Mood

“We are here to laugh at the odds, and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us.” – Charles Bukowski

Cigarillo in a Parking Lot, 2015

I have received both Moderna jabs and I am beginning to feel more active.

Just putting out some feelers for now, but if you are a journalist and interested in an audio or written interview with me about anything related to my life, personal journey, autism/neurodiversity, gender identity, creative work, upcoming books, or anything else — contact me. I apologize, but no Zoom/video at this time.

I recently added the Entertainment page here for future acting gigs.

I have also updated my Press & Media, Publications, and Schedule pages.

Hope you are well, and watch out for those pizza rolls. I worry.

CATEGORY:

Please Stand By, Vol 2

While running errands on March 5th, I injured my left arm and chest somehow between opening and closing doors, driving, and carrying a bag of groceries. By a couple of days later, I woke up to find the left side of my chest painfully swollen. I began wearing compression and taking anti-inflammatories again, which reduced the swelling. However, there was still quite a bit of pain and tightness.

On the 16th, I had about 20cc of fluid drained from the left side of my chest at my surgeon’s office. I am also on antibiotics because of suspected infection. Due to the swelling, I assume, there is a small area about 1″ long where my incision is attempting to reopen. Tonight it started bleeding enough to soak through several gauze pads and part of my ACE-type compression wrap.

I managed to get it closed and the bleeding slowed to a trickle with butterfly bandages, so I am okay for now. I am waiting to hear back from my surgeon’s office as to what I need to do next. Next week I see my physical therapist, and it is likely I will need more physical therapy than originally planned. My left arm’s range of motion has been set back to where it was immediately post-surgery.

The antibiotics I am on are wreaking havoc on my digestive system.

This is a lot to suffer for getting my mail and a couple of meals from the deli.

Typing is one of the few things I can do without tightening/tensing my chest muscles or risking further injury. Last week I started working on a second #MeToo post, but it quickly morphed into a general timeline of my life. I realized that I am doing the preliminary work necessary to start drawing Queen of Assholes.

My memories are quite clear, except for a certain time period which I do not especially want to remember. However, I struggle with the exact order and the position of events in my timeline. I have been referencing public records, school transcripts, photos with dates printed by the lab, and the third-parties who were there (when possible) to help piece together my past. This project turned into something far beyond my original intention; I’m putting myself together.

Right now the project has about 15.3k words. I would estimate it is one-half to two-thirds done. Even though it is for my comic, I intend to publish it online here once it is completed. It is impossible to explain certain parts of my life without revealing everything. It will give additional context to almost all of my work.

I am sharing snippets on Patreon, if you can afford to help right now.

It is not lost on me that I am writing this while recovering from finally feeling like I am “at home” in my own body. Neither is it lost on me that I am writing this shortly after figuring out I am autistic, finally learning who and what I am.

My life has been full of these synchronistic moments. I lean into them.

After a lifetime of attempting to be something I am not, concealing parts of my past, struggling to navigate a world I do not understand, and being punished for failing to fit into the boxes people build for me — I am done with all that.

If “success” means I have to pile on makeup even when I do not feel like it, tolerate being treated poorly in the name of Good Business, smile at people who despise me, and go through the exhausting effort of always appearing “normal,” then I want none of it. I will draw what I need to draw, say what I need to say, and write what I need to write, and the world can take me or leave me.

I cannot proceed any further until I finish making myself whole.

CATEGORY:

Please Stand By

Popping on to update that I have cleared the follow-up visit with my breast surgeon, everything is healing appropriately, and I am continuing my recovery. My skin reacted badly to the antiseptic “wash” used before surgery, resulting in a rash that worsened in the following days, and became almost unbearably painful in combination with the surgical drain tubing in my chest. I could not sleep. Fortunately, the drains were removed about a week after my surgery.

I have been blogging in more detail about my progress over on Patreon; the drains can be seen in this post. My chest and upper arms are still tight and sore, though I have been able to drastically reduce pain medication. Radiating from my scar is a constant, unpleasant sensation of pinpricks and tingling that oscillates in intensity. I understand this is from the unavoidable nerve damage, and nerve regeneration if possible. The area above my scar has little to no feeling.

I already have a permanently numb area on my face from the removal of severely-impacted wisdom teeth about twenty years ago, and knew I would lose some feeling in my chest, so that does not bother me. I am doing daily exercises given to me by medical staff, and awaiting the start of physical therapy.

Mostly, I am extremely fatigued. I have been out to briefly run errands a few times this week, and found myself wiped out afterward. Aside from the physical trauma of surgery, I am also dealing the after-effects of two weeks of poor sleep due to the drains, compression tops/wraps, and general discomfort. From what I have researched, it will probably be another 4 – 6 weeks before I begin to feel “normalish” again. That is usually when most people return to work.

Please know I am not complaining: I am ridiculously happy and grateful.

