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Submitted on
June 25, 2012


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Shadoweyes page 150 + being a grown-up

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 12:57 AM
  • Watching: mysterious skin

i haven't written a real journal entry in such a long time, i wish i had something good to talk about that isn't comics-/job-related. i can't believe it's almost July, i'm going to have to start thinking about this year's Halloween Movie Monster pretty soon!

i won't be at San Diego Comic Con this year, my next show will be New York Comic Con in October, but i'm thinking about going to Small Press Expo (SPX), not as an exhibitor but as an attendee/fan. there are a bunch of people there i want to meet and hang out with.

right now i'm working on Glory #29 and trying to make time to start thumbnailing Shadoweyes 3. juggling projects is tough. :(

see, all i have to write about is what stuff i'm working on, blagh. here's some other stuff: i pre-ordered the new Ninja Turtles toys (just the 4 Turtles) which supposedly come out in August. i was debating whether or not to do it, several years ago i used to be a toy-buying fiend but i haven't gotten anything new in a long time and got rid of most of the ones i had except a handful, and i made a loose vow that i wouldn't buy any more. which was easy to do because the only ones i really would get were Gamera, there aren't any new Gamera movies being made so no new toys or at least no toys that aren't monsters i already have, and the Four Horsemen-designed He-Man toys & statues which they stopped making and i don't like the new Classics line (snore). i think the last figures i got were the NECA Ninja Turtles back in 2008, so it's been quite a while and i never thought anything new would come out that i would care about. plus my apartment is one room and i literally don't have the space for anything else. but other than those practical considerations, the biggest thing is that for the past several years i've been wrestling with what it means to be grown-up or an adult or whatever and how i still feel like a kid at age 32 and i'm still invested in all this "kid" stuff like Ninja Turtles and Final Fantasy 7 and Gamera, i dress pretty much the same as i did 10-15 years ago (i even still wear a couple shirts i had in elementary school, they still fit), i'm still a "nerd/geek," i work at home drawing comics in my pajamas which sure doesn't help since i've never had a real "grown-up" type job (sure as hell not complaining about that, though! haha), while the rest of my family is pretty traditionally "adult," including my younger sister, and most of my friends are that way too, so i feel like sometimes they've grown and changed while i've stayed the same.

sometimes i look around my apartment, which is probably really tame by nerd standards, i don't have a lot, and i think "where did i make the wrong turn? what kind of life is this?" and i think it needs to be time to put away childish things and all that. i wonder why my friends and family don't get invested in something the same way i do, like if there was some biological process that normally should happen that didn't happen in me, so i'm left still for some reason giving a huge shit about, say, Tifa Lockhart, a character in a decent video game from 1997 that i don't think i've even played in over a decade. and here i am planning a Ninja Turtles fan-comic, like will this be the final threshold? the point of no return?! it seems like i'm getting "worse" over the years, like i'm getting LESS adult, haha. BUT, all that said, i've had some good conversations with friends about all this, and my friend Zach said that i can't gauge myself against a made-up social metric like this and i just have to be myself, which sounds like the most obvious, corniest lesson ever, but when he said it to me last weekend it was what i needed to hear. then my friend Kelly said that i reject or question so many other societal standards, so why do i embrace this one? i couldn't really answer that. i suppose it's also wrapped up in being an artist and writer, constantly surrounded by characters and stories and ideas and stuff like that, in my own work, friends' work, the field i work in professionally/my job, everything. so i feel way better about it now than i have in a while, and i guess it says something that even though i've been dwelling on it i also haven't taken many steps to change it. i still feel like i'm grappling with it but i think throwing my hands up and hitting the pre-order button on those new Turtles toys was probably the way to go. just gotta accept myself and forget about the societal conventions!

do any of you ever grapple with anything like this, too?

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chadleyc Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
I think it's natural- especially at your age- to benchmark yourself against others and against societal "norms" and see where you fit. I remember doing it- and finding myself wanting. And I was pretty fucked up about it for a while. And eventually I got over it. I didn't have any great epiphany and I didn't really change, I just realized one day that I didn't really care about how my life appeared to other people or in comparison to other people as much as I cared about how I felt about my life. And I saw that the things I thought were weaknesses or avoidance or lack of maturity were actually integral parts of what made me me.

That's pretty deep in the discount cliche bin, I know, but it's still legit.

