Friday, January 20, 2017

Channel it

Today is a day I've been dreading. Trump will be sworn in as our president.

Some of you might remember my thoughts on election night last November. If not, then CLICK HERE but suffice to say I wasn't pleased. I didn't want Clinton either. I wanted Bernie Sanders. But the Democrats did some shady shit and fucked him over on it.

This is all history and I don't want to relive it, honestly. It makes me feel disenfranchised by the whole thing. And I've seen it everyday... we're all pissed at each other. We label each other as Alt Right, or extreme Liberal, and then judge as such. Baiting and switching arguments. I've even got into a couple myself. Sometimes I cannot help it. Someone will say something so outlandish that I have to question it. What I get back is a bunch of slander and abusive ad hominums instead of addressing the argument. Cause I genuinely (and obviously) don't have my finger on the pulse of what is going on out there in the world. And I have many fears that the man sworn in today will be a complete sham. Not because memes or newsbites tell me so... but from honest research. Its all out there if you want to take a look.

But like it or not, he's becoming our president today. And I'm not happy about it. But it is what it is. I'll let history make its own judgements. And honestly, truly... I hope I am wrong. I hope that he comes in and jobs increase, our social issues get fixed, the poor are taken care of, another war is avoided, hell.. all the things that plague us now get fixed. We always have the puncher's chance of hope.

It has to be known that one man cannot be our savior. If we want change, we must start within and with each other. We must treat each other better. We gotta get louder about that change and our support for each other. We must CHANNEL what we feel into something. And that something, is our art.

We must do our best at what we do. Our job, our parenting, our writing, painting, drawing, playing or writing music, photography, knitting, cooking... everything that is art, make it our best. We must channel our feelings into these things. Not into each other. Make your voice known through your works and how you treat people.

Remember the old saying: "Actions speak louder than words." Well, lets make that happen. If you support Trump and are labeled as an extreme right racist asshole, show the world you're not. If you are an extreme left liberal whiny sore loser, show the world you're not. We can all "beat our swords into plow shears" as the bible says and be better people. For our neighbors, our loved ones and ourselves.

The man in Washington doesn't matter. We do. The works we produce matter. Whatever conduit we use to channel our anger, confusion or happiness, this matters. So make it about that and hope for the best from our representatives that were chosen this time around.

But always use caution: Research. Be weary of deceit. Someone will try to fuck us, always. Be mindful to protect yourself and your neighbors and loved ones. We'll get through this, together.

Channel your feelings into your art and your life. We will come out the other end. We will prevail. We will stand.

--T


Monday, January 16, 2017

FINALLY!

Oh man, I've re-discovered a rush that is better than coffee and a Mt. Dew combined.... actually DOING SOME ARTWORK!

Yeah, its been something I've been struggling with for months now. I used to sit and do 5-8 pages a night in light pencils and then ink on them all week. It was how I did things. I've kept wanting to tap into that energy for a while now but the events of 2016 just sucked the life out of that workflow. Well last night, the time was right. The moon was in the right position, the drink in my cup was the exact ratio I needed, the Howard Stern recaps on Sirius were the right ones streaming, everyone left me alone and I tapped into the workflow. I had the PS4 waiting behind me, aching me to play Lego Star Wars or GTA 5 again, but I resisted and said I could as a reward if I just got the fuck to work!

So I sat at the table. Seven hours later I emerged triumphant!


In total, I got two commissions partially done (gotta color those tonight), and NINE pages for STARSLAM 3 pencilled and in various stages of ink slapped on pages!

Wow, did I need that. It really made me feel great. Like an artistic orgasm I sorely needed to feel again. After the smoke cleared I treated myself to two hours of some Lego Star Wars on PS4. My girl came home and we watched some TV together and cuddled. Today I set my alarm for 9:45 and I shot right up, anxious to get more work done! I was rewarded with my dedication to get the cover to the Caleb book done:

COMING SOON!!! (yes, I know there is a spelling error... some stuff still being worked on as I type this. This is not the final version)
Man it feels good to finally tap into some of the energy to get some work done. Do I have an actual disciplined work ethic when it comes to my own work again? Lets hope! I'm well aware of my track record from last year with everything going on, and how it can dissipate in a minute. Its easy to knock the wind out of my sails lately. So for now, I am just going to enjoy feeling like this while I can and get as much done as I can!

