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Showing posts from 2020

184. Election Nation

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Things have been... weird. We finally beat the worst president we’ve ever had. He’s out. More than 80 million people hate him. His autocratic style was transparent and against what the United States stands for, regardless of if you are a Democrat or a Republican. A weight is lifted for immigrants, LGBQT, liberals and the environment. And yet... tens of millions of people voted for him. Many have moved on since, but at least half (the same half that put credence to Q Anon) believe that the election was systematically rigged and that it will be turned back to Trump. Let me be clear, these people are idiots or monsters. These are the worst of our society. People keep telling me that many of them are ignorant, as if that excuses their dangerous wants. At this point what they want, based on slim evidence, is to overthrow the election in swing states. They want to have the legislatures (many Republican due to gerrymandering) elect their own electors.  The gulf between what they want and the

183. Policy Matters

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Public policies work. They have always worked. The number of adult smokers has plummeted since restrictions were put in place . Many of us are too dumb to realize how good this is for us and society in general. I was definitely (and likely still am) one of the dumb ones. A snowflake if you will, like a Republican refusing to accept the 2020 election.  “But what about my rights?”, I voiced to no one in particular when indoor smoking was banned. Why would it be their business what I did with my body? Well it turns out there’s many reasons why.  First of all, these decisions rarely affect just one person. My smoking caused second had smoke, litter and probably a litany of regrets when waking up next to my stinky pack-a-day ass.  Second of all, we are not great at seeing 20 years down the line. Public policy tries to bridge that gap. I may not care that I will be a wheezing, smoke-spewing, leathery sack of crap when I’m 70, but the healthcare system sure will. Lastly & ultimately I am

182. Revenge

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Time is a flat circle. It's dizzying how things come back at you, like that nasty rash in your nether-regions. Speaking of rashes, let's speak about mothers. My mother and I can irritate each other every once in awhile. I say this with full candor, but armed with the certainty that this happens to all relationships. Specially to the earliest relationship you've ever had. For example, I get irritated at her continuous concern for my wellbeing; she gets irritated at my manic driving down the wrong lane while swerving to the music. It's maddening. And yet, I am a huge momma’s boy. In another dimension that may be an insult, but if you ever met my mom, you’d probably understand. She is intelligence, humor, courage, humility all rolled into one. I’ve spoken at length about it .  I know not everyone had a role model of a mother, and I understand that. For those people I hope that they find someone who loves them unconditionally. We all deserve that, an ardent, blistering, con

181. Spreading

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This year has been rough. I’m not going to list the ways it has been awful for most of us. Okay, I will, because I love lists: Fires, RBG, COVID, unemployment, stress, Trump, police killings, tabloids, lost children, friends lost in cults, being home-bound, finding out Kirstie Alley is a gender-bent James Woods. The George Floyd killing was one of the terrible things that happened, no mistaking that. However, this year, more than any other year, I found increased support for BLM. More people seem to have bought-in to the fact that Black Americans are being policed, prosecuted and punished more severely than their white counterparts. I was pleasantly surprised at some of the support this idea found, in the year of despair 2020.  Let’s talk about Republicans, though. Only about 16% of white Republicans support BLM in some way. Compare that to 88% of white Democrats. I just don’t get the Republican philosophy. Imagine being a Republican your whole life. Over the past 4 years, you have ha

180. Growth

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One of the biggest issues that I brought into this marriage was a broken belief system. It went something like this: “She married me with all my flaws and issues, so therefore I am all good to go as long as death do us part.” I even made sure she knew exactly how flawed I was before getting married. She survived the gauntlet that I crafted for her, mostly me just being a little too much me.  No one was as surprised as me that she went through with the wedding. My wife adopts a growth mindset to marriage. She sees marriage as an opportunity to change and improve each other. And you know what? Like with everything, except in the pronunciation of “jewelry” and “realtor,” she is absolutely right.  No other force in this planet has made me want to change as much as this pale yooper*. Back in Venezuela I was known to finish every argument with “I am what I am.” Long gone are those times. Since being graced by her companionship, I’ve volunteered, learned to draw, exercised, reached out to pe

179. October Surprises

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This month has been difficult for my psyche. I’m not alone, I know, so I won’t dwell on it. It has been hard to stay alert and continue drawing silly things with all the doom scrolling units left to complete. When this happens it is counterintuitive, because drawing is one of the few ways I can find relaxation these days So for the time being, here’s a collection of a few doodles I’ve been able to finish during my few awake and free hours.

