Friday, July 22, 2011

Why I Can Never Shock My Family Again.

Finally! Another comic. Sorry for the delay, all. I've been up to my face in stuff I have to do and rather behind on stuff I want to do.

First things first, I'm using a lot of familiar images in this strip because a) I can't draw them to save my life and b) the real thing just looks better. Copyrights belong to the respective companies.


A lot of people ask how my family reacts to me being an erotica writer. The short answer is: they really don't. I mean, they kinda go "...whut?" at first, but then shrug it off like, "Well, I'm not surprised." And I, in turn, am not too surprised, because I've pretty much desensitized my family to my shenanigans. Really, short of appearing on America's Most Wanted, there's not much I can do to shock them. And even that might not work.
But how did this shenanigan numbness come to be? Well, mostly from years of knowing I'm a rather eccentric individual. There was, however, an event that was (so to speak) the nail in the coffin.

Back in 2000, shortly after I turned 20, my grandmother died.
Now, I wasn't terribly broken up over this. I mean, when most people imagine a grandmother, they picture something like this:
I, however, lived with this for 20 years:
No love lost there, believe me.

Still had to go to the funeral, though. Loads of family coming in from out of town, lots of friends attending, and it wasn't quite the time or place to express my feelings about my grandmother or her passing. So, out of respect for the living, I went, and I think I did a damned good job of keeping up appearances.
No one needed to know the truth.
So after the funeral, the family retired to my grandparents' house. Now, my grandfather -- who, by the way, was absolutely cool as hell, and may he rest in peace -- could no longer drink due to health reasons. There was still a great deal of liquor in the house, though, and at some point during the celebra-- er, post-funeral thingy, the liquor cabinet was opened.

And everyone indulged. Mightily.

I, however, was 20.
Now, let me pause for a moment to explain something else that was going on in my life around the time Granny kicked the bucket.

As a part time job to keep me reasonably sane in between my miserable job of selling rocks to rich people, I had recently become employed by an adult film industry. Yes, at the tender age of twenty, I had become...

...a porn editor.
It was quite an interesting job, let me tell you. I mean, the e-mails I'd get from my boss were nothing like the ones most people get from their employers.
To be honest, what I was working on didn't really faze me. The novelty wears off after about ten minutes, and within a couple of days, I was working on a porn video without even really thinking about it. Just like any other job, I'd sit at the computer with a sandwich, listening to music, and work.
Since I worked alone, I had the luxury of being able to make/take personal calls while I edited, which sometimes made for rather awkward pauses during the conversation.
Incidentally, for those of you who enjoy the occasional indulgence in adult films, you should be aware that editors are the unsung heroes of the porn industry. You don't really think about it, but face it, folks. We have to see the things you should be glad you never see.
Anyway, where were we?

Oh, yes. The funeral after party.

By now, the booze reserve has been opened, and everyone's feeling pretty good. Not getting trashed and doing stupid shit, just enjoying a totally badass post-funeral buzz.

Knowing my family, there was some bantering and shit-talking going on. Believe me, I come by my sense of humor honestly. At some point, if I recall, my brother was the target of some good-natured but oh-so-pointed jabs.

As people often do in such a situation, he went for the redirect:
And the reactions...well, they were varied:
Now, I was by no means ashamed of what I did, but I have to admit, it's a suddenly have your entire extended family looking at you and reacting to such a thing.

Needless to say, having my employment in the adult film industry revealed at my grandmother's funeral was a rather difficult act to follow. I'm reasonably certain there is nothing I can do to shock my family.

But that won't stop me from trying...

Monday, July 4, 2011

My childhood, as viewed through the 4th of July.

Today, I'd like to revisit my childhood once again. Specifically, how I evolved as a childhood through the magic and wonder of the 4th of July. I almost didn't post this one, but Jules put a comic bunny -- not to be confused with a plot bunny -- into my unsuspecting head. WAY TO GO, JULES.


I grew up during the 1980s and 1990s. You know, that wondrous time when children were allowed to play outside and scrape their knees without being rushed into intensive care and then put through years of therapy to deal with the trauma. My knees and shins are more scar than skin, bitches. We were hardasses back then. We didn't take shit from the pavement like kids today.

Sorry, where was I? Oh, right. The Fourth of July.

My earliest years were spent being innocently mesmerized by such things as sparklers and bumblebees.
It's hard to believe now that bumblebees are illegal in most places.
Especially the Pacific Northwest where I grew up. I mean, so what if a little paper bee the size of a half dollar goes careening around in the sky while it's on fire? IT'S THE NORTHWEST. Everything is WET.
Anyway, as I got older and was less entertained by sparklers and fiery insects, I developed a love for the wonderful Roman Candle. Oh, the power of holding a stick that shot fireballs up into the night sky!
Yes, I went through a great deal of my youth looking at things in slack-jawed awe. I don't generally look like a blow-up doll in real life, but my Photoshop skills aren't great, so there it is.

Anyway. It happened one fine July (or probably late June...oh, come on, we weren't the only ones who lit off fireworks early!) when I, for whatever reason, took a moment away from the afternoon's backyard pyrotechnics to do something I had never done. I mean, it seemed utterly stupid. Why would anyone do such a crazy thing? But I was a wild child, and I did it.

I read the warning label on a Roman Candle.
And the gears in my head began to turn. They turned and ground like a turning, grinding thing.
And then...

Then it hit me.
Trust me, you would've made that face too if you'd reached the conclusion I had. And when the shock wore off, I went and did what any reasonable child would do in such a situation.

I ran off to tell my brother.
And from that day forth (not to be confused with that day Fourth), fireworks had changed in our house. Well, in our yard. Mom and Dad didn't let us light stuff off in the house. Messy, noisy, etc. Wherever we were, things were different after that.


Because thanks to a warning label, we had discovered...


Because THAT is how you do childhood.