Well, back to work but let me leave you with this cute pic of lil' James with the worst case of bedhead he had this weekend!


Looks like Eraserhead or something!

--Take care,

T

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Upcoming: NEW COMIC pre-order! (Plus other stuff)

Hey friends!

I couldn't sleep well tonight. I woke up super early thanks to a combo of extreme dry mouth and that good old "just couldn't get comfortable" feeling. As always, I got a lot on my mind. Health stuff. Work stuff. Its all a jumble. But I felt like, lets get up and do something.

I'm in post-production of my latest comic. Its a short floppy horror anthology like the old EC horror books but its in honor of my friend Caleb who passed away last year. He was a massive horror fan and when I was in my own head about what I can do to help his family and his friend's family, this is what I came up with. It will be a 28 page book. Three stories, all ZOMBIE related. It will also have pinups, fun old fake ads like the old comics (Xray glasses, etc) and a few other surprises. Caleb himself appears in the book on a few pages intro-ing the stories as our resident horror host, cryptkeeper style! He would love this, I think. I hope. And most special of all: His daughter will see her first work ever published in the book! Its really gonna be a special occasion!

Yesterday, his pal Joe posted a pic of some of the pages from the book and people are saying some very kind words about the project. Its really got me jazzed to finish it and get the kickstarter up and running. I'm hoping to have all the art stuff done this week and finishing up final PDFs by next week. Then I will launch the Kickstarter for it. Incentives right now include digital copies, sketched copies, original art pages, commissions and other stuff. Its gonna be a basic and quick pre-order Kickstarter that I don't think will draw out too long. I'll order enough books to fill the orders and a few more for future sales at horror cons. Then the money that is left will be divided up between Caleb's family and then the Arlee Rodgers Surgery Fund for his friend Joe's daughter. I will not see a dime of profit from this project.

Right now, the title is "TALES FROM THE GORE" and its being presented by 12 Gauge Gore. I'm hoping to premiere it at Horrorhound Cincinnati in March. Here's some sneak peek pics of various things related to the project:

A look at our horror host CALEB in action!

A page I teased mid-last year finally gets a home in the new TALES FROM THE GORE! A special little tale!

Laying it all out...

A zombie story about Xmas time I drew a long time ago FINALLY gets a home in print!

And the book includes a faithful reprint of one of my favorite zombie related horror stories I have ever done.
 It has been a long time since I did just a quick 28 page comic like this. I tried to make it as painless as I could. Working on it was hard enough sometimes, but I just felt like I had to do this. I hope we sell a lot of copies with this project and the money earned can help out his family and friends as much as possible. It is also a form of therapy for me to just do something. Sometimes, you feel so helpless that just DOING SOMETHING makes one feel better.

The Kickstarter will launch before the month is over. A couple weeks. Look for an announcement very soon!

________________________________________________

I'm working through it folks. I'm trying my best to get back on the horse and finish this race. But I also am taking the time to slow down and just live a bit. I'm watching the movies I've always missed out on. I'm reading articles and chasing the whimsies. I'm taking the time to enjoy what I can and when I can around the craziness of my life. Some days I can literally feel my body breaking and my mind oozing out of my head. I need distractions.

