#1: Dan Harmon, Kyle Starks, & other stuff

I’ve decided to give an honest go of blogging/newslettering – which means I’m going to write a regular blog post that gets sent out to my newsletter subscribers and gets posted to my blog. Except my newsletter subscribers are cooler so they get to read this first (if you’re reading this on my website then my newsletter subscribers read it 5 days ago, nyah nyah nyah).

I’m not sure whether regular means weekly or biweekly, but pondering the past week on a Saturday morning seems like a really good time to write a blog post – basically whatever’s been on my mind over the past week, mostly related to creative endeavors & pursuits except for the times when so much shit goes down in the wider world that it distracts us from our creative pursuits.

crop woman putting panty liner in bag
I searched for ‘regular’ in stock photos and this is what came up. However breaking up the ‘wall of text’ is important for readability so random photos will be needed.

Mostly I’ll be writing about:

  • stuff I’m working on
  • any significant personal or professional news
  • stuff I’m reading or watching
  • stuff I’m thinking about

That’s pretty broad and covers all the bases. I will say that this first one will ramble on a bit as there’s a jumble of stuff on my mind. As I get into a regular writing schedule, posts should become more focused (I hope).

You know what would be super helpful? If you drop me a line or comment telling me what you’d like to read more about. (I’m going to repeat this at the end because every post should end with a call to action yada yada.)

Stuff I’m working on

My graphic memoir

Please click this & buy the book so Bezos can give me 2 cents.

I’ve gathered a metric shit-ton of ideas for my memoir but organizing them is … challenging. Organizing something that isn’t strictly linear is a royal pita. A few weeks back I read The Art of the Graphic Memoir by Tom Hart (aff link) to get some ideas.

The idea I’m trying is to make a list. Hart’s suggestion is to make lists to find a theme but I’ve already got several clear themes so I’m making lists of experiences to creative some sort of narrative (or, more likely, loosely connected narratives). Each list would ostensibly end up as a sequence or chapter in the book. I’m trying lists of related anecdotes (like trying to figure out how American families lived) or sequences that had a clear cause & effect on my life.

The latter is a result of learning about Dan Harmon’s Story Circle. I’ve done a lot of reading on story structure (hero journeying cat saving stuff) and don’t recall how I found out about his Story Circle. I know part of it was a lot of searching to learn more about how Regular Show was written, because I’d like to write some stuff that stupid, funny and good. (I’ve got the stupid part down tho.)

The Story Circle is a simplified hero’s journey that’s good for episodic writing. It provides a solid narrative structure without any formulaic Dark Night of the Soul et al involved. It helped me understand how episodes of Regular Show & Rick & Morty worked.

It also made me look for cause & effect in my list of memoir ideas/experiences.

delicious dragon fruit on plate
I searched for ‘dragon’ & got stock photos of dragonfruit.

For example: did a love for reading lead me to Tolkien, which led me to Dungeons & Dragons, result in my getting bullied (all the bullied kids were in my D&D group at the time).

This sounds like something I should explore in a future post 🤔

If you want a more concise explanation of Harmon’s Story Circle, go read this. It includes two explainer videos and a graphic explanation of the Story Circle that makes a damn useful wallpaper.

The Rapper’s Foot

I’m redoing my webcomic that was originally called The Rapper’s Foot because he’s posted anti-Semitic stuff online (more than once, iirc) and I cannot abide that shit at all. So the comic’s getting rewritten and redrawn. A lot of the rewriting of the first chapter is complete, but I did some character designs this week, trying to go for a looser style that I can get done without agonizing over every fucking detail.

Perfectionism is a mental health issue.

Stuff I’m reading or watching

Besides making comics, the only way to get better at making them is to read, read, read comics, of all varieties, whatever you can get yours hands on.

Kyle Starks

I have NO idea how I found him, maybe because I’m a fan of Chris Schweizer’s art and they seem to be best buds. But Kyle Starks’ solo comics have hit me hard. His comics are weird, funny, and not drawn perfectly. He seems to have managed to ward off the perfectionism that drives me nucking futs.

But mostly his brand of humor is right up my alley. It’s hitting me like Monty Python hit me when I was 16. And how Chappelle’s Show sang to my heart in the 90s.

Which is all a way of saying if you don’t like Kyle Starks’ solo comics, there’s something wrong with you and I will think twice before maintaining any relationship with you. I’ve learned the hard way that people who don’t get Monty Python are not good companions, and people who don’t like Chappelle’s Show have giant sticks up their butt.

Here’s the Kyle Starks comics that have set my heart ablaze:

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Karate Prom: It’s called KARATE PROM. What more do you need to know?
  • Old Head: Tough old basketball player vs Dracula (trust me, it works. Also, Starks is a fan of the 90’s Knicks, which is very relevant to me)
  • Sexcastle: possibly the ultimate homage to 80s action flicks, with some the best, most ridiculous dialogue ever.
  • Rock Candy Mountain: basically hobos, magic & fighting. In fact, all of his shit seems to involve fighting.

You can buy the first two comics directly from him. The other two can be bought online but you should check if your library system can hook you up with Hoopla Digital.

Basically I haven’t gotten off my butt to add Starks’s comics to my recommended reading yet.

(Probably because I’m blogging right now.)

That’s it for this week

I gotta stop writing, otherwise I’ll be at this all day and I’d like to do things like eat, cook, and make comics. And I’d like to save things for future posts.

Before I forget: if you have any interest in using Mailchimp, I just published a how to post this week. Read it here.

Hopefully this wasn’t boring, but it would be super helpful if you let me know what was & wasn’t boring by replying or leaving a comment.

I told you I’d throw that in at the end…

Peace out, or something.

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