178. Twist

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This is what I came up with for comictober’s prompt of  “Twist.” I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved Bill Murray’s urban myths. There’s always stories of him showing up at people’s parties, trolling strangers and generally being a cool human being. It’s one of the few celebrity stories that interest me.  As an extra panel, I’ll give you the other comictober drawings I’ve made up. October in the United States is drama-dense as it is already; so I don’t know if I will be able to continue making ‘near’ daily drawings, but it was great fun.  Here’s for the prompt: werewolf Here’s for the prompt: seasonal Here’s for the prompt: black cat

177. Fear Defect

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Besides falling leaves, our dogs are afraid of: Their shadows Doors Stairs Petting Toys Raindrops Leashes Things that our dogs are not afraid of: Huge dogs Feral cats Burly men in the shadows Cars barreling towards them Obviously we have our work cut out for us. These guys are the least befitting of donning the crown of evolution out of any other dog I’ve ever met. Admittedly, in just five months they have burrowed so deep in our lives that I have no doubt we would take a bullet for them. So maybe that’s how they evolved.  They transform whoever adopts them into soft, malleable, unrecognizable pieces of putty. Extra Panel: This is what I imagine when I hear about dog therapists. Here’s an extra: A video of Conan who, we are convinced, learned to dog by watching YouTube tutorials. 

176. Bubble Trouble.

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Well, by now most of you know the drill. Information has changed and we are all a bit screwed because of it. Our choices change our news in ways that have never happened before. The news are bottled up and served as a product to people. You are drinking Coke and your neighbor is drinking Mr. Pibb; a bizarre, dubious and objectively wrong choice. I know I can't claim to be right, I mostly jest. I am extremely biased when it comes to immigration, women's choice and LGBQT rights. I will favor those over stock market increases and regulation reductions, even though I am an avid stock market investor. I click on articles that show how immigrants are less prone to commit crimes, while my neighbor may click on articles talking about the hive of scum and villainy that files up to ask for asylum. Just like rashes, the amount of biased news you get grows the more you pick them. If you still are not clear how this works, there's an accessible documentary on Netflix: The Social Dilemma

175. A Little Perspective

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Have I been nauseating enough about our Coronapups? I’m gonna go with no.  We’ve had our  dobergoblins  (Conan and Xena) for the last four months and all I can say is that they’ve changed us. Roxanne and I look at each other and wince at what we have become.   There’s not an hour of the day in which these dogs aren’t an extension of our bodies. Furry, needy, whiny extensions. And what do we do with this dependent behavior? We encourage the hell out of it. Over the last month we’ve done incredibly disgusting things like:  Bought them little tiny sweaters  Put them in pouches attached to our sweaters Smuggled them into restaurants Handcrafted some masks for them Hiked with them on our backpack Only one of those is a lie. We are so screwed. Extra Panel:  They are our world. 

174. Grandiloquence

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The inescapable irony of this is that I do the same thing. I make many of you read through my oodles of disparate, manic, poorly construed sentences to get to the mostly anticlimactic event of the “extra panel”. I’m well aware of this human tendency to bloviate once they get handed a microphone. If life was fair, you’d be hearing the Oscar music right now prompting me to shut up.  I was depressed last week. (This is the quality humor content you get when you subscribe to my blog!). I’m okay as of the writing of this post.  I just came from a heavenly vacation with my wife and I feel much better. I-drank-a-bottle-of-champagne-floating-in-a-lake levels of better. The thing that triggered this latest depression is heavy, noisy and grotesque. I’m talking, of course, of Trump. If you're a supporter, please skip ahead, I know you have a knack for selective blindness. I was affected by his post-GOP-convention bump and how his supporters seem to not understand why I am distraught by Trump.