Also, to put things in perspective, you may not have a closet full of suits and an east side suburban address, but you CAN (at least as of a few weeks ago) go to Barnes and Noble and pull something you created off their shelves. And to that I say "You go wit yer manchild self!"
mooncalfe Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012
i hear ya. i go up and down about it. i'm feeling pretty good about it now but sometimes i still wonder why i'm so nerdy. :XD:
NSN-Design Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012
Ross, The adult portion of my brain has thought long and hard about posting a intelligent, thought provoking response to this entry you've made. Unfortunately it is outnumbered by all of the other portions of my brain. So instead you'll likely get a mix of ramblings, run on sentences and new paragraphs were the should not be. At 40+ years old, I'm guessing I'm one of the most senior(I prefer "seasoned citizen" thank you very much) fans of yours. But any time have to put on anything other than a pair of shorts and a t-shirt I refer to it as my "man costume."
If I were you, I wouldn't concern myself with comparing what you spend your money one vs what others do. We all have different tastes, likes and dislikes. People I work with would laugh their asses off if they found out how much money I'll spend on a piece of paper just because you put some ink on it(The page is no longer "mint" yet I'm paying for for it than when it was new. WEIRD.) But I'll do the same thing when I hear how they spent their money. Is it better if they bought a gun, or truck parts (How AWESOME is a LIFT KIT for a truck, huh? just AWESOME) or every pay channel on cable? If that makes them happy. And if you buying some actin figure is what you like to do, no harm in that either.
And, let me touch on living at home as an adult. Sure, I never did it, but I've mentioned this to you before, I envy the person that does and lives in the same town(or close) to the one they grew up in. There is no shame in living at home IF it is helping facilitate a goal(get ahead financially, school, kick off a career, save to buy a house) The 'tough love' parents that kick their kids out as 18 not only shouldn't have had kids, but do them a disservice. In most cases it pushes them into a cycle of renting and debt because they have to work so much harder to get stability in mid 30s that the person that lived at home until their mid 20s has. And the hard headed kid that can't wait to leave home at 18, well the parents should have raised a smarter, more appreciative kid. Or go back to plan A and not have kids to begin with.
And as far as being mature with a 'normal' life and job. Not only do I love your comics, but I love the fact, like Col Kurtz, that you thought it up and DID IT. Having grown up in the 80s, with a thriving punk scene, I LOVE the DIY attitude. The only reason WET MOON (up to VOLUME 6! ! ! ) is here is because of your maturity and determination to get it done. What has the guy that just bought the new golf clubs so he can brag to his buddies done?
O.k. I think I lost my ramble. But one last thought. You know what's worse than buying an action figure as an adult? Giving a shit that ANY celebrity is getting married or divorced.

still trying to figure out what I want or can do for a living
mooncalfe Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012
thanks for the long reply, Mike! i pretty much agree with everything you said, i'm sure i'll have ups and downs in the future but i think i've come to terms with it. did you listen to the latest podcast? Nick and i talked a bit more about it and i think we both have found our answers. i'm sure if i had nerdier/more "fan" type friends i would feel more comfortable about it all, but it's tougher when i'm the nerdiest and my friends don't really get invested in things in a "fan" way that i often do. on the other hand i think i'm pretty low on the fan spectrum, i'm positively tame compared to how obsessive and passionate some people get over what they love.
AlanRalph Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
I left my old job of 19 years(!) at the end of April, and made good use of my free time to take a long, hard look at the stuff cluttering up my bedroom. Once I'd sorted and filed all of my financial documents - still need to consolidate my savings and kick-start them to actually grow :o - I started going through all of the other stuff I had - books, games, old gadgets, miscellaneous crap. The books were fairly easy - the stuff that still had value got traded in at Amazon, the really out-of-data textbooks got binned, everything else went to the local Oxfam store - including all of my graphic novels and several Alex Ross coffee-table books. :P I've not bought any Marvel or DC stuff in years - all my book purchases have been art or comic books from people on dA. :) I've also sold off or recycled some old electronics - monitor, iPods, mobile phone, my dead PC - and am in the process of selling off my newer computer games via Amazon. (Speaking of which, I also cleared out my wish list there, in order to remove temptation.)

