Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to my surgeon, my cardiologist, my GP (who first heard the murmur), and everybody else who was involved. But that didn't make it any less traumatizing.
I'm also grateful for all my friends -- irl, on discord, here, and yes, even twitter -- for the emotional support.
OK fine, I'll look back on 2019.
For me, the year was pretty much defined by my heart surgery, to the point where the three months preceding my diagnosis are a total blur now.
I don't talk about this much but the whole thing was the most terrifying experience of my life. I still have nightmares about it all and also dreams about having to go back again.
That plus it can take up to a year or two for an operated-on heart to feel normal. (It's misbehaving right now as I type this.)
I am thinking about "separate the art from the artist" because there is a lot of that going around Twitter today regarding J.K. Rowling's continued flirtation with TERFness.
Look, Harry Potter means nothing to me, I tried reading it and it was nothing I hadn't seen done better before, I didn't have any kids seeing its tricks done for the first time in my life to sympathize with, so cutting Rowling's future work out of my life means nothing to me.
I learnt a lot about drawing and running big projects working under John K.
After the Buzzfeed article revealed the staggering scope of his continued grooming and attempted abuse of underage women, there was a period where I felt like all my skills were fundamentally tainted by having his teaching as their foundation. I *have* to separate his work and his lessons from him as a person if I'm going to function as a professional artist.
A creator embeds attitudes in their work, intentionally and unintentionally. And they put lessons about their craft and the world in their work, intentionally and unintentionally. Once they've revealed some of their worse attitudes it becomes a lot easier to look back at their work and see the poison under the surface. Ultimately there can be a point where you have to acknowledge that the person you have grown into is just not a person who can be down with the politics and ideals of a creator whose work was formative to you.
And that, I think, is when "separating the art from the artist" becomes imperative. Examine what you learnt from a creator you loved in your youth, look at who they've become, and ask if you're cool with supporting someone like that with your money and your recommendations.
Orson Scott Card's SF was important to teen me, but every time someone tries to discuss Ender's Game I'm gonna note how much of a total homophobe he is.I learnt a lot about making comics from Dave Sim's notes but any discussion I'm gonna have about him is gonna note that he basically became an MRA chud after a while. Doug TenNapel's art is divinely hilarious and he's also a total rightwinger who mocked me personally on his BBS. John Krickfalusi taught the whole animation industry some lessons about making limited animation really WORK while leaving a vast chasm of pain in his wake.
Your heros and heroines are not perfect. Some of them are much more imperfect than others, and will come to a point where you have to... look at what their work taught you, and pry that apart from who they are and the things they've done. And maybe decide that every time their work comes up in the future you will quietly mention the things they did that made you want to throw everything they taught you into the trash along with them.
Separate the art from the artist; cherish the good parts of their work that shaped who you are, use the tools you got from them to make work that celebrates the values you have that they would hate. Think hard about whether you want to celebrate their work and pass it on to other people, especially the next generation, because that gives the person they turned out to be a platform to spread their current ideas from.
Anyway. I should stop pontificating about this and get back to using the tools I got from assorted creators I've disowned, and from ones I still love, to make some comics.
My octagenerian father's music genre of choice is the easy listening/beautiful music format. Yes, that's right, elevator music. He listens to a station offered through his cable tv subscription that puts up random "Did you know?" facts about the musicians.
Anyway, that was my Thanksgiving weekend, I hope yours was ok.
Phantom right shoulder pains. I am pretty sure I did not strain it by lifting anything so I assume it was the long drive that aggravated it. I read that open heart surgery patients can have these things up to two years after the surgery. 😞
Also I can't take ibuprofen anymore (because it's a blood thinner), so I am trying to control it using acetaminophen (a.k.a. paracetamol for those of you outside the U.S.). It's doing ok, I guess, but I have another 8 hour drive tomorrow. Ugh.
Drugs & Wires updated! https://www.drugsandwires.fail/dnwcomic/chapter-6-page-30/ #webcomic #mastoart #drugsandwires
It's also important for nonfans not to be jerks and say that something we don't like is shit. For example, everyone has that one genre of music they *really* don't like and believe in their hearts is not "real" music. It's incumbent upon us as beings who seek out kindness not to express this point of view, except maybe just to mumble it to yourself while you're using the restroom or something if you really need to vent.
Sure, there are ways to enjoy stuff that can be very annoying. When I mentioned in passing that TAZ wasn't my thing, someone once reacted by unironically giving me a Rick&Morty you-have-to-have-a-high-iq-to-appreciate-it type of line. (That wasn't the exact wording but it was in the same spirit.) To me, whether it's a game or a show or whatever, talking like that is being the exact opposite of a fan.
One of the best things is when friends enjoy things I don't really get into and enthuse about those things and get very excited. Honestly, it's great to see! I don't understand how people can be annoyed by stuff like that.
For example, a lot of my friends love DnD/Pathfinder/etc. Definitely not my thing, but I love seeing them have fun.
Or some of my friends like The Adventure Zone quite a bit. I don't really react much to McElroy style humor, but I very much enjoy how much it means to my pals
mathematician | webcomics enthusiast | he/him
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