If You Give a Monkey a Computer.../John Wilson's Blog
If You Give a Monkey a Computer.../John Wilson's Blog

Comics, Art, Life and whatever else occurs to me

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What's Up?

Posted by John Wilson, Jun 19 2010, 02:31 PM

Yeah I know its been a while since I blogged anything, but in full Chinese curse tradition...I've been living in interesting times.

My Health: There is no way to sugarcoat it. I'm a mess. Everyday is spent in various levels of pain. In addition to badly arthritic legs, I have what is called degenerative disc disease which means that those cushy things that keep the bones of your spine apart are disappearing in mine and the spine bones are just rubbing against each other. I'm also pretty severely overweight (check the pictures from C2E2 or Heroes from behind the CR table...I'm the fat one) which only adds to the situation. I take a ton of pain pills a day, which tears up my stomach, which I also take a pill for. Being to fat means high cholesterol...which I take a pill for and all the pain has made me extremely depressed...which I take a pill for. So now, I am up to about 7 pills a morning with more pain pills sprinkled throughout the day. All before I've had my first cup of morning coffee. Fun, huh?

The Day Job: It was a particularly disastrous year for me teaching wise. In part, because of my ongoing health problems, I spent most of the year teaching from my desk, which you can imagine is only slightly effective in an art class full of volatile high schoolers. The other part was i just didn't give a damn anymore. This school was not where I wanted to be. The administration was doing nothing to fix the problems and in fact was making them worse. This was definitely not the place I cam into 8 years ago and i wanted out. I wanted out so bad that I seriously thought about quitting teaching all together. Ditching my contract, my health insurance and my livelihood and getting the hell out of Dodge rather than to have to return to that situation. And you have to understand that I have not been without some sort of job since I was 14. I'm 42 now. I can't NOT work. I don't know how. Thankfully, the transfer process worked in my favor and I will now be teaching in a middle school 5 minutes from my house (versus the 20 minute drive to the old place). Will it be better? Well just by virtue of not being the other place it is already racking up serious brownie points. Will it be ideal? Probably not. It's still work, it's still dealing with children everyday but I might actually retain my sanity.

CR: If you like what you see on Comic Related, you really only have two people to thank: Chuck Moore and Brant Fowler. They take articles from contributors, press releases from publishers and stories in the news and build what you read everyday. 365 days a year. I'm trying to do more. I really am. I want to make myself as indispensable a part of this website as I can. However, my life has a bad habit of intruding. The back makes sitting (or standing, walking, laying down)for a long time uncomfortable, so that cuts in. Because of the health, I missed SPACE this year, which I feel really bad about. During the school year, the day job really cuts in. I may miss Baltimore because of the day job and I was really looking forward to that. . I missed most of Friday at Heroes because I was either worrying about the day job or in the middle of a lengthy phone interview in the middle of the convention center trying to get the job. Wasn't exactly the most helpful boy to the rest of the crew that day. It's always a juggling match about what gets put aside

My Own Art and Comics Work: This is the thing that gets abandoned most often. I haven't done art just for me or that wasn't connected to some class project in so long that it is almost laughable. I constantly buy supplies. I constantly have lofty ideas but the stuff just sits on my drawing table mocking me. As a far as my writing, I have three small projects in with Studio Akumakaze but they are out of my hands now and at the whim of the speed of the artists and editor. But like Inego Mantoya, I hate waiting. After too many mis-starts to count with other artists and companies, I want a finished book with my name on it in my hand. I'm trying to write as much as I can but without artists to do the work, it all seems futile sometimes. As far as my webcomic for CR, still planning it, but much like everything else artistic in my life...it's stalled at the starting gate.

So that's what's up with me and why I haven't blogged more...so...what's up with you?


  Eric Adams, Jun 21 2010, 08:29 AM

Congrats on the new job, John! Hope it serves you better.

It sounds like a lot of your health issues (physical and mental) stem from, or are exacerbated by, your weight. Are you taking any steps to lose it? Hope I'm not asking too personal a question.

  John Wilson, Jun 21 2010, 08:16 PM

Not at all. You know me Eric...I have no filter when it comes to myself.

I had lapband surgery back in December of 2008 and lost about 100lbs quickly. But then the back went south and my exercise level went down and that loss stopped and I gained about half of it back. The band is finally full enough now that I am feeling the resistance (ie feeling of fullness) a lot earlier and my wife and i have joined a wellness center with a therapy pool and we have a meeting with a personal trainer at the end of the month to show us machines that will not damage our backs but allow us to exercise. I also have an app on my phone called Lose It that I track my meals with. So I'm trying. But it is slow going.

Thanks for the congrats. I think, short of being paid to make comics, this will work for me.

  Eric Adams, Jun 22 2010, 09:18 AM

Happy to hear you re making the effort. Slow going is better than not going. I used LOSE IT to lose 20 pounds about 1.5 years ago and loved it. Very convenient being able to calculate calorie intake/burning on the fly.

  John Wilson, Jun 22 2010, 09:30 AM

I'm a little suspect of LOSE IT. They have my allowed caloric intake set very high. I have yet to reach that number yet, which I suppose is a good thing.

You are right, slow go is better. The common opinion is to lose 2 lbs a week, but as previously stated, I hate waiting...I want immediate results.

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About me

To pay the bills and have my summers off, I am a high school Visual Arts teacher but I see myself primarily as an artist. Pen and ink mostly, but I dabble with the paint. Creativity is a driving force in my life. I get bored fast, so keep the conversation moving and I'm with you all the way. Get quiet on me and you might catch me multi-tasking you right out of my life.

As for comics, I own The Dragonwerx (a comics and graphic design studio). Among the titles in the works are Brushstrokes, My Days as a Dead Man and the Icarus Imperative. I do writing, inking and design work for others, so if you have a need, let me know.

My favorite in comics have been/are Starman, Strangers in Paradise, JSA, Outsiders, Birds of Prey, Heroes for Hire, Agents of Atlas, Secret Six, Astonishing X-men and the Planetary among others. While I'm not a great fan of manga I'm willing to be swayed by a really good story, so feel free to recommend some stuff to me.

In addition to my duties here at Comic Related, I am the moderator of the Art Unleashed/Sketch forum. I also post content every weekday on the Sketch Blog on Comic Related and am part of the Related Recap and Zone 4 podcasts. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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