Once again my Macbook Pro is on the fritz. …Looks like another major issue. I think it’s under warranty for the hard drive that was replaced recently. We’ll see. It seems to blow them out yearly. I think these machines run too hot. At least that is my theory. This time I’m backed up.
I’m using the spouse’s computulator… it’s not a powerful, but it’s getting it done. I did not hook up my Wacom tablet, so I was forced to hand draw today’s comic. I forgot how much I enjoy drawing on paper. It’s much more fluid. I may be revisiting that. I like the Wacom for coloring and effects. It’s hard to say if I will ever commit to one format for doing Entities. Since this is my strip, I can paint in blood if I want to. Though you need not worry; I’m not interested in making “vampire” comics.
I’m a firm believer these things happen for a reason. I suppose I need to invest in some traditional drawing time. I’ve also been forced into Adobe Cloud as well. This means I really should monetize this comic. It needs to earn it’s keep. I don’t mind entertaining people for free, but I don’t want it to become hard on my purse strings.
All in all, I’m reacting far less freaky over this event, which is an accomplishment! It pays to have backup!
Eat Cookies, Hunt Ghosts!
The sketches for this one:
I’ve been a bit AWOL lately. Comics are flowing albeit sporadically. I am wrestling with goals and desires… what I want to do artistically. Throughout our lives we turn corners, rise to knew platforms and become more of ourselves. This precludes an inward journey to ask the soul what the heck it wants. My usual conversation with my higher self is “Now what?”
It’s been a little evasive… This explains why I began this post over a week ago and it’s only manifesting now. And it’s been a couple of days after I wrote this last sentence! I’ve been told it’s Mercury Retrograde that is the culprit. Whatever it is, I feel like a stagnant pond in the heat of summer surrounded by a gnat fest.
My thoughts are straying to another comic strip. I am itching to cartoon beyond the paranormal; not that I have a game plan… cuz I don’t. The spiritual journey is leading me through this dessert devoid of even the meanest cacti. I can’t see the road, the end, or where the hell I’m going. This is not a bad thing at all. It’s merely a transition. Curiosity is leading the way.
I feel like I’m on the brink of something… and I have no idea what that something is. But I can’t wait to find out!
Meanwhile, I leave you on the edge wondering. Don’t jump yet! It’s not ready.
Eat Cookies, Hunt Ghosts, Draw Comics!
Yes, it can be that simple. Fear is a state of not knowing. What will happen when I speak in front of the class? What will happen when I meet with the boss? What will happen when I enter the dark room!
Paranormal investigations are usually performed in the dark, mostly because it’s easier to see light anomalies. This opens up plenty of opportunities to be scared. Facing fear is essential to being a competent ghost hunter. It can be difficult to maintain composure when you are alone in a basement with activity in full swing.
So what’s the secret? Just standing one’s ground. No matter how freaked out you are, if you just stay put, it will all pass. Soon the light comes on and you are okay. It’s now just a room, some stuff and perhaps an entity who has no real power over you. This applies to life situations. Sometimes you just can’t see the outcome. Forge ahead bravely and the answers will come. Daylight always returns.
As a child I was terrified to speak in public. Oral reports were my Kryptonite. I plowed on, using humor to keep me from hittin’ the floor. Persistent fear facing has eliminated the terror. I now stand confidently in front of large crowds. If I get tongue-tied, I persevere.
Fear brings out flight or flight. Sometimes you need to flee the lion, sometimes you must stare down the bear. Running won’t teach you much. Standing in the face of the situation, studying, and preparing an attack will make you stronger. We learn by tackling the obstacles we encounter.
The next time you are on the verge of freaking, take a step back, assess the situation and discover the wonder of what it has to offer. It will light your next adventure.
Eat Cookies, Hunt Ghosts, Read Comics!
Vlad Tepes, a.k.a. Vlad Dracul had NOTHING to do with Bran Castle as far as a residence… unless of course you count his two-month imprisonment. Perhaps he sent some minions to sack it at some point, history doesn’t say. The Bran lords were no fans of Vlad Tepes.
The castle became associated with the legend thanks to Bram Stoker, the author of the tale whose description of Dracula’s Transylvanian castle resembled it.
Bran Castle sits on the mountain overlooking a valley split by a river. While Stoker never set foot in Transylvania, he reportedly took inspiration from an illustration from Charles Boner’s book, Transylvania: It’s Product and It’s People, (London: Longman’s, 1865). *
The real Dracula or Vlad Dracul, held court in Wallachia from 1456-1462 and again in 1476. He was better known as Vlad the Impaler for his nasty habit of skewering folks on spears and leaving them “hung out to dry” in the sun. He was not someone you wanted to tick off… His castle is but a ruin these days.
Stoker published “Dracula” in 1897. Count Dracula’s name emerged from the Crusader Order of the Dragon. Both the real Vlad and his father were members of this organization. Transylvania’s people have spread myths and legends of ghosts, sorcerers, and vampires for centuries. This became the basis for the story. Stoker did not link his character to Vlad the Impaler. He did not wish people to believe his work to be historical.
Built by King Louis of Anjou in 1377, Bran fortress was perfectly positioned for a wide view of the surrounding area. The castle was not so much a military outpost as a trading one. It was one of the main trans-Carpathian passages for trade. Taxes were collected in the customs houses stand today at the base of the castle. Military invasions passed through en route to battle or decided to have their war on the premises.
German merchants from Brasov needed to pass through Bran to trade with Walachia. These merchants refused to obey trading laws set by Vlad. He attempted to set them straight through several altercations. One of these resulted in his incarceration, I presume.
Bran has changed hands over a few hundred years. It fell in disrepair when the border, and therefore, military routes changed. After the Russian-Turkish-Romanian War it was restored between 1833 and 1886. It wound up in the hands of the Brasov Forestry until 1918. **
Bran stands today, a grand reminder of medieval times. It’s beauty and presence is breathtaking. You can visit this glorious fortress. Bran holds various events throughout the year. For more information click on this link: http://www.bran-castle.com
While this cartoon was an inspired act of creation, it still was specifically targeted to an audience. Admittedly, I am a marketing maven who enjoys the process of discovering new ways to promote the message. It’s a good thing I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness, or you all would grow to dislike me immensely. I watch the attention of the audience carefully. What I find sort of runs against what is expected.
It turns out, it’s not the paranormal topic that is entertaining, but the human interest. Okay, so I inherently know this, but it still is interesting to examine it. People are entertained with emotion and interaction, not the topic. The topic can be anything… from vampires to duck hunting. It comes down to the same thing, people. We love watching each other drop into conflict, rise out of it to model solutions to us. We enjoy laughing at foibles, which wouldn’t be funny without our attachment or knowing it could be ourselves.
This is the knowledge great cartoonists embody. They know how to elicit a response. It is our link to the fans who read our work. It is WHY they read our work. Developing this can take years, or it can be inherent in the nature of the cartoonist beast. For me it was born out of watching the world rather than participating. I was a reclusive, introverted kid. This allowed me to sit back and take it all in. It wasn’t until high school the knowledge found an outlet with the comic strip. All those years of being the wallflower gave me the ability to understand humanity. While I’m not a very good participant in all the hominid nonsense, I do enjoy watching it.
You people are pretty amusing.
I will continue to use my marketing prowess, but will always support it with an understanding of human interest. It just works best that way.