173. Empathy

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Empathy towards strangers is learnable. So why are some of us so uneducated?   I'm not always empathetic towards strangers. During the Paris terrorist attack I wondered why Muslims weren’t decrying this heinous attack. Spoiler alert: They WERE decrying it (I was just too angry to see it) and they didn’t have to. You don’t expect Christians to apologize for every insane Christian. They'd spend every Sunday apologizing half the time.  My mind changed after a single act: meeting Muslim people. We helped a family from Syria as they were welcomed in our community. The “them” became “us.” Their amazing cooking skills and easy laughter will always stay with me. How do we get this to happen to people? There's value in learning that we are all extremely similar. We all worry about COVID, we all want to protect our own, we all occasionally leave skid marks in our underwear and never really talk about it. I’m the most introverted person I know, and I still have been able to meet Jewis

172. Glucose Intolerance

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Every relationship is fake and I don’t know why, because the truth is funnier. Even I, lover of vulnerability and all things taboo, don’t post about our weekend-destroying arguments about sponges. Oh wait, perhaps I do sometimes. Am I being a cynical doo-doo head? Yes, of course. But I’m also speaking from experience. Walk back a divorce in modern times. Go back through the public postings and you'll find yourself going from "That wretched witch took all my money" to "Enjoying the sunset with my booboo" in a few swipes. Where’s the in between? How did it get from point A to point B so quickly? String Theory? More like creative editing. I find this a bit peculiar, but it actually makes things more understandable to me. That family you see always dancing in perfection, whereas it be in movies, books or your social feed... it’s about as real as farmed salmon is pink . Like a red herring, its image is set to distract. In the same way a jellyfish is not a real fish,

171. Worn Out

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  41% of adults in the United States approve of Donald Trump as of the writing of this blog post . 42% of adults the United States say they vote for him this November. I am telling them to get bent in this comic. I never said I was good at this whole create-a-following aspect of creating webcomics. When he got elected, I really hoped for the best, to the annoyance of my more leftist friends. I trusted that the system of checks and balances wouldn't let his flippant cruelty become policy. And for the most part it hasn't, but the effects that his intentions have had on the psyche of many of us is as indelible as his pronunciation of Yosemite.  There is a lot of fake news around this president, I will never deny that. There is fake news about everything these days, including stories denying the benefits of wearing a barrier between your saliva fountain and other saliva fountains.  The things that are terrifying and monstrous about this president are not fake news, however. Here’s

170. Games

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I have never been able to mainline reality. For me it always has to be cut with absurdity and humor. Whether that is a flaw of reality or of myself, it’s the way it has always been. If you’re able to ingest the stuff with no additives or enhancers, kudos to you.  It always fascinates me how inseparable depression and humor are. The great podcast  “The Hilarious World of Depression” laid that bare for me. Why is it that these go together so frequently? The causal path is probably that depression causes humor, as a way to escape or provide layers between yourself and reality. This is only conjecture on my part, don’t make the mistake many people have done and take me too seriously. As COVID rages on in this year of our lord twentytwenty, I can only hope that you are doing ok. Our mindscapes are being toyed with 24/7 through the double threat of a nature based killer and a human based circus of  mendacity and conflict. If we didn’t have Sarah Cooper or any of the other creative things b

169. Jackpot

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I'm not spiking my morning coffee if that's what you're wondering. I am, however, definitely drinking more now than the before times. We used to go out a lot, and I got most of my drink-on out there. It has not been the same without a place to gargle my griefs with grog. My fridge and bar are stocked with a lot more happy juice these days.  I've been asking around. I'm not alone. This is what we originally called the second wave, a stealthy mental health undertow that could suck us up. If you are reading this, you are likely shook up. And this time you can't blame it on the mediocrity of my comics.  The good thing is this: People ARE sharing their levels of anxiety. We are all there. Do we vary in our response? Yes. I make bad drawings of bad situations mocking my own issues. Some people crochet and stuff. Everyone, including your Facebook perfect friends seem to be experiencing a connected restlessness. Yes, them. That family that is always together, smiling, p