Luckily, I got a great gal who listens to me, supports me and loves me. She always makes me laugh:

She's such a goof sometimes, I love it!
 I am aware fully that life is short. And I'm trying every day not to waste it. I saw this graphic the other day and it stuck in my head: 


I've worked hard at my dreams and day jobs since I was 16 years old. And there is so much more to do. New car, new home, new travels, raise my boys... so many things on the bucket list to get done. Not just artworking but life in general. But I am also noting that I deserve a break from it all too. I'm toying with getting a modern game system so that I am not out of the loop when it comes to what my kids will want someday, or to what my 16 year old is talking about. I'm tired of feeling like a man out of time, stuck in arrested development. And plus I deserve some fun too! So don't be surprised if I am posting some pics of a new PS4 sometime soon.

If my life has to drain a bit for me to stop and enjoy the smell of the flowers once in a while, so be it. Its a worthy life to live and I've earned some peace.... Don't you think?

U2 announced a JOSHUA TREE 30th Anniversary tour. I might go. Just because. Why not. Right?
Chase the whimsies! Carpe diem.

Maybe in these things, I am getting better. Healthier. I'm not beating myself up as much for not working as hard. Maybe thats a good thing. Instead of thinking where I SHOULD be, enjoy where I AM NOW... what a concept! Am I capable of relaxing? I'd love to find out.

But also this week: I got asked from three different sources for commission work. The downloads of the Idiothead Morning Show Podcast and the blog hits remain constant. People are still out there and they care! I can't begin to explain what that means to me that you've stuck with me through all this shit! And all the positive words and vibes floating around about the Caleb comic really got me jazzed up, man. Seems like every day people are asking: When is Starslam 3 going to come out? How about the new Pleasant Life?

Point is, people care and still want me doing it. That is freaking awesome! I appreciate it, so much. I know I got an ending in site for all these things and I hope to achieve that. Its a ways off and I want to enjoy it while I can. Because life is a journey. Chase the dreams and whimsies and then come back to Earth and relax a bit with those you love in a home you earned. But I promise all these things to you. We're gonna land this bird and its going to be the best time ever. Maybe my zeal for these things is returning. Maybe I'm just ready to go again. Who knows, but right now, it just feels really good.

I'm keeping it together so far in 2017. How about you?

--T

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The Struggle State of my Being

Lazy New Year so far... for some!
Hello friends!

The days drift on by and I continue to work on the state of my being. And it is a constant struggle. I'm working on better diet habits. I'm working on trying to find a rhythm with my artwork. Tonight I finished inks on three pages for the upcoming horror comic anthology. The artwork is almost done and so I can move into post production with it all. Here's a peek:



Other than that, no new Starslam pages yet. I'm planning to sneak out this week and get some shit done. I really need to. I need that jumpstart!

Meanwhile, I'm doing a lot of this: 


 I've caught up with a lot of things I haven't seen. Like The Last Dragon, Labyrinth, Eat this Question (Zappa documentary), Queen of the Damned, etc. I've shown my girl some movies she hasn't seen like Rocky, Predator and Ed Wood. She loved them all as I knew she would. Both of us are just missing a few movies here and there in our checklist.

I'm enjoying watching them and I'm still working on the collection of discs, games and of course... MUSIC:

My new finds out in the wild this week!
All the CDs I've been getting I already have in my digital collection but I'm getting used expanded editions for my new CD shelf I got myself for my bday.

Speaking of bdays, today my dad turns 72. Its a real trip to think that my dad is 72. To me, he'll always be in his 40s or something like that. So weird to think that I'm older now that he was when I was born. He was 33. I turn 39 in a couple weeks. Its so surreal. Anyway, I hope I can get away some weekend and travel down to see him again. I know for the next three months I am going to be on mad overtime at the day job and I need it to save up for this year. I got some massive things coming up. Trips, a move, etc. So much to do...

I'm working hard to make better decisions for my health, both physical and mental. Continue to bare with me as I sort it all out. I hope to be completely cured by the time I'm 40. That's how it all works, right? Wave the magic wand and you're all sorted and fixed? Eh, not quite. But hell, I'm ok. I got good things rolling and I get a shot at waking up again tomorrow.

