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Dr. Ian Malcolm
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#17: Exposition how much I loathe thee

Let’s try something different today: starting off with a rant – followed by a segue to another rant! /// Seeing is different than being told. African proverb Not sure where I got came across this (probably Brian McDonald’s podcast) but it’s apropos for every writer & comic creator in the world. Show don’t tell, the teachers try to beat into our heads. And they’re right. If there’s one thing I loathe – my biggest pet peeve – is poorly executed exposition. Nothing ruins being engrossed in a story or kills the suspension of disbelief for me like bad exposition. The … Continue reading

Process, ego, and revealing my next project

#16: Process, ego & revealing my next project

Welcome to the new shorter version of the newsletter! (Editor: NOT.) First, some good news! I have been honored with a BIPOC scholarship by the Center for Cartoon Studies! They offer scholarships for their summer workshops and I applied for Creating Graphic Novels for the Young Adult Market. I chose this to get better at a “crafting authentic, relatable teen characters and narratives.” Can’t wait til August! /// That’s most people’s problem: they try to learn a magic trick instead of learning how magic works. Brian McDonald I’m still grooving to Brian McDonald’s podcast, You Are A Storyteller (though I’ve … Continue reading

Content strategy for artists

#15: Content strategy for artists

Sorry I’m late today, had to drive halfway across Florida to pick a kid up. You know – usual parent stuff 😛 /// The end of procrastination is not about trying to do everything. It’s about not doing all the things. It’s deciding between what to do and what not to. It’s taking control over when you do what you decide to do. Jessica Abel I’ve been sitting on this quote for awhile. The overwhelm of thinking there are a million things that I have to do tends to result in a paralysis-like procrastination. But consciously deciding that I don’t … Continue reading

Patreon wannabes

#14: My latest comic & Patreon wannabes

A link to my latest comic, thoughts on every platform turning into Patreon, and 3 reading recommendations. /// A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. Thomas Mann I forgot where I got this but I am so feeling it this week. I haven’t made a lot of progress on my myth story outline re-write. There’s something wrong with the story that I can’t quite place (that’s usually the case with anything that seems like ‘writer’s block’). On the plus, I FINALLY finished the 5 page dry run of the graphic memoir, … Continue reading

Favorite movies Raiders of the Lost Ark

#13: Favorite movies

Coloring comics & movie movies movies! /// If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all. Billie Holiday I heard this fine bit of wisdom from Brian McDonald’s excellent podcast, You Are A Storyteller. I tried to editorialize on it (I’ve written & deleted several paragraphs so far) but it speaks for itself. /// What I’m working on It’s been nearly 2 weeks since I stopped taking allergy meds, and after being waylaid last week by post 2nd dose side effects, this was my most productive week in well over a month. I … Continue reading

Frank Costanza

#12: Covid vaccine birthday week

The return of my brain, covid, birthdays, tv shows, and books! /// I’m back, baby! Frank Costanza I sit here with a clear head, even if I’m wondering how to start this whole thing (which is a pretty normal starting to write thing). I lost one month of mental acuity due to allergy meds. They tend to zombify me a bit, make my mind fuzzy, and make it hard to focus on anything. It’s a bit of a miracle that I didn’t stop writing these issues because I fell off the horse for working out and writing consistently. Last allergy … Continue reading

Creative advice what’s arp

#11: Creative advice … or not

The intro quote takes me on an unexpected, and slightly unwelcome trip down memory lane. Plus Hellboy! /// “You will never be good enough and that’s ok. Trying to get better is what really matters. The joy of what we do is in the making.” This was said to me by a visiting artist in school when I was 11 and it stayed with me. Jorge Gutierrez I’m not sure I got any good artistic advice when I was a kid – at least nothing that stuck with me. I drew a lot and enjoyed it. There was an art … Continue reading

Process peak

#10: Process peak!

This week I go off on a tangent about posers and punk rock before digging into resistance to working and making major changes to my style – including some process! /// What I’m thinkin’ Pushing people out of the circle is essential to insecure people who want to make sure the circle has edges and they are safely inside. Jessica Abel This bit of wisdom from Growing Gills came to mind yesterday when I came across this comic on Instagram about older punks and what punk is acceptable: I remember hearing the term poser (or the more poserly poseur) as … Continue reading

Stripped the comics documentary

#9: What got me into comics?

What are your first memories of comics? What got you into comics? That’s what this issue is going to cover, along with Kenny Rogers, Rebecca Sugar, Hellboy and – surprise – some talk about what I’ve actually been working on. /// Every gambler knowsThe secret to survivin’Is knowin’ what to throw awayAnd knowin’ what to keep. Don Schlitz TIL that The Gambler was not written by Kenny Rogers but by a cat named ‘Don Schlitz’ (whose name I’m going to steal for a story). And that it was recorded a couple of times before Kenny Rogers made it famous – … Continue reading

What’s Arp Issue #8: Authenticity, Jerry Seinfeld, & Productivity

#8: Authenticity, Jerry Seinfeld, & Productivity

Hey – we made it through another week! Our president doesn’t tweet nonsense all the time, and apparently the center of the universe is Joe Manchin. Still, an improvement the previous 4 years. Hey Dirtay – Congress has your money! /// What is authenticity if not actually doing the things you claim you care about day in and day out? Jessica Abel I spoke at length about authenticity two weeks ago in the Neil Gaiman issue (the first of many, I’m sure – eventually I’ll re-read The Sandman for the first time in years and finally notice all the thing … Continue reading