This was originally drawn in February or March or something as a kind of totem against the fear of continuing to draw and update this webcomic I was then experiencing. I guess it DIDN’T TOTALLY WORK, since I haven’t finished inking and coloring it until now, but it was nice to see it looking at me from my drafting table from time to time, reminding me that comics are important in my life!
This one is just crude / my favorite part is the idea that they make Cathy DM for this kinda stuff. Having DMed weird creepy situations and BEEN A PLAYER in weird creepy situations, I do not know how she would handle it, though I guess with quiet resignation?
I dig Inez’s pants too, even though it’s more a casualty of this world only being rendered currently in two colors for Reasons than like she’s *actually* wearing yellow pinstripe pants probably
Okay there are gonna be a couple more D&D strips and then we move on to converting the like twenty gazillion scripts I’ve been sitting on most of this year into whimsies for y’all
(oh crap i published a book also, it’s over on the sidebar, or you can pick up a copy here! you can also listen to a recording of me singing Born to Run with chiptune accompaniment by K Carter on that site if you’re down for that kinda thing) (I am even though I’m not a great singer) (but I have HEART, I think) (moxie)
This is some basic D&D whimsy, but (1) I like the idea of starting a magnets business for some reason, and (2) for some reason it’s always really charming to me when Cathy and Betty have conversations! I don’t know why!
There are more strips in this series and I will do new strips eventually. The “publish dates” are just gonna have increasingly little to do with the “actually completed dates” and that’s just the New Normal I guess
I wonder if comic strips about D&D/roleplaying games generally are one day going to be as inscrutable to future generations as I dunno, golf strips are to mine; I wonder if they are already? It was pretty inevitable that this was going to happen though. I like Cathy’s hat a bunch here (I have a monochrome version of same, for special occasions.)
This inaugurates a fun short storyline about dice rolling and such
A belated Halloween SPOOKTACULAR! There was going to be a second part of this showing Inez’s costume as well, which was to be Jadzia Dax. (Mona doesn’t do costumes.) But the fact that this is being posted on April 2, 2014, some time after Halloween, means that I should probably just let it stand on its own. (I have a sketch of Inez as Dax but it’s not really ready for prime time, so just imagine it, if you have a need to do that) (I would)
The joke here is not really one I would write now, I think, even like six or seven months after I wrote it? I still think it’s funny that (a) Cathy’s ideas about costumes are still just awful (who goes as Laura Dern from Jurassic Park and expects anyone to get it), and (b) I assume that Daphne Rickets actually thinks she is really appreciating a “great costume” because she doesn’t live in Reality. Really the joke is just that the kids have cute monster outfits on / Halloween strips require no further jokes
(The kids in this, btw, are Betty and these kids, if we have forgotten!)
NEXT: Belated birthday, maybe, or Dungeons and Dragons, or religious material; I don’t know! I have a lot of stuff half done
This can hardly bode well, huh :(
So it’s been a while–this was initially drawn back in October of 2013 (the actual post date, for ARCHIVISTS, is April 1, 2014, like half a year later). I have basically no good excuses other than suddenly having a lot more freelance work with much shorter deadlines than I used to, traveling a lot, getting eye-injured, working on my book, getting sick, etc. etc. excuses excuses that are not sufficient. Whether it’s as a result of this or a cause of this, I’ve been generally feeling down and disconnected from comics, and nervous about drawing to the point that my hand kinda is not steady in a bad way? (This was mostly inked a while ago, before this really started in earnest.) I don’t even really read comics much anymore because it bums me out to do so
I’m hoping this is a phase because I do have a bunch of Bad Mother strips in stages of semi-completion that should not actually take that long to sit down and complete! Many are funny and well drawn I think! It’s just this awful psychological thing that I guess has been responsible for all of my hideous lapses in actually being consistent with comics work–this feeling when sitting down to draw that EVERY LINE IS THE WORST LINE ANYONE HAS EVER DRAWN which I’ve started to get lately even though like objectively I’m better at basic drawing than I ever have been ever.
In the past I didn’t talk about this stuff because I felt it was “unprofessional” to do so, but that is absurd! It’s not like I’m ever going to be a professional at comics. I don’t even think there is such a thing anymore, and it’s certainly not going to be this comic if there is? So it seems silly not to just be honest about “hey this is kind of really, really hard for me to draw lately for no good reason.” I mean why “front” about this? Why pretend that the website isn’t currently a terrible shambles that I feel incapable of figuring out how to fix in the time between working, trying to finish my next book, and trying just not to feel bummed out a lot while still Honoring Professional and Personal Obligations and Commitments? Why project an image of false cheer? An image of resolve against the darkness, sure, but I’d feel stupid trying to seem fun right now, and it feels like literal death to think about how I should try to make sure that my website permits like a good marketing experience for everyone or something in which no dark thoughts are permitted because Professionalism. I am sorry if I have failed to provide a good marketing experience for you
I realize that being capable of projecting an image of false cheer is like essential to the functioning of society sometimes and I’m sorry I can’t do it right now, but I can at least get it together enough to finish some comics instead of just avoiding this task? I can go that far? I WILL BE FINE; I CAN AT LEAST POST COMICS EVERY COUPLE MONTHS Y’ALL.
