Around February, I was feeling a bit down. My cat, Honey (who I called my Little Peanut Butter Girl, because she loved PB), had passed away from Leukemia. Plus, the winter in upstate NY was particularly dreadful. For some reason or another, I switched over to whole grains for almost all my grain intake: brown rice, whole wheat bread, etc. I just wanted to change things up. Surprisingly, without doing much, I lost 2 – 3 pounds. “I lost weight eating bread?” Anyhoo, I decided to get back into shape. I ‘d been doing push ups on and off for a few years, but now I wanted to commit myself for a full year, at least. I started with some dumbbells at home, then graduated to the gym. Here’s a photo of my 6 month progress from February to August (I don’t have a more recent pic right now, and please pardon the toplessness):
I started at about 180 lbs. Dropped all the way down to 169 while exercising at home, then bulked back up to 185 after hitting the gym. As of last weekend, I benched 215 lbs., which is the most I’ve ever attempted. And, needless to say, being a vegan makes it tough sometimes. Not because of nutrition (unless you’re a vegan who eats nothing but french fries, a balanced vegan diet has all the nutrients you need), but because everyone pesters/scrutinizes you more. “Where do you get your protein?” Blah, blah, blah. You have to work twice as hard to be considered half as good, as the old saying goes.
There are times I’d rather skip the gym and play video games and binge-chow coconut milk ice cream. Because of work and a new baby arriving, I’ve cut down on gym visits from 3x a week to 2x. But I have to remind myself of my original plan: keep doing this for at least a year. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep yourself motivated. When you work out enough, your muscles eventually get used to all the ‘trauma’ you put your body through, and those initial results start to stagger. You don’t get the pump after doing just one set of curls. Your muscles don’t grow unless you give them a reason to grow.
Same with comics. (See, there IS a point for all this vanity) I’ve been working on NANJING: The Burning City since August of 2013. Initially, I knocked out 60 pages in 3 months. Then I started A Piggy’s Tale and produced roughly 10 pages a month or so. I took 6 months off in 2014 to shop the graphic novel around, and eventually Dark Horse (which was one of my top choices) signed me. It’s been hard to get back to that 20 page/month output. Part of that is my schedule, part of that is the excitement has dissipated a bit. Back in 2013, this was a bold new project, and I had no idea where it would land, and what the future might be. It was downright EXHILARATING! And much like exercise, I’d rather be doing other things at times. My mind starts to play games with itself. “Will anyone even read this?” “Will anyone even care?”
But I look ahead and focus on my original goal: finish a graphic novel. Being an artist seems incomprehensible to the general public because of the financial uncertainty, but what most don’t realize is that the largest struggle is simply pushing yourself to stay hungry. You can’t make good comics unless you stay hungry. The same with weight lifting. Before the year is up, I’m shooting for a 225 lbs. bench.
Wish me luck, folks.
Once again, sorry for making you wait so long for an update. Things have been crazy these days. Two of my kitties have passed away this year, I’m expecting my first child next spring, and Dark Horse officially made the announcement for my WW2 Graphic Novel, NANJING: The Burning City. Check it out here.
Plus, I may have a major announcement concerning Tails soon. Life is a roller coaster these days, but in a good way. Stay fresh, folks!
Hey, folks! I realize it’s been over a month since I’ve uploaded a new page to this site, and some of you have been wondering, “What the F*CK is going on? I need more Tails!”
Well, here’s a quick rundown: First, I’ve picked up a new gig at Animation Domination Hi-Def (yes, the place that makes cartoons), which has sucked up most of my working time during the week. Second, I’ve signed with a publisher for my WW2 graphic novel, and there are deadlines for that as well (and said deadlines are close). Third, 2 of my kitties have been sick. So, with all that, I allowed the updates for Tails to slide, which I know is unfair to regular readers.
So, I’m back (for now), but I can’t promise that there won’t be anymore updating lapses. I’ll try my best to avoid them. Be sure to subscribe if you can.
This week (and possibly into next week), I’ll be transferring the site from it’s current server to another one. Because of a couple of bumps in the road, I wasn’t able to procure a programmer ahead of time, and my current hosting service expires tomorrow. The site will probably go dead for a few days, but it’ll be back and running as soon as possible, along with regular updates. Because tailscomic.com is powered by comicpress with a lot of customizing, the transfer and updates has to be handled fairly delicately. Thanks for the patience, folks!
Run to your local comic shop and get it right now! It’s the first issue in a 4-issue, bi-monthly mini-series. And it’s AWESOME, trust me. Don’t believe me? Read this review here.