Artist. Designer. Awkward wad of nerd. Fights off existential terror and self-loathing with Godzilla films.

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Regaining control


My jaw surgery was April 11th. The aftermath was, no doubt, the worst I've ever felt in my life. Leaving the hospital and taking the five hour journey back home was awful, and the two weeks that followed were spent mostly in pain and feeling remarkably puny.

But here I am. Alive, still healing, but fairly okay.

I started a new black and white minicomic a week or two before the surgery. I had been aching to do one all year, and had a few failed starts, but finally things clicked into place and it was like a fever hit. It got sidelined thanks to the surgery, but I still managed to put together some pages while recovering. I finished the book this week. It's called Debris Field, it's 12 pages long, and it's about entropy.

It shares a handful of similarities with last year's comic, All of This Will Crumble. A lot of my personal obsessions are on display: nude figures, a mirror, a giant, et cetera, but I think it's wildly different from my other comics in how it was made and how it reads.

Two pages were drawn in my sketchbook. A few pages were on the comic board I typically use. Several were hastily scrawled out on cheap copy paper, with little to no penciling. It was mostly inked with a sloppy Pilot G-2 gel pen that tends to bleed or just stop altogether with little rhyme or reason. And the first page wasn't drawn at all:

There isn't quite a narrative to it. There aren't really any characters. I didn't produce it the way I have other things, clearly. Honestly, now that it's all done, I feel more like this comic erupted from me as its own strange beast, like I had no way of controlling how it came out. There wasn't much careful planning.

It was all about getting the pages out as quickly as possible, expelling a whole lot of feelings I'd been accumulating since late last year. It's more of a kind of a personal maifesto, maybe, as part of the reason I made it was to stand as a reminder of my emotional state as of late and how I've dealt with it.

Whatever it is, immediacy was key. Especially since everything else I've been working on has been going so slowly. Working on Debris Field admittedly slowed those other things down even more, too. Gotta get back on track after all of this.

I stayed up late the other night to finish it, and I got it printed yesterday. I bought what I thought was a pack of gray paper to print the cover on, only to realize when I got home that it was actually vellum. Light, gray, translucent, it reminds me of wax paper or an x-ray. Ink doesn't take too well to it, so smears and smudges could happen. Which is appropriate for a comic about degradation, right?

Also, using the vellum meant leaving the inside covers blank to keep the outsides readable, as well as finding a way to obscure the final page so that people don't quite know what they're looking at when they pick it up.

So of course I stuck with it, even though using colored paper and keeping the inside covers I had been working on would've sufficed just fine. It looks good though:

For those who aren't interested in a physical copy, I've put a PDF up on my Gumroad page for free, which you can go grab.

If that's the route you pick, please, spread the world. Tell others. Send them a copy if you think they'd be into it. Just like everything else I make, I want this to be in front of as many people as possible.

I'm glad I got this done in time for the Asheville Zine Fest this Sunday. I hate that I'm missing out on Free Comic Book Day, though. It'll be my first year skipping it since I got into making comics. I missed ETSUcon, ShikaCon went on a break, I'm missing HeroesCon feels weird. Rob-Con is at the end of July though, and the Johnson City Zine Fest is in August. Definitely not going to miss those.

And there's that other stuff I'm working on, too. Goals are becoming more clear. But now? Now I need some rest.

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