State of The Things, September 2019

Let’s just start by saying that I absolutely LOVE September. I love the transition to long pants. I love the moderate temperatures. I love walking the dog in the shade and pulling in deep, full lungful of air and exhaling slowly. I love pumpkin beers and Märzens and barrel-aged everything. Bring it on, Autumn.

Comics and HCK

Comics have come with some difficulty to me lately.

I have three longer stories completely written and it has been challenging to me to create the visuals for them.

  • 7-page Savory Snack Squad story
  • 10-page Minute Man story complete with Grey Burger tie-in ad
  • A serialized, “made-to-be-delivered-in-bite-sizes” long-form story in ten episodes

All completely fleshed-out in script form.

When I picked back up drawing for Hard Cheap Knock, I found myself fearless and, honestly, giving zero shits, and it made me powerful. Now, I want to tell long, serious stories and that fearlessness is not serving me as well.

For example, I can’t “cast” a character to save my life. I have ideas of what aspects of characters ought to be, but applying visuals to them has been tough. Fearless Me would have just put something on paper, deemed it good enough, and moved forward. Storyteller me is just not up to the task.

I’m also complete shit without reference material and the idea of sourcing all of my panels is totally paralyzing. To say nothing of how slow that way of working is.

I’m the only member of Hard Cheap Knock with ideas and free time to be posting regularly and I’ve really been dragging ass. It’s shameful and I honestly have no excuses. I need to create some “non-epic” posts and get some fresh content up.

Also, it’s been nearly a year since I wrote this, which seems like only yesterday.

And then there’s the table…

I’ve been working on making this design a reality for over a year:

Those dark brown bits are all-wood flat for drawers I inherited from my father. Everything about this design follows their dimensions and they are big! I plan to use the open space for all manner of storage and the top is a pre-made, Amazon-bought hinged art surface. And yes, it will all be on WHEELS!

This is my first venture into pocket hole joinery which I am enjoying immensely! I mean, I’m a butt joiner at heart, so I guess I’m operating with less butt.

Naturally, I can find all sort of excuses for not making art until this is complete, but TBH, I’ve still carved out creative time away from the wood shop.


Yes, I will be participating! This will be my first. Link

I totally wish it was Inktember. I really need the pressure of a monthly challenge to A) shelve the projects I have a lot of anxiety about and B) just do daily focus exercises on. The sheer joy of being told what to draw every day would be delightful.

I have maintained a schedule with the beer site of one post every two weeks for the entirety of the year and I’d be lying if I said it was not htouroughly exhausting.

I am doing my best to maintain a balance between artist interviews (easy and cheap) and informational posts (expensive and time-consuming) and I think that has been going well.

I am hung up right now with a couple of info posts where I have decided to create the “featured” image as an illustration by myself. Josh was able to give me some good ideas for how they should go, but execution has been creatively challenging.


Currently reading Jeff Smith’s RASL. I’m astounded that this has eluded me until now. I mean, yes it took hitting ComiXology Unlimited for me to jump on board, but… wow! It’s spectacular.

If you like gritty, Tesla-influenced sci-fi grounded in real history, with a touch of romance, you’d dig it too.

I’m considering digging into Bone after this. Yes, I’m a Jeff Smith newbie.


I’ve got ingredients for five fucking home brews. Jesus.

To-Do List

  • Get Fearless Again – This may require finding some quick victories with art, and I’m fine with that.
    • Pick a story and commit to it. I keep coming back to the multi-episode epic because it is built to be episodic and thereby, delivered in small chunks.
    • Fearless = dumb, short posts that don’t require a lot of original art. Make it happen.
    • Keep in mind, Inktober is close. I think that means I should do a shorty for HCK and get clear for October.
  • Create Featured Images for “Gluten Free Beers” and “Collaboration Beers” posts.
  • Finish that goddamn table
  • Brew two batches of beer, minimum