I'm still a geek (at age nearly 44 :granny:) and still indulge in bouts of nostalgia, but now I have (slightly) more self-control, particularly when it comes to spending money. :phew: I'm also cutting out a lot of online distractions as well - partly to cut down on unproductive time, partly to clean up my online profile and ditch the cruft of the last decade(!) - so Tumblr, Google+ and Stumbleupon are out, along with my old blog and several other profiles, LinkedIn is in, and Facebook is well and truly locked down. I need to look for work (either full-time or freelance) and train up to sharpen my skills. :plotting:
CreatureGirl Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
I'm grappling with that kind of thing right now. I'm slowly growing my client base as a freelance artist, taking commissions, doing larger projects here and there. Hell, I'm even getting some work for a few films albeit they aren't block buster films but I was still giddy when I was working on them. The thing is my dad wanted me to be an accountant or an attorney which for all intents and purposes is like asking a bird to be a work horse to plow the fields or a fish. I'm not built to do something that he wants me to do and maybe I can dive under water every now and then but I still have to come back up for air and dry off those proverbial feathers so I can get back to flying again.

I recently turned 25 and people are always saying,"Well by the time I was 25 I started two businesses. By the time I was 25 I got married and pregnant with my first kid. By the time I was 25 I was moved out of the house and had a stable job." Well I haven't started a business (at least not a legitimate, pay hundreds of dollars worth of dues kind), I haven't married anyone or stood in a kitchen barefoot and pregnant and I haven't been able to get a job that hasn't tried to work me to death just so I can make a livable wage so that I can finally move into an apartment that isn't in ghetto-ville where a blonde, young female like me would be assulted within five steps of the front door. I'm bombarded with this, constantly....con-stant-ly. But that's not how I work. I've tried. I started taking business classes, worked myself like a dog at a traditional job and dating but things eventually got out of hand, rules changed, health problems sprung up, people went crazy and each route I took looped back around to me working on writing my stories, drawing my art, and working on projects that I had first started back when I figured I would try to see if I could be the next James Cameron, with boobs.

I think the only big different between the me now and the me five years ago is that I can now see the possibilities of being able to put into effect all the business tips that I learned from class, helping my dad run his business and improve my already existing talents so that what I couldn't do before is now possible. Turn my fun into work, but not just work, work. Instead it's fun work. Fun work that, if done right will ultimately become decently paid fun work. And I'm slowly getting the people around me to realize that I can in fact do something significant with what they just thought was a "phase" in my life.
dana-redde Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So long as you're supporting yourself and you're not so stunted and awkward that you can't function at all around quote unquote normal adults, I don't see any harm in it. I mean, my best friend and her boyfriend live in an apartment crammed with plastic skulls, PeeWee Herman dolls, Adventure Time toys, an xmas tree with a shrunken head on top, and creepy paintings of clowns--and it would never occur to me to think of them as 'not adults' because I know that they are. Hell, my friend is one of the most mature people I know; she and her boyfriend just like kooky stuff. I mean, you've had a lot of good discussions here about sociocultural issues that a lot of the briefcase-lugging 24 year-old shithead bros I know will NEVER grasp, not even when they're 60 years old. So who's the adult?

I totally get the feeling you're talking about, though. I felt like a total failure while I was unemployed, while all my friends were off at jobs with 401ks. I don't even know what a 401k is, but it sounded impressive. Even though I'm doing the 9-5 thing now, I still feel like I'm just pretending to be an adult, because I spend most of my work day spinning in my chair with my shoes off, barely suppressing the urge to roll on the floor and respond "lolwat" to every email I get. I guess you have to decide what road you want to take. You can go all out 'I don't give a shit' eccentric or you can go more stealth-geek. Stay true to yourself, but decide what you really want to spend your money on, and don't feel guilty when you do--kind of what you've been doing, basically. Also, it's not a betrayal to some artist/geek code to get a decent shirt and pair of shoes. Don't be that creepy scruffy 30-something year-old guy who goes out in public in sweat pants, bro, ahahah.
mooncalfe Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012
i talked a bit more about it on our latest podcast, but mostly the thing i get hung up on is the investment element, how fans get invested in particular characters and stories, and the divide between somebody who is a "fan" in a general overall way and somebody who isn't. i'm pretty tame compared to most fan/geek-type people, probably, but i still feel like i get invested in a passionate, child-like way in certain characters or whatever while most of my friends don't and therefore seem way more adult to me. maybe i just need nerdier friends? :XD:
rianmiller Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
That's definitely the way I feel a lot of the time.
mooncalfe Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012
really?? i wouldn't have expected that, you seem really confident in who you are.
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