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Showing posts from 2020

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 sweatersSmuggled them into restaurantsHandcrafted some masks for themHiked with them on our backpackOnly 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 Jewish p…

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, th…

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 my top…

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 bred…

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, pla…

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 will be the…

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 panel(s):


Ani…

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 the …

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 f…

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 a…

162. Conan and Xena

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161. Misdirection

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It’s been over three years of this, and the media doesn’t seem to get wise to it. Sensational insanity from the prez always trumps (sorry!) the actual shady stuff happening in his administration. Ad Nauseam.
Speaking of nausea, how many of you thought that your gastric juices would stop maelstorming every time you heard this imbecile talk? I for one, thought we would be inoculated by now. 
It’s really difficult to focus on the enduring damage he is doing to the institutions that have held this country together, when he says the loony things he does. Neither of the possible truths looks good for him or his supporters. He’s either a con man or absolutely insane. 
Another 4 years granted to him by a scared, ignorant and hateful populace would be just so 2020. I hope I’m wrong.




160. Covicious Cycle

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159. Mary

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This post is a guest post by my wonderful wife, Roxanne, about her mother, Mary. We both love and respect Mary very, very much. 
“My mom did not fit the mold of our small rural town in WAY up north Michigan. She painted her fingernails different colors (sometimes just the pinkies) and wore silver rings all up and down her fingers. She walked long distances all over town, before it became a fitness craze, and while she walked, wore a big old camo jacket she got at an Army surplus store. She also had a fashionable and sophisticated wardrobe that was the envy of even her young high school students. She drank whiskey and water out of a plastic tupperware cup, and she swore like a sailor, all while constantly correcting our grammar. She spoke French and loved to turn up the hi fi and sing out loud to Neil Diamond while we danced. She is a yooper transplant that can help my dad butcher a deer one day, and go model for her local artist’s life drawing class the next. 
All the things that made h…

158. Transparency

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There’s no words to describe how crappy our toilet paper is. But I’m going to try.

The toilet paper we found is malnourished. This toilet paper is like sliding spider web on your butt ravine. It’s like scraping waste with the Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s like using Casper The Friendly Ghost’s face to clean the evil remains. It’s the LaCroix of toilet paper. It’s like using graphene to dig up gold nuggets.

And we have enough of it to survive two apocalyptic events.

Yay.

Extra Panel:

Look out Halloween!



157. Gag Reel

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Obama was a bit drone happy. Hillary was a bit hard to relate to. And I voted for both of them. The thing that surprises me the most about the Trump presidency is how his supporters don’t even acknowledge his faults.

This week the president suggested that we look into putting disinfectant inside our bodies. Fact. Even the dumbest among us know how dangerous that would be.

And the Trump defense force has been strong this week. Their defense is the most hilarious thing I’ve seen, and I consume a lot of comedy. Their argument is that Trump isn’t actually doing it, he just wants us to consider it. The highlight of my week was a Trumpian saying it was fake news and providing text that would exonerate the President, but the idiot forgot to change the words and provided the actual words:

“And I then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute, and is there a way you can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs, an…

156. Not Ideal

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There are no bad ideas, indeed. How often have we seen this, my cubicle warriors of today? In many of my attempts at facilitating a brainstorming session, I have seen leaders do a version of this. Why is it so hard to just let the ideas flow and pass no judgement? I've failed at it numerous times. I believe our ego is partly to blame, as is the desire to go for what is known and tried.

To me the whole point of a brainstorming session is to allow employees to leap out of the boundaries set from the first day that they entered an organization. It's also a great opportunity for leaders to coach and guide their employees as they try and navigate the intricate ways to get things done.

Often, it just becomes another way to exert our ideas downstream. I've been doing process improvement for over 15 years and still, the most enduring and easily implemented ideas have come with a combination of employee problem solving and leader guidance.

