That Googling Thing

The sweet embrace of unconsciousness.

With all that’s going on right now, we need to be cognizant of not just our physical wellbeing, but our mental health as well.

Case in point: when COVID-19 first settled stateside, I could not stop googling the news about it.  I’d just have to.  Next thing I know, it’s two hour later and I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of news articles and opinion pieces.  The result?  My anxiety would spike hardcore, and I needed to get all my thoughts out there and just vent and vent and vent (mostly to my parents, who are indeed saints for dealing with me), my mind a non-stop roller coaster of awful.  And it would always be right before I’d go to bed.  The worst time to have my brain running a hundred miles per hour.

I’m not promoting ignorance.  At all.  It is important to stay informed.  But this is not being informed.  This is me racing through internet pages and internalizing everything awful, then spewing it back out.

The fact is, I need to step back.  For me to stay in one piece, I need to keep myself from this horrible habit.  I’ve been trying – a few slip-ups here and there, but for the most part, I think I’ve done okay.  I’ve learned that I need to redirect myself or physically hold myself back.  I don’t know if it’s some weird OCD thing or not – I have not been diagnosed by a professional, so I really don’t want to classify it as such.  But I do need to breathe, and back away from the Google, if I want to have any chance of coming away from the COVID-19 pandemic mentally together.

If reading the news helps keep your anxiety in check, great.  Go for it.  But I know that I can’t right now.  Because I won’t get anything from it.  My anxiety will just suffer.

So I will step back.  Breathe.  Knit.  Draw.  Whatever.

And keep moving.

 

Ugh People

DREW’S HAVING FEELINGS

I am well aware that I have a very small audience.

A handful of people reading this blog, a slightly bigger handful following me on Instagram – not a whole lotta eyeballs looking at my work.

So, one of the things that I do find myself fantasizing about is gaining that audience, having people follow me and seeing what I do.  And maybe, if I got big enough, I could even try and make this a career.  I mean, that was the dream when I was younger, right?   Professional cartoonist.

However – and this is a very BIG however – there are moments where I pause and say, “Do I want that?  I mean – really?”

Because people, in my honest opinion, are terrifying.

They whine if you don’t do this.  They can rip you apart if they so feel like it.  They complain, spread rumors, drag your name through the mud, try to get you “cancelled” – again, all terrifying.

There is this YouTuber that I enjoy, Kurtis Conner.  Nice enough guy, I like his commentary.  He had a friend who said something stupid, and suddenly he got dragged into it simply by association, being the bigger name.  Another artist who just released a generally well recieved cartoon pilot is facing people digging up dirt from when she was a teenager – stuff that she had already apologized for and was, overall, generally irrelevant.

And don’t get me started on the Pokemon community as of late.  That’s more than enough to make me want to hide under my covers forever.

So right now, I’m feeling stuck in this odd place – wanting to get my name out there, and scared of what would happen if I do.  Fun stuff, all around.

I’m going to keep chugging along and drawing, of course.  But, man.  People.  Exhausting.

Time to Hide Away

Almost word for word what happened.

And we’re back!

Took a quick break to recuperate from Inktober, but now, it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

And yes, I did go to my first Anime Convention a couple weekends back.  Truly an experience, and a really fun one at that.  The costumes that people wore were amazing – had to marvel at the artistry on display with a good many of them.  And I got to attend some interesting panels, like one talking about Joan of Arc’s impact on pop culture (not something you’d expect to see at an anime con, but really quite fascinating), one about Japanese mythology in anime, a kind of creepy one about number stations – all really awesome, truly.

Best part was probably Artist’s Alley and the Dealer’s Den – basically, merch central.  Probably spent way too much money, but there was so much cool stuff to buy.  So I mostly wrote it off as helping out my fellow artists.  And now I have more keychains than I know what to do with.

All in all, a fun experience.  But once I got home, I definitely needed to hide, just wanted to get away from being around so many people.  My introvert battery was bottoming out and in desperate need of a recharge.  Of course, I did have to go to work the next day, but I managed for the most part.

But yeah, now I’m back.  Expect more cartoons shortly!

Take a Hike

Drawn in the comfort of my nice, air-conditioned room indoors.

Truly, the most unrealistic part of this whole comic isn’t the talking animals or the anthropomorphized season – it’s the idea of me hiking.

Sorry, Spring

Spring gets no respect, man.

Yep.  It’s Spring again.

Time to hide inside my house with the shades drawn and avoid the outdoors.

…not like that’s any different from what I do the rest of the year.  I guess the one thing that changes is now I’m waiting for September.

My Hole in the Ground

What part of “Until Further Notice” was not clear?

How I’ve been feeling this past week.

I get this thought from time to time.  What if I spent the rest of my life in my room and just didn’t participate?

Sometimes it comes up in a somewhat humorous way, like when I’m tired or feeling lazy and I’m like “UGGGGHHHHH I don’t wanna do anything.  I just wanna take a nap.”

And then other times, it’s not so funny.  It’s me looking out at the world, seeing what’s going on, and saying “Nope.  No thanks.  Do not want. I’ll sit this out, thank you very much.”  Or when I’m feeling small.  When I feel like this teeny little speck in the grand scheme of things wondering what’s the point of doing anything.  Why even try with everyone else here.

Saps away any and all motivation except to crawl into a hole.

But I can’t not participate.  I have to throw myself into the stream of life and carry along with everyone else.  Frustrating to little depression-riddled me, but at the same time, probably the best thing I could do.  Being a lump sitting at the bottom of a pit will not help.

