Most if not all of you are aware of the grueling political situation in the United States–if not the world–over the past couple of weeks–if not several months–and I’ve been torn between obsessively following it and deciding that such a level of political involvement, though it’s been my default for some considerable time, might actually be counterproductive in that it leads to either cynical apathy or counterproductive pessimism, neither of which do any good for myself or others. This last week, too, has been complicated by my falling victim to a stomach illness that had me bedridden and calling in twice in a row to my job. Though I’d hoped to find a silver lining in increased artistic production time as a result, a splitting headache and a number of (apparently symptomatic) shoulder pains soon put a stop to that. Therefore, there’ll be no new issue this month, though I’m still working on the next one. Many apologies and I hope to return soon. The ladies above, among other folks, can’t be left hanging forever.
I had fully intended to catch up on putting together Fairy Locks on my days off last week, but those days wound up being devoted to picking up the pieces of my hope for the future, which may never be put back together.
As I wrote to a friend, I’m still trying to figure out how to approach my life in a way that makes some sense of this dark timeline we now inhabit. The last several days have, against all odds, seen a number of bright spots here and there. I went on a march (my first; however little good I suspect they really do, it was immensely cathartic and wonderful to know that I wasn’t alone). My workplace’s founder sent out an inspiring and cautiously hopeful email. I had a good work shift with my old friend and co-worker in which we discussed how to proceed now with our sanity and artistic autonomy intact.
Even given the good, it was also one of the worst weeks in living memory. At least my heartbreak last autumn only affected me. First, I learned that there might be bad news concerning my family (won’t go into it, but puts in jeopardy something for which I’ve long hoped). Then, a mix of insensitivity and self-absorption nearly cost me one of my dearest and most admired friends (she forgave me, but I’ve got a lot to work on in terms of listening and paying attention). Last and most awful, a co-worker’s daughter was attacked for wearing a safety pin, as many folks have been doing to express solidarity and accessibility for the marginalized, some of whom have been attacked already.
So I really haven’t felt much like drawing, until my shift last night. My musician co-worker and I had a long chat about the election, about the emboldening of just about every attitude we were raised to avoid, and last but not least, a conversation on how necessary art, however ridiculous or trivial, would be in these new uncertainties, already ridden with violence against minorities, immigrants, or the otherwise powerless. However it happened, I got fired up anew to create again, and will hopefully be back in the saddle this weekend and into Thanksgiving.
I’ve dragged far enough behind on Fairy Locks, though, that it might be advisable to take another hiatus, perhaps until the New Year. I’d planned to do another twelve issues and then take another break (squint to avoid length-based spoilers, but the story’s sort of planned to run for thirty-six, total), but the depression and emotional chaos from recent events have lingered long enough to thoroughly screw my production schedule, among other things. So Fairy Locks, though it will one day return (and hopefully sooner than I think), will rest once more. Eddie probably wouldn’t like it here right now anyway.