Yesterday night, as I was sitting down to eat dinner (about 8pm local time) my brother and I heard what we thought was thunder and he then went outside to make sure things were covered up so no tools or lawnmowers would get rained on. It wasn't until more than an hour later we saw on the news about what happened in West. http://www.kxxv.com/category/262625/fertilizer-plant-explosion
West is about 60 to 70 miles as the crow flies from where I live. My heart goes out to those injured, those working the scene, those lost and those who lost family.
I disappeared for what, a year? Two? Been rooting around drawing comics and trying to make enough money to keep the bills paid. Haven't had a lot of time for foruming and networking outside of the Twitter and stuff.
I have the first issue of Sharkpony and the Glitter Riders drawn, if anyone remembers that from way back. Hoping to have a Kickstarter up and running by the end of the year.
Been sick recently, have a doctor's appointment tomorrow now that I have enough cash on hand to go. Time to get back to work to make up for the money I'm about to spend at the Dr's.
Hiding in the basement. Reading everything I can. It's a lot to take in. What happened. The aftermath. The craziness. The lingering fear. I'm still spooked, even if I wasn't hurt. At least the books offer hope. As do the folks of whitechapel. Things can get better, perhaps. At least now, unlike childhood, I have people who support me, stuff to read to help me get mind around things. The family says I shouldn't spend money, but written words....have been my way as much as art has of making sense of things. Like art, it's a non threatening way of learning and figuring crud out. I need words. Books. Art.
I was going through a box of old comics, like you do. Pre-Crisis DC's, 1978 or so. And I remember the Crisis, the first one, when it came out. I was fifteen, sixteen. And I remember the aftermath of the Crisis.
I was at a comic show, not quite a convention, more just a bunch of dealers with longboxes on tables. Byrne had just rebooted Superman and two older fans were talking about it. These guys were comic fans, man - you could tell. Only comic fans could have beards like theirs.
So they're talking about Superman and what was lost - all the crazy kryptonite, his years as Superboy, Kara (*sniff* Kara ...) Krypto (*SOB!* KRYPTO!) Beppo, Comet, Streaky. The Superman Robots. Kandor.
And I'm eavesdropping but I butt in and we all start talking. I love the old stuff I say but I kinda like the new Superman.
One guy looks at me and says "Kid? Forget DC Comics. They're finished. They're broken. This is only the beginning. They're just bring all that crap back but with a 'FRESH NEW SPIN!' And then they'll wipe the slate clean again and do it AGAIN. As many times as they need to. Get ready, Marvel's gonna do it too. Marvel might do it better but I doubt it. They'll just wipe the slate clean and start again. " "Wipe the slate clean and start again." his friend repeated, in a sing-song voice. And they both wandered away, repeating "Wipe the slate clean and start again." And laughing.
I've been, like many of you, battling depression, on and off, all my life, it seems. (Too many commas in that last sentence but there it is.) I don't take medication for it - I won't. (I've seen what anti-depressants have done to people I know and love. I have no faith whatsoever in doctors or the medical establishment - they're all bean-counting Mengeles with a Superiority Complex that's based on the fact that they stuck it out through school.) But now I'm faced with uncertainty. Perhaps I should reassess my opinions.
In an effort to keep this site going, advertise my work, and offer some form of reading enjoyment, I've been thinking of posting the first portion of Nails Jane to this blog over a lengthy span of time. I won't post the entire book, but perhaps enough to wet your appetites.
Therefore, I will begin this endeavor with the book's introduction and Chapter one.
by the Editor
The book you are holding was written out of a desire to create. Like the mythology presented within NAILS JANE, the creation story of this book has less to do with a benevolent Maker bestowing life upon unsuspecting People, and has more to do with the frustration of starting over.
Trista began penning her story many years before its publication, which is not unusual in the world of writing, but the fact demonstrates a commitment to perfection. Though she was never Certain that perfection could ever be achieved, one fact remained constant: an author should write what she or he wants to read.