Sometimes I have to actually crawl out on my own.

Hideaway

Comfy.

 

Yeah.  Kinda how I’m feeling right now.

Like I want to build a blanket fort and live in there, away from the rest of humanity with limited human interaction, for an undetermined amount of time.  Maybe a few years, maybe the rest of my life, who knows?

Wouldn’t be so bad.  I’ll make sure I’d have all the essentials – my Nintendo DS, my iPod, my laptop, my sketchbook and pens, a few good books, and a box of Girl Scout cookies.  Surround myself with a bunch of pillows and stuffed animals, throw my cell phone into a river, and I’m good!

Might actually do that.  Lord knows I’ve amassed enough throw blankets.

Sugar Spice and Everything Nice

Meanwhile, Lars is wandering around dressed as the Mayor with an empty pickle jar on his head.
Meanwhile, Lars is wandering around dressed as the Mayor with an empty pickle jar on his head.

 

Reboots are an iffy business.

Sometimes they can manage to live up to its previous incarnation.

Sometimes they are a big huge garbage heap that should have never been made and will never, ever come close to the original.

Looking at you, Teen Titans Go.  Turning an extremely well done cartoon with well rounded characters into a series of slapstick sketches with a bunch of caricatures.

So when it was announced that the Powerpuff Girls were being rebooted, I was more than worried/skeptical.

You see, I was a Powerpuff Girls fanboy before I even knew what a fanboy was.  I don’t know why, but the moment I caught sight of my first Powerpuff Girls episode – I think it was the scavenger hunt episode with the Amoeba Boys – I was hooked.  I had the books, I had the big honkin’ Unofficial Guide, I even had a Blossom keychain that I ended up losing at VBS one day.  When Burger King came out with PPG toys in their kids’ meals, I went nuts.  I was even writing and drawing fanfiction about them (“Little Rainbow” – a take on Little Red Riding Hood complete with the Powerpuff Girls.  Mind you, I was 9).  I think I might have worried my parents a bit with the extent of my obsession.  Did I care?  Heck no.

It was a big part of what I like to call my Later Childhood – that part that was made up of Pokemon, Tom and Jerry, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dexter’s Lab, lasting from about 7 to 13 years of age, I suppose.  Maybe a little longer.  The period before that – Early Childhood, from 4 to 7 – was all PB and J Otter, Bear in the Big Blue House, Veggie Tales, Blue’s Clues and basically anything on PBS (ZOOM, Magic School Bus, Bill Nye, Wishbone, Arthur…).  The Powerpuff Girls really marked that transition into this later period of childhood.

So, with this in mind, seeing the commercials for this new show, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Was I going to watch it?  Of course I was.  Come on.  I was just going in with some very low expectations.  Especially upon hearing that the people behind the Powerpuff Girls’ voices would not be returning, and the story behind it.  Everyone else would be coming back – Tom Kenny as the Narrator/Mayor!  Jennifer Hale as Ms. Keane!  Tom Kane as the Professor! –  but not Catherine Cavadini, Tara Strong, or EG Daily (yes, I know their names).

So, the 4th rolled around, 6:00 popped up, and I decided to sit down and watch with apprehension.

The feelings I got watching it were ones of nostalgia, excitement, and sweet, sweet relief.  It was good.  They didn’t screw it up.

The characters were the same.  Maybe amped up a bit – it is a cartoon, after all – but the personalities were all there.  Blossom the Leader.  Bubbles the Sweet One.  Buttercup the Tough One.  The way they interacted felt the same – Buttercup vs. Blossom, Bubbles being freakishly adorable, with a layer of badass underneath.  All there.

Updated a bit, obviously – the Hotline’s now on their cell phones, the girls no longer attend Pokey Oaks Kindergarten but Midway Elementary.  Guess it all works with this new image.

The voices…well, two out of three worked.  Buttercup is going to take some getting used to.  EG Daily has a very distinct rasp, so not hearing that was strange.  And yet, a part of me wonders if it was a good idea to get these new voices.  Like, they fit this brand new show and its image.  Would it be weird to hear the old voices in this format?  It just might.  So silence to all those proclaiming that they simply won’t watch it due to the voices.

Also, I had to wonder if the girls did in fact seem a bit weaker, in comparison to the girls of old.  Maybe it was just me.  Or it was the story lines that the episodes I saw had.  Didn’t allow them to show their stuff, so to speak.  Maybe that will happen in time.  More action scenes, pretty please – these are superheroes, after all.

But compared to Teen Titans Go, this show wins.  Hands down.  Because something happens.  These characters feel much more human and well rounded than whatever happened to the Teen Titans.  They didn’t completely decimate what made the Powerpuff Girls the Powerpuff Girls.  Is it the same/as good as the old show?  Eh.  But still, loved it.

AND NOW I REMEMBER THE FIRST EPISODE I SAW.  It was the episode where the Ganggreen Gang made crank calls to the other villains!  “Telephonies” – had to look up the title.  Can’t believe I remembered that.  Ganggreen Gang, Amoeba Boys – easy to mix up.  I know I saw an Amoeba Boys episode early one, though.

Anyways.  The Powerpuff Girls reboot.  I’d give it an 8.8-9 out of 10.  Pretty good.  Needs more action.  New voices will take a bit.  But extremely sweet and all I could ever want.

Sidenote: Heard of the Powerpuff Yourself website.  Had to do it.  It is now my computer background.  PPG FANBOY FOR LIIIIIIIIIIIIFE.