Some apparent lapses on my part were just a case of me finishing old works I had put aside – as was often the case with “In Extremis” – though other lapses might be blamed on dubious influences and/or misjudgement. Of the 84 pieces I’ve posted this year (as of December 10) three have been parodies of ponies and/or very special pony fans; two more have done the same with Sonic, two more with Hello Kitty and three more with Disney characters. All got the expected laughs but it’s time to aim for higher things. Apart from two promising concepts that deal with Barney and Ronald McDonald (again) I’ll leave pop culture satire to such great masters as curtsibling.
I’ll make no apologies for my (mis) treatment of Tom Preston, though my work here’s evolved as well. I won’t presume to make serious statements or broader social commentary in this series from now on; though many comic artists try only the very best succeed. Future Preston parodies will simply reference Preston strips, as I’ve done with “Double Tap.” It was better received than some earlier ones but shows you can’t please everyone – some wanted more gore, others less, and others again seemed confused or upset.
This third group might be surprised to hear most of my offline associates seem just as confused and upset by my post-apocalyptic work. I’ve had trouble reconciling this with comments from online viewers who feel betrayed when I do anything else, though this fourth group should note “Scorched Earth” got 23 additions this year – compare 13 in 2012 and 4 in 2013 – and another 30 concept drawings. The vehicles are getting stale, but I’ve got more ambitious works roughed out.
My darker work’s improved a lot – “Strangler” and “Epignathus” are only hints of what’s to come. This may be where my true strength lies – I enjoy the horror genre no matter what the critics say – and though I neglected it this year I have 15 very promising roughs and three more detailed tone drawings that are ready to be photoshopped. This work’s likely to become my main focus in 2015.
This entry wouldn’t be complete without some non-artistic updates. A few months from now I should be an uncle. This was as great a surprise as learning the brother who called me was married (and he’s the brother I prefer, which shows how far our family has diverged). He seems very happy with his partner, I’m sure the feeling’s mutual, and I truly wish them all the best.
I didn’t move here to make friends, but fate’s granted me a hanger-on who has regrettably grown more annoying with time. A full list of my grievances would be needlessly vindictive, but as often happens in such cases, this problem has taken care of itself. In two months I’ll be spared his assertions some churches are “doing it wrong” (while his is apparently getting it right) disparaging remarks about women (which don't stop when women are around) spitting near minorities and near-hysterical invective at Jackson’s take on Tolkien’s texts. This is only the start of it, but as others with greater misgivings than I have made more serious complaints – either with good reason or simply to get rid of him – he’ll soon be back on the mainland to annoy unfortunates at other universities.
In more edifying news, I’m back in touch with Frances thanks to the fine work of her half-sister Maria. I’ve known both for many years but we drifted apart when I left Sydney. I was once deeply, truly and madly in lust with Frances, a tall, imposing goddess who gave me an early taste of heartbreak; but we’re older, more mature, and more realistic now, which offers a chance of the genuine friendship I should have aimed for all along. In some ways we’ve grown more alike – we’ve both independently developed a taste for doom metal and exchanged some links online. Frowning, Doom vs., Lethargy of Death, Evoken, Loss and Shape of Despair have made a fine accompaniment to my recent horror work.
To good luck and inspiration,