Happy New Year! Here’s hoping 2018 goes well for all of us.
I’d like to say that I was very productive during my break, but what happened instead is that my body kinda kept shutting down on me as a “you’ve pushed too hard physically/mentally/emotionally and now I’m just going to up and quit on you” kind of way. I got a few pages done, but nothing like I’d hoped. I think that I need to accept that December as a month is just miserable for me, it’s always miserable for me, and it’s unlikely to improve by sheer force of will. I think I may just make it my standard expectation that I take a summer break and a winter break, going forward. I can’t work 24/7 year round. I keep wanting to, but my body and mind can’t take it, and it may be time I enforce breaks for it. That may mean that we always take a month off in June and a month off in December for me to either buffer-recover or self-recover. I hate doing that, but it might be good for me to get in the habit of it. I guess I like the idea of taking scheduled breaks more than unscheduled breaks because something broke. The something being me, in this case.
Some things I did get up to a lot were making songs and spoofs. Some of them I’m happy with. Some of them my feelings are…complicated.
The one I’m 100% happy with is a spoof version of Europe’s “The Final Countdown.” Every now and again at the Webcomic Alliance, my fellow longform comic creators Christina Major (Sombulus) and Liz Staley (Adrastus) and I do what we call a “Longform Takeover” to talk about issues that are specific and unique to longform comics. (A longform comic is a narrative-based comic that explores a continuing and serialized story, as opposed to a gag-a-day comic which typically tries to have self-contained strips ending in a punchline. Longform can be comedies, but often explore many genres and are frequently structured differently than gag-a-day strips.)
Here’s the result:
We’re writing together
But it’s hard as hell
And maybe we’ll have to
Rewrite, who can tell?
I guess there is no one to blame
Full disclosure (full disclosure)
Should I redraw the whole thing again?
The Longform Takeover
The Longform Takeover, Oh!
We’re heading for reveals (reveals)
Though it’s at a crawl
These plot points I’ve concealed
Will surprise them all, yeah!
With so many pages to go
Can’t lose my composure (my composure)
I’m sure they’ll all love it so
The Longform Takeover
The Longform Takeover (Longform Takeover)
The Longform Takeover, Oh!
The one I have mixed feelings about was done a few days ago, when my mood was especially poor, so I’m afraid I can’t judge it very well. Sometimes I think, “That sounds good and I’m proud of it,” and other times I think “This sounds like dissonant, out of tune, badly sung GARBAGE because it was made by me, A LIVING TRASH FIRE.” I know that the latter is probably not true on a lot of levels, but as with all self-critique, depression complicates things and gets in the way because sometimes things objectively DO need to be tweaked and adjusted, but since depression blows those little things out of proportion it becomes impossible to judge whether or not the flaws I’m perceiving are real or imaginary. It’s part of why I made not one, but TWO version of this song, because I kept trying to fix the first one, and thought maybe a harmony line would improve it. Naturally, my depression brain is convinced that one is EVEN WORSE so I’m afraid I’m not sure how to feel about it. Depression: making you question your own reality.
Well, at least the person it was actually made for was happy with it. I’ve been clinging to that like a life-line, because that’s an outside opinion that I can’t discount. And I have to take happiness in the happiness of someone else. Practicing conviviality (and coming up with excuses to use the word conviviality) has been a personal mission these past few months. Plus, their part of it still sounds amazing, and my addition, good or bad, cannot change that.
The story behind this tune is that a fellow fan of The “C” Team, Nicholas Rickard, created a lovely melancholy piece of music and posted it on Twitter. You can listen to it here! I thought the song was delightful and my brain immediately started coming up with lyrics and an accompanying melody line for those lyrics. The next day I recorded those to accompany Nicholas’ song. Here’s version one:
And then here’s the version with the harmony:
If I take you for who you are
Can you accept me for what I am?
You want the mysteries of my heart
But there’s a history close at hand.
You knew I had thorns from the start.
Is this a pain that you can stand?
It ain’t all strawberry fields love.
It ain’t all strawberry fields.
Listening to them today…I guess they sound pretty okay? IDK guys. Depression is A TRIP.
What did you get up to these past two weeks? How was your holidays? Did you have a good time and/or survive? (I mostly survived, so if you’re in the survival camp: HIGH FIVE WE’RE STILL ALIVE GO US)