Can a writer ever really achieve perfection? Beats me. Can a writer set goals and meet objectives? Definitely. The dreamers must be set apart from the artists. It is one thing to say you are a writer because you have good ideas, and quite another to say you are a writer because you have written them down. It's a simple start that can lead anywhere.
So for Trista, the process for writing this book became a search for literature with particular characteristics: multiple narrators, supplemental side stories, and thematic illustrations. Rather than looking in libraries and bookstores, she looked at blank pages and blinking cursors. The final product is something engaging and imaginative.
Did Trista achieve perfection with her novel? Well, if the mythology of this story gives any indication, the only way to find out is to tear the book to shreds and begin again. Of course, that would be silly. Artists are fortunate enough to be gods who can start from scratch without offending previous creations.
At its core, NAILS JANE is rock & roll. The action is visceral, the interludes are beautiful, and each chapter offers a fresh perspective to the story. It delivers a cinematic pace without compromising the poetic details.
I hope you do not ever find yourself on a journey quite like Ati's, but if you do, take time to marvel at and appreciate the wonders of the unknown. You may find it makes the journey less difficult.
“We could have saved the Earth, but we were too damned cheap.”
“You are Atlas,” said a voice.
I heard it in my dream. A voice was all around me, but I saw no one. My dream was hazy and confusing, full of bright images flashing in and out of focus. Like all dreams, everything became choppy nonsense, but the voice remained fluid above it all.
It called me Atlas.
“No,” I corrected. “My name is Ati.”
“You are Atlas,” it insisted. “You carry the world on your shoulders.”
“I carry my own agenda,” I replied.
There was a long silence.
“You won’t for long,” it said. “You carry the world with you. You will die.”
I hurried through the streets of Lansing, Michigan, aware that Gustav had targeted me. He was hard to miss, dressed in a wool vest and a long, black coat. His broad shoulders and massive torso towered over pedestrians. Behind him followed his daughter. She was also dressed in dated plain clothes. We loosely referred to Gustav's people as Puritans because they reflected something from another century. Gustav clearly didn’t belong in the city, and that was not a good sign.
I need to find James…
I finally reached the rendezvous point at the northwest corner of Washington and Ottawa, and checked my watch. My hand was shaking. Shoving my hand into my pocket, I backed up against a brick wall. Pedestrians passed by, taking no particular notice of me. Laying low was an especially difficult task with Gustav in the area; he preyed on unassuming bystanders. But social immersion was necessary for avoiding Humanoids, who were just as deadly as the Puritans. Running short on time, I found myself in a dangerous dilemma.
Where the hell is James?
One hour until the shuttle left Earth. Gustav crossed the street, dragging the little girl behind him. He was headed right for me. I knew his background, but never met him face to face. His case file was packed with a history of terrorism, arsenal, murder – the list went on. I knew what to expect from Gustav, but I was not ready for him. My assignment for the week was already complete, but it looked like I didn't have a choice. I had to pull an extra shift.
If James and I don't get out of here, we could end up stranded…
Backslider ships arrive at certain places and times, and they don't stay long. Miss the ship and they won't come looking for you. I couldn’t risk that.
“You there!” yelled Gustav.
“Yes?” I turned, smiling politely. I did not let on that I knew who he was, or even that I was troubled. Puritans easily detect fear.
“I would like to invite you to a banquet! My people do not hold these festivities often, but the food is remarkable,” he said. As he spoke, his eye twitched and a pungent odor wafted from his mouth.
A banquet. That’s what they called it. He wore large rubber gloves and matching rubber boots. I assumed that was his clean-up gear. Banquets often got messy.
James hurry up…
I knew what Gustav planned to do if I refused his invite. He would likely attack me, then drag me off. The slightest hesitation on my part might have compelled him to strike me in public. However, Gustav was cautious, and he knew better than to make a scene. He dreaded the attention of Humanoids, just as much as any Backslider did.