168. Flocking Idiots

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The most frustrating thing about these people is that they’re almost displaying intelligence. Doubt and curiosity are healthy and necessary elements of scientific thinking. And yes, we have witnessed and been made privy of horrible things like MK Ultra , the  Tuskegee Study  and Trump being made president which make us doubt agencies and governments.  But the gap between the facts, “ the world really dislikes Trump “, to the conclusions, “ COVID is a hoax to undermine Trump ”; this gap is bigger than the gap between Trump’s IQ compared to his predecessor’s. Unbridgeable.  Wether it’s Dunning Kruger effect ( like I displayed in one of my earlier comics ) or meek mental mettle; these people can stop being funny (like when Buzz Aldrin punched one of them ) and start getting dangerous at times. People have followed Fox and OAN’s trails to endanger other people. People are refusing to vaccinate their children due to ridiculous claims. Soon, these people will not vaccinate for COVID, which w

167. Free Ennui

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    I remember standing in line for album releases. The anticipation was part of the thrill! I could maybe afford one cd a month, a few video games a year. However, I remember them all very fondly and it may have been from the unique value and space they possessed in my life.  Now, I can go from being all "Who is Sufjan Stevens?" to listening to his whole library in seconds. This is an objective improvement in people’s lives, and yet... Each individual piece of media I consume seems a bit less valuable. I’m never going to extensively complain, though. I am a technophile and have a short attention span, so this is my world; but if I’m ludicrously honest with myself, I miss wanting sometimes.  Writing this makes me realize I've just won the first-world-contest that I host in my head every day. Also, not enjoying things you used to is a very common symptom of depression which would come off as no surprise to my readers or to many of the melancholic people I know. Extra pane

166. The Karening of the Dead

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We got horror movies so wrong. These past few months have taught us that we will have a significant amount of people whose ignorance will be worse than any threat. We will be riddled by people that believe that zombies are a Bill Gates ploy to get us to buy Windows products, people who think that George Soros is behind alien attacks and people who think that god and prayer will guard them against werewolves. These people are everywhere. They’re the real infestation of our times and I have no idea where they came from!  Somebody needs to make a horror movie with what we know now. How the biggest monster will be ignorance, stubbornness and privilege.  Extra panel: Worst case scenario

165. Giving Him the Bird

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I embraced Social media when it hit the world. For an introvert like me, it felt like a good way to be connected with the world. But then something terrible happened: it got populated.  Facebook is riddled by ignorance and silliness, but at least I can ignore or block most of it relatively easily. Twitter, on the other hand, just has everybody's opinion with no consequence. I applaud their recent efforts at curtailing fake news, but I don't think it will ever be enough. If you've seen a city hall open mic , you can see why it may be problematic to give everyone a voice.  Young-me would be appalled that I do not consider every voice equally important. I don't really give AF what you think, young-me! Why should anybody care that the limo driver next door is dubious of the world's roundness? He should meet like-minded people in mysterious subgroups. Why is his voice equal to that of a geologist or an astronomer in a conversation? I'd love to hear his thoughts on th

164. Flame Buoyant

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I remember the ‘92 LA riots. If you don’t, there’s a brilliant documentary in Netflix about it (LA 92). At the time, the loss of property and all the literal flames made me question if the response was balanced to the cause (Rodney King’s beating.)  Now, I don't even pose the question. I can never know what it is like to be culled and focused on so adamantly. Sure, other minorities get some crap. But there’s something about the image of a black individual in society at large that scares white people. An angry white man doesn’t generate the same fear and reprisal that an angry black man does. An armed white man? Well that’s just Walmart on a Friday night! An armed black man is a death sentence.  I’ve only experienced racism a few times, and it only happens when they hear my accent. Instead of cops, the institution that treated me like dirt was Homeland Security in airports. They mocked my accent, they questioned my motives, and they generally made me feel powerless. However, I never

163. Lost and Found

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I don’t want to give the wrong impression. Things before Roxanne had their place. It’s just that I favored pragmatism over aesthetics. Shoes were strewn near the door, keys were in the previous day’s pants waiting to be swapped out and the cheese knife lived with the cheese in the fridge.  I believe everything should have its place. At least generally, I believe in that. I also believe that life would be boring if everything was always in its place! Do you know how many unrelated things I’ve found in the pursuit of my keys, wallet or shoes?  Half eaten candy bars, photos of a life that doesn’t exist anymore, cards, college diplomas, quarters, all kinds of things surface when you start unearthing. On the opposite side of the banal, we have to talk about the current state of events. Just like with many of you, I have been moved to action to support the BLM movement. I completely agree with their pains and the root cause of a society tainted with systemic and institutionalized racism. As

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