I don’t know if I even would have been able to get it together to do this had some of you not said VERY NICE THINGS about this book and this comic generally, like actually things that keep me going with this? So I can at least try to like scrape together some basic comix dignity to produce new work for you, when I can? This is not some kind of “line”–I literally find this comic and All Drawing psychically unpleasant to work on right now, and it’s only the knowledge that some people really will get excited if I post new work from time to time that makes that even seem like a good idea rather than the “arts” equivalent of rubbing poisonous plants on my arms. (I think this comic is good and everything and A Valuable Thing and I still super enjoy writing it; that isn’t the issue; it’s just like the actual drawing of this comic makes me think stuff like “all the comics you have ever drawn have failed and you don’t know anything about drawing really so why will this one be any different huh why are you fooling yourself.” None of this is true in any way I ultimately care about, but that is not actually the issue, and it’s not like I can just stop thinking this stuff, only “power through it” or “play music really loud.” The fact that the comic is pretty distinctly second place in terms of Vital Pursuits after my novel means that it gets whatever third helping of willpower is left over after novel writing and work, which is I guess not often enough to fight this darkness, for which I’m sorry, but short of just not having to work anymore, which isn’t going to happen ever, I don’t know what to do about it?)
okay I’m going to stop writing this now–I am generally fine; I am getting lots of work done on my new book which is aces; I am Pursuing Interests and everything–working on this comic just depresses me a lot lately, but I’m gonna brave the darkness for y’all and we will maybe work our way back to a Place of Light, okay? okay :)
HOW MYSTERIOUS YET REVEALING
Ugh, I’m sorry it took so long to get it together to update this. A combo of eye injury + high volume freelance work + holidays + downer moods. I’ve kept busy with writing them at least. At this point a couple of maybe-unwise holiday strips require some backdating (i.e., this was actually posted January 9, 2014) but stuff will come out. “The book is what matters,” this is what I tell myself.
A new issue of Rocksalt Magazine came out during the interim, and it is a REALLY GOOD ONE! Check it out on Scribd!
Hey so this brings up an interesting question again! MAYBE WE WILL ALL GET SOME INSIGHT INTO IT THIS COMING TUESDAY
I am going to be at 24 Hour Comics Day @ Dragon’s Lair in Austin on Saturday, October 5! New Bad Mother strips will be worked on, as will maybe something else, if I decide to! Please feel free to attend if you are so inclined!
Another Inez strip tomorrow. Souls may be searched!
I actually had to do this once with a class of second graders while I was a substitute teacher.
Not too much to say about this one. All these kids are kind of jerks!
ANOTHER STRIP THURSDAY (in addition to some Year One strips in the interim.)
If you found this comic funny: cool! Next one will be Tuesday! Here’s that Franny Glass cosplay thing I said you wouldn’t get on Tuesday because it’s Christmas for everyone:
(Mona is being Boo Boo)
If you did not find this comic funny, it’s probably because PRIVILEGE IS NOT FUNNY. I thought a lot about whether or not to do this one, and decided that if I did it would require a disclaimer. Thus:
This is funny to me (beyond the fact that coupling any sociological term to pastries and tickle torture is inherently funny) because Cathy and Mona are friends and presumably have been for a while. Presumably they have negotiated, at some point, a way to talk about privilege between them–Mona being cis, Cathy trans, uh if you are new to the strip or something–that works well enough. Cathy trusts & knows Mona to the extent that she can get mad at her about this stuff (rather than like uncomfortably sardonic), Mona trusts & knows Cathy personally to the extent that she can try to bring her out of the Dark Hole that you go into when someone is a jerk to you about something you don’t have control over (a very real Dark Hole) by distracting her through, uh, tickling.
If there were a fourth panel in which Cathy shouted BACK OFF, Mona would do it, and I hope this is clear. And you should too, if you have someone of differing privilege levels than you in your life! But the actual fourth panel (which I hope is implicit in how I’ve shown their relationship before, and here) is that Cathy, in fighting back, like pulls Mona over the counter or something, they fight on the floor (ha ha SUMBIT Cathy SUBMIT / you couldn’t convince a FLY) and like chase each other around the coffee shop, a bus tray is overturned and a bunch of dishes get broken, they have to sweep them up and trade bitter insults the rest of the day at which point Mona gives Cathy a ride home in exchange for printing out a bunch of coupons for the art supply store that she RILLY RILLY NEEDS and Cathy like lectures her about how SHE IS NOT A PRINTING SERVICE and they pick up Betty and get vegan ribs, which they go dutch on, though Cathy has to figure out the tip (and Mona’s short so Betty has to kick in a buck from allowance again.)
It is this implicit fourth panel (uh it’s a really big panel, like a Hieronymous Bosch painting of a panel, okay) that makes this maybe not a bad thing to publish with me. I super do not want to trivialize privilege! It sucks! But I also don’t want to Not Talk About It In Any Way, either, and it’s some part of the dynamic between these two characters that I think is critical–it’s important to who they are that they can and do talk about it in this way, that they can make it into a thing that they can deal with via making fun of, to some extent. If this were the first Bad Mother strip ever posted, like there was no prior context for these characters, I hella wouldn’t post this, and that is maybe significant. But if these things can’t be funny ever–if like the only attitude one can ever have toward being separate-and-unequal from other humans in terms of social categories is like a terrible moral silence forever–like I don’t even wanna do comics kinda. This comic is a fantasy of being able to trust other people.
Obviously I am kind of worried about posting this and sending like potentially Evil Messages into the world. If you feel like I have done this, we can talk about it in the comments, below, if you want, or probably you know how to get in touch with me anyway? If you haven’t, cool, I worried a lot for nothing! I do that! More folks should!
There’ll be more fun comics about Betty and her teacher on Tuesday! THEY WILL INAUGURATE A SHORT STORYLINE ABOUT A SECRET.