Tonight I did some drawing, a podcast and a new blog. Now I'm gonna sip some drinks and celebrate my life. Every day is a celebration. Enjoy the gifts you got and have earned. Onward and upward.

In the end, there is no struggle to my being, except the struggle I give to myself. We all have the keys to our own vehicle. How we maintain that vehicle and take care of it and where we go with it... thats up to us.

--T 

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Thinking of the New Year

Hello friends.

I spent yesterday editing one of the new VLOGS that will be uploaded in the future. I'm trying hard to bank as much new material as I can so I can go full steam ahead on actual comic work. I got about two pages to finish pencils and inks on, plus a cover before I go into post-production on the first comic I will be releasing this year. Its the Horror Anthology/Caleb tribute comic that will likely get launched on Kickstarter and then released officially at HorrorHound Cincinnati.  Proceeds after the costs are covered are donated to the Arlee Rodgers Surgery Fund and the Caleb Stevens Memorial Fund. More on this soon...

After that, its all concentrated on two projects: Short story anthology novel (my first novel) and STARSLAM 3. I'll smatter a few other things in the middle of that, but that is the main push. I would like to have it ready by July for my first ever appearance at an erotica convention. Here's hoping.

Sometime soon, my old pal Ryan and I will finally be releasing the WISE INTELLIGENCE Graphic Novel! This is something I did the art on about 8-10 years ago and only the first issue was released. Well he is busy unearthing it and then we will be getting it out to the public. Then, its all concentrated on three projects: Anna Pocalypse 2, Pleasant Life 2 and the Porn Store tell all novel. After that, the slate is clear.

I am hoping to have all of these things done by December 31st 2017. It will be a lot of work but I think its time to clear the road ahead of me. I also know it will be a constant fight but its something that must be done.

In addition to this news, I can announce there are no plans to attend any sort of comic convention this year. I just don't think it fits into my business model anymore. I MIGHT do a sort of "victory run" in 2018, but I am not sure. Let me get through this year first! So this year is all about PRODUCTION, rather than promotion. I'm keeping everything in house right now so all of the above succeeds or fails on my merits. I got a time limit on these things and it all must be done by a certain time. I will strive to make it all happen. Deadlines, I can do.

Looking back on 2016, it was a hard one. I don't want to reiterate all the shit that went down but I'm looking ahead to what is to come and especially what is now. And for as much crap that happened last year, I still did some good things. I finished a graphic novel and it became the biggest preordered book I've ever done. I harvested good relationships all year and redefined some older toxic ones. After a few of the very bad events, I did a lot of soul searching and refining. I did a lot of coping and learning. I came out the other end with survivor's guilt but I am feeling the message: You got time to get it all done. Make the best of it.

I think about to people I lost last year (famous and not) and I've come to this conclusion: These people were themselves. Unapologeticaly. They didn't hide who they were, what they wanted, how they felt, etc. That is a great way to live. I realized that we are limited and fragile. We should honor and appreciate all that we are given, our lives and those who are around you.

So I am spending this year to refine myself. To clear my slate of everything I've wanted to do. After that, who knows. All I know is right now. All I NEED is right now. And right now I want to finish what I started and take care of things I've been meaning to do. To drive the dream home. The final push.

Let's just get it done.

-T


Sunday, January 01, 2017

How I Spent My New Years


Hello friends!

Well, we've made it. We're on the other side to good ol' 2017. Where it will be all safe,no good celebrity deaths and filled with cotton candy kisses, chocolate rainbows and fluffy kittens, right? Lets hope so!

For me, I didn't have that eventful of a New Years' Eve. We had planned to go out but I ended up having to get the kids early the next day, so I just stayed at home and drank...

Jager and always a chaser. Nice!

The week before I did a nice round of overtime, but I did find some time to do some post Xmas shopping with my lottery wins....

I'll tell you, I'm not a fan of these POP figures but I saw this and I had to have it. People are saying its my gateway drug but I swear this probably will be my only one...... probably.

