabet Superset Challenge… which has now fallen by the wayside but I got up to about H on it, and let’s embed a reel or two if possible:

And then I wanted to figure out how to integrate Myles into Ricky’s world as it simply made sense to do so. We’ll get there when we get there as Myles isn’t due to show up til the fourth Ricky B. Rat comic book, and I am currently still working on the first.

Oh yeah, I guess that was alluded to in the other post from today, but there’s a Ricky graphic novel in progress, the first of a series of I don’t know how many.

I’m doing it the old-fashioned way, similar to how the Myles spread in the reels were done and the book will be 74 pages in all. All are drawn in the blue pencil and I’m currently halfway through inking the lettering, whereupon I can break out the dip pen and start inking the pages. I have one done so far (as I was working on the book during a class at the Vancouver Island School of Art this past fall and wanted to have at least one complete page to show what the finished product might look like before the end of the class)… kinda might be a giveaway but then again with no context it will make no sense so it’s not a spoiler, so here it is:

Page 46

I’ve also still been doing some printmaking and ceramics, as shown into the other post. And Noah is ongoing, though I’ve cut it back to a more manageable 4 comics a week for now. (And the Facebook page is more up to date than the actual website.)

So that’s the creative output stuff.

On a more personal note… well… I could write a lot about some recent changes in my life and maybe I will eventually do a graphic memoir about it, but the Coles Notes version: in late October, after over a year of nothing much happening, my arrhythmia came roaring back, sending me into the ER with a heart rate over 190 when I called 911 and it was apparently over 200 in the ambulance ride. By the time we got to the ER it had settled down to a leisurely 170, lol.

And lying on the stretcher in the triage hall, I did something my pagan bitch ass rarely did: pray. More specifically, I did something I never did and never thought I’d ever do: pray to Jesus and somewhere in there I promised if I survived the incident, I’d go back to church.

Well, 20 minutes later… they got the ECG strip at 167bpm and were getting ready to shock me when my heart rate suddenly in a split second dropped to 81bpm, as mysteriously as it had shot up to 191 an hour earlier. And so while I was lying in the ER bed being watched to make sure the incident was truly over, I was on my phone figuring out what Catholic church was closest to me (I was raised nominally Catholic, so there was no question of going anywhere else.)

So, I had my end of that bargain to keep up and a couple days later I tiptoed into the big Catholic cathedral in downtown Victoria and didn’t melt or get struck by lightning upon crossing the threshold, lol… and then the next day showed up for Mass at my local parish and have been going ever since.

Anyone who has seen some of the old blog posts here like this one or heard some of the old maQLu lyrics from when I was still in the Church of Satan (which I ditched in late 2010, but still remained a pagan/occultist afterwards) is probably laughing right now and it’s entirely justified.

Not gonna lie, that first confession is scary after 30+ years and my history, but it’s all good now.

Like I said, there’s probably a book in there somewhere, but I gotta finish Ricky’s and then the first Noah anthology first, probably.

Anyway, it’s a huge change, obviously, and I mostly mention it in case I start doing weekly updates again and say something about making rosaries or buying chapel veils or if I make some reference to watching Catholic-y stuff on YouTube or whatever, now you know why.

Here’s one I made last week.

I will say that the last couple Ricky scripts for books that might not be drawn for 3 or 4 years do relate to church, with Ricky’s mama dragging the whole clan to Christmas midnight Mass and hijinks ensuing in one and Ricky’s girlfriend Baby wanting to spend Valentine’s night at the Ash Wednesday service and Ricky insisting on tagging along in another, but for the most part right now I don’t think it’ll come up much in my work.

(Famous last words…)

Other news: I’ve rejoined the embroidery guild… and the garden club… and I’m now running the needlework division of hall exhibits for the Cowichan Exhibition after my friend who’d been doing it for 10-15 years wanted to step back from it… and I joined the local writers’ group which has been a big push to write more short stories which will eventually become comic books… and I just joined the Catholic Women’s League (Great-Aunt Elsie would be proud since she was heavily involved for decades, and I think she was a provincial president in Manitoba and had some positions on the national subcomittees or something as well)… anyway, that gets into parts of my life that aren’t as evident on this blog…

I usually wrap up my updates in the garden and it ain’t much to look at this week, really, but it happens that a few days ago when it was still 4″ deep in snow I filmed a little back yard tour for out-of-town family members with me doing some brainstorming about ways I can bring more winter interest and color into the backyard so it won’t be so dreary in January while I’m waiting for the first spring bulbs to bloom, so let’s slap that unlisted video here and call it a day so I can get to work on tomorrow’s Noah comic (turns out Noah’s mom’s not just a card cheat, she’s a gator poacher!):