Extra panel:

Or we can just keep doing th…

155. Time Off

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This week, I am not anxious. I find that extremely surprising, given the weird apocalypse-adjacent adventure we are experiencing. It really is about knowing that we are all going through the same thing that gives me strength. By this point, we all know people who have been affected physically by the COVID, or someone who has been left behind in the economy. We are all helping each other as much as we can in the most uncertain times many of us have experienced. I am not known for my optimism, but I truly feel we will come back stronger. We will appreciate communication more, we will be more informed about infection control and we will focus on the important things.

This is one of my series of comics that have homunculi,  personified abstractions of my issues or my mental processes. I am often drawn to that style as I work through my demons. I hope you enjoyed the comic!

Extra Panel:


This harkens back to Awkwardo, my personified social awkwardness. He’s in heaven right now. Roxanne and…

154. Unmasking

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The whole mask situation has been a little confusing. The CDC told you not to wear them at the onset of this pandemic and others have urged you to do the opposite. So what gives? Dr. Price, with his sexy oval face (like yours truly), mentions what I believe is the main benefit of getting a mask: It will train you not to touch your face. That's the main way he believes we are getting this disease in the community. How many of us just now realized how often we touch our stupid faces? Having a mask will bring awareness to that behavior, and prevent skin to skin contact.

I work in healthcare so I understand why the CDC recommended not using them at the outset. We are in a PPE crisis. There are not enough masks to protect the people who really need them, the front line caregivers. Urging everyone to wear masks at the beginning of this pandemic would have further disrupted that flow. If we couldn't get our toilet paper hoarding under control, just imagine the far more precious mask…

153. Et tu, Burritus?

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Mediocrity in comics is my safe zone. I’m pretty used to the space I’ve come to conquer in this medium. Right there with the guy who draws horny dolphins and the girl making fan fiction about Ted, the guy who dumped her right before prom... 20 years ago. I like the small amount of followers through the diverse mediums I’ve gathered after this year of comic drawing. It allows me to keep practicing new techniques and styles (this is my first potty humor post) without repercussions. It allows me to put things out here that are, well, less than refined. I love you and thank you for letting me experiment! It’s easy to do so, I have no brand to protect.

Speaking of brands, this is the first comic that was bought by a brand! Yes, SLOOF, found me in instagram and paid me a few bucks for this comic! Thankfully they made a related product to what I was thinking!

Extra panel: SLOOF

Before last week, I had barely heard of SLOOF. But they are all over the place, with hundreds of affordable produc…

152. Faking It

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I am not a fan of  “Fake it till you make it.” It implies a lot of things that are against my credo. It is inauthentic, it creates an unsafe environment and it hides gaps in knowledge. By this point in my blog post, I know I come off as a total party pooper so I am going to do what I do best: double down.

It is inauthentic to act like you know something you don’t. I am certain that being a faker mcfakerson will wear down your soul. The true way to learn how to do something is to fail, and fail a lot. And to ask lots of questions. I have a feeling that focusing on “Fake it till you make it” ends with  people getting the imposter syndrome. Think about it, con-men and employees use the same phrase. Do you really want to have the same philosophy as Bernie Madoff?

If you are prompted to “Fake it till you make it” in your workplace, your workplace may have an unsafe environment. A safe environment is one in which you can admit you know nothing and get the help you need to gain skills and k…

151. Plagued

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Generations before us had widespread worldly wars, warm and cold.  Today feels like the anxious times we were told we were fortunate not to have. And there is some beauty to it.

My friends and family are losing their jobs. My job has become incredibly stressful and demanding (I work in healthcare).  Our parents and grandparents are at risk. This is some scary stuff. So it feels bad to make light of this situation. I am going to, but only because I am an idiot who doesn’t know how to cope with things.

There is something about this current ambiance that I am responding well to. There’s something to knowing everyone is going through anxiety together that I find comfortable. I always feel guilty for feeling anxious with such a privileged life. I have met the love of my life, I’ve achieved some economic success, and I get to do the things I enjoy. Guilt about anxiety, begets anxiety, begets guilt, begets anxiety. Today, though, I can feel that we are all vibing similarly. And we are hooki…

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173. Empathy