Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Princess

Carrie Fisher has died. I don't think I can come close to eulogizing her as well as those who worked with her and knew her well, but I feel I must say something about her and the impact her work had upon my life.

I learned to draw by drawing Star Wars stuff, and Princess Leia was one of the easiest characters to make look distinctive, with the cool buns and all. Princess Leia is an amazing character, and Carrie Fisher was the perfect person to cast in the role. Here's why: Leia is a proper, beautiful, inspiring leader, but she isn't a dainty princess. She's the type that will grab a blaster and blow away bad guys as easily as she can put a loud-mouthed smuggler in his place. She's the type of girl that boys like me likes the most. Facing down evil and rescuing her rescuers! And yet she was magnificently radiant in ceremonial attire!

Carrie Fisher brought Leia alive and guys like me fell in love before we knew what having a crush even meant. My appreciation and adoration of Carrie never ended, either. I haven't seen all her movies, but I always liked seeing her on screens bog and small. She was a delight when she guested on talk shows and though I never met her the stories people tell are amazing. She wasn't perfect, and she wrestled with her demons very publicly, never making excuses and bringing mental illness into the mainstream conversation as no one else had. I'm sure her problems taxed her physically and contributed to her premature death. But I don't think she ever gave up trying to conquer all her challenges. She'd have conquered the galaxy for real if she could.

Carrie's passing, and her Mother's death shortly following, have really shaken me up. But I know her legacy will never die, as long as dedicated fans like me continue to watch her work, speak of her, write about her, and draw pictures of our favorite princess.

Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you all.

Monday, December 26, 2016


Sometimes things get you down, and you just need a little pick-me-up. Maybe you're depressed about the current state of affairs in the world, or wondering why 2016 seems such a downer, or just not feeling your best. I sometimes feel a bit down, though I consider myself a very positively-minded person, and I got the idea to write a bit here about a webseries that is totally about happiness.

HappyHer is the story of two Canadian women who go all over the world and ask women a simple question: "What makes you happy?". The answers may not be surprising, but I do find them uplifting. I've been trying to take the time to watch an episode or two every day. In fact, I'd say the similarities in the answers by women in different countries and cultures is quite interesting. It really shows that all people, regardless of their background and current living conditions, want pretty much the same things in life. I'm not saying all the answers are alike, just that I find them refreshingly similar.

Now, you  may be wondering why i'm watching a series about what makes women happy. Well, I can explain. First off, I do like women. Well....I mean I appreciate them. I have a wife and two daughters, so I better be interested in what makes women happy!  And I'll admit a couple things here. I came across this series because one of the creator/travelers in Lindsey Middleton. Lindsey is one of the starts of my favorite webseries, Out With Dad (read about it one elsewhere on this blog). And Lindsey was in particular the subject of one of my earliest post here. (I'm still grateful she didn't sue me for that!) Anyway, Lindsey's best friend Cornelia Audrey is the other "star" of the show, and she's just as delightful as Lindsey.

The next thing I'll admit is that the reason I decided I had to watch this show was that the duo made a trip to Thailand!  I have told many people that Thailand is my favorite country I've ever visited*. They just have a combination of an exotic locale, beautiful beaches and scenery, and wonderfully kind people that is unmatched anywhere else I've been outside of my home country (USA). I know there's been much political unrest there since I visited, and I worry for the people there a lot. Maybe there's a lesson for those of us worried about our political climate, too. Thailand has had REAL problems with factions literally fighting over power, we've really got it easy with our situation, despite the alleged divisions lately.

And I think I'll add here what makes me happy (though I'm not a woman): My aforementioned family, drawing, reading, playing a good board game, my students' artwork, and watching great webseries!!

Anyway, I decided once I got through the Thailand video, I would post something. And even then it took me a week or so. What can I say? Writing is hard! I'd rather be drawing...but more on that soon enough.

So...I hope people check out some HappyHer episodes

! Whether you're a man or woman, they're bound to make you feel a bit...happier!

*I was in Thailand in 1988 on WestPAC when I was in the US Navy...before Lindsey and Cornelia were born...gosh am I old??

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Why keep comics?

Something on my mind:

Someone asked me back in the late 80s why I keep comics after I read them instead of just throwing them away. I answered that there is a chance they could be valuable some day, but the main reason I keep them is in case I want to read them again.

I do have a few that are worth decent money, and I sold one fairly valuable comic a few years back just because I didn't like it.  I culled a dozen or so comics from my vast collection, and that was the only valuable one. I used the money to buy new comics, of course!

I do put them in bags, but this is mostly so they are in good enough shape to read again. I find I can comfortably fit 3 regular sized comics in one regular comic bag. I have a stack of boards, but I don't use them. And I have a large enough collection now that I'll probably never re-read them all again. But you never know...

Okay, I've said my piece. Now I need to get ahead on my art so I can post more here. Bye for now!