I got a nice stack of CDs from Replay and FBC in Lansing. Most of these I already own digitally, but I want a physical copy for my new shelf...
I used to have a shelf like this but I parted ways with it when I got rid of my CDs a few years ago. Since then I have grabbed new CDs/music DVDs here and there and haven't had a place to put them... until NOW! But man there's a lot of room for more. I guess I am going to have to go out and grab some more essentials!

My girl enjoying her Xmas present of a Sega Genesis! We also did some Wii Bowling and Harry Potter Lego.
Now that we've crossed the great barrier into the safe zone (being facetious there), its time to get into some new habits. I have started to eat and live healthier. Its going to be a very slow process and no hardcore crash diets type of thing. Its little changes, gradual changes and keeping things rolling. I'm also doing a lot of meditating and reading, as well as other things. I'm taking care of me. That's the important thing.

I am also busy on actual artworking! I'm working hard to get this horror comic/Caleb tribute book out the door. Only about 3-4 pages left to do for it plus a cover. I've given myself until end of this month to finish it but truthfully, I could have it done in a week if I wanted to. Expect a Kickstarter or something for it soon! After this book is done, its full speed ahead on Starslam 3. I did some new Pleasant Life 2 pages last week as well and who knows what else is lurking and not being talked about as much!

I also took some time this week to do some filming for the new VLOG channel! We went a few places and I shot stuff and shot lots of stuff at home to add to what I already got in the can. I got enough material now for about 4-5 Vlogs to start out with. I will launch Vlog #1 this month after I get some small shots done that I need for it. I really am enjoying the creativity of the project. Its part documentary, part home movies, part walkthrough, part comedy... I got this overall arch that I want to do over the course of this year and have planned out "episodes" of it already to wrap around things that are going to come up.

One of my main goals this year is to gather a rhythm for getting things done. I know there are obligations like family and day job that will derail some of this sometimes, but for the most part I am committed to just getting my shit done. And I am not compromising my time or attention to do it. If I have to wall myself up and give out a lot of "No's" to make it happen, so be it. I feel bad but I got commitments to answer to. Mainly to you fine folks! A promise is a promise, so let's get it done!

Anyway, enough treading water. Time to get on it! I hope you had a safe and happy new year. Let's go grab 2017 by the nuts and make it our bitch!

Cheers, T

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

ANNOUNCING: MY VLOG CHANNEL!

Okay, so NOW this will be the last blog of 2016... but... before I go its time to announce something new...

My new VLOG channel!!!



From now on I will be doing new content via my exclusive Youtube channel. I am promising you bi-weekly vlogs. Basically chronicling my daily life, art process stuff, comic stuff, writing stuff, Adam history stuff, family stuff, travels to cool locations, weight loss stuff, movie locations stuff, music and also really old vintage footage stuff! Right now I am promising at least bi-weekly uploads on the channel, if not more. I will of course announce new postings on social media and the good ol' blog here at Idiothead.com -

Im doing this for a few reasons:

--I turn 39 years old next month. I wanted to chronicle the last year of my 30's. For myself and for my kids.

--To generate new interest in me, my work and more.

--It seems like the hip thing the kids are doing these days.

--To keep me visually accountable for weight loss throughout the year.

--To keep me productively accountable for all the things I want to finish in 2017.

--To entertain, educate and inform. But mostly to entertain.

I hope you all will dig what we are going to do with the channel all next year. I'm pretty excited about the new efforts. Please subscribe and comment and help me build a community there. Thank you.

_______

Lastly, just to comment on a couple things about 2016... naturally I assumed it wasn't quite over. George Michael is gone. His stuff I dug in the late 80s/early 90s. And of course, Carrie Fisher... I cannot even begin to say what I think about our beloved princess, and really so many people out there are saying and sharing far better than I could, so I'll leave them to it.

Meanwhile, I'm ready to leave this year and take the symbolic step through the ball dropping of New Years. Fresh start, clean slate... we need it. I, Need it.

Thanks for the support!

--T