For my birthday, I posted an open-shirted photo of myself, which resulted in a notable amount of unfriending and unfollowing from my social media accounts. I expected that, but it was an interesting process to watch play out. My Instagram lost about two-hundred followers within hours. It sparked good discussion.

Jin Wicked Double-Mastectomy Scar

I am still in a somewhat anti-social state of mind, continuing to give myself space to process everything that has happened over the past year. I am also engaging in some reevaluation, reprioritization, and adjustments to my long-term plans and strategies, to accommodate both internal and external changes.

Money is a concern at the moment. There have been expenses associated with my surgeries, including a few moderate insomnia- and oxycodone-fueled impulse purchases. (Mostly creative supplies, post-surgical aids/comfort items, and used clothes for FLAT CHEST.) The immediate goal is to get through physical recovery, and hold the line until my Kickstarter is ready to launch later this year.

Etsy store sales and other support are appreciated if you would like to help.

Below is a watercolour and ink illustration finished in December.

Cherry Lemonade by Jin Wicked title=

$5 Signed Prints are available in my Etsy shop.

» Cherry Lemonade @ Fine Art America
» Cherry Lemonade @ RedBubble
» Cherry Lemonade @ TeePublic
» Cherry Lemonade @ Society6
» Cherry Lemonade @ Spreadshirt

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[VIDEO BLOG] Veritas

Veritas means truth.

Please Support my Work
http://patreon.com/jinwicked
http://jinwicked.etsy.com/

I was in a car accident a couple of weeks ago. I was mostly at fault — a combination of being distracted and stretching myself too thin. I simply never saw the man that hit me, until it was too late to evade him completely. I am all right, other than a few days of feeling under the weather and experiencing some dizzy spells. That has passed, thankfully. There was significant damage to my vehicle, which is insured and being repaired now. Could have been worse.

The composition read during my latest vlog was written while I was inking Greater Good (below). This was inspired not only by my own difficulties, but by the confessions and comments from others close to me — some of whom are hurting terribly. Feel free to share the image version, if you find it helpful.

My political re-awakening has been a process, but necessary to me.

Jin Wicked on Grief

This Dilbert editorial piece was done on a whim, in response to Scott Adams, a perennial shithead. If you need further explanation, please Google “Scott Adams is an asshole,” then return to this post. This is one of his more infamous quotes, where he compared women to the mentally handicapped, and managed to insult practically everyone in the process. He did see this artwork, and explained that I had misinterpreted his quote — presumably because I am a stupid woman.

Dilbert by Scott Adams by Jin Wicked

Veritas is a piece that randomly popped into my head and required immediate follow-through. By the time I had finished The Artist, it felt out of sync with my mood and mental state. I needed to fashion a self-portrait more representative of my current condition. It seemed appropriate, then, to title it after the people that tried to destroy me. The Latin text translates roughly to “2020: Forever absurd, remember death is inevitable.” It features my self-designed necklaces.

Veritas by Jin Wicked

» Veritas @ Fine Art America
» Veritas @ RedBubble
» Veritas @ TeePublic
» Veritas @ Society6
» Veritas @ Spreadshirt

For the Greater Good (Lab Rat) was loosely a commission from a patron. The prompt was open-ended to my interpretation, and it felt timely and meaningful to complete now. Dedicated to the millions of rats and mice that are sacrificed every year for the purpose of medical research. Available in my storefronts with the blessing of the owner of the original artwork, since I felt it had wide appeal.

For the Greater Good (Lab Rat) by Jin Wicked

» For the Greater Good (Lab Rat) @ Fine Art America
» For the Greater Good (Lab Rat) @ RedBubble
» For the Greater Good (Lab Rat) @ TeePublic
» For the Greater Good (Lab Rat) @ Society6
» For the Greater Good (Lab Rat) @ Spreadshirt

My planned art book for next year is coming along nicely.

I will be restocking and adding new $5 signed prints later this week.

On a personal level, I have been dealing with something I would not quite call depression. It might be accurately described as intermittent despair. I find myself occasionally feeling so absolutely drained and despondent that I am ready, in the moment, to lay down and die. Not that I want to die, but that some days, the amount of energy I need to keep fighting feels too burdensome to bear.

My personal struggles have been manageable, but current events, politics, and the bald-faced, gleeful cruelty on display lately are sapping the life out of me. Half of the United States does not even live in a shared reality anymore. People are attacking innocent service employees for being asked to wear a piece of fabric on their face. Established, factual science — like germ theory, vaccines, or even the earth being round — has been forced into becoming a debate. QAnon and other conspiracy theories are being propagated by goverment officials, including the President. And there is a surge of increasingly visible racism, dogwhistles becoming foghorns, and unapologetic Nazis and white supremacists.

Fascism thrives on its ability to exhaust and demoralize its opponents.

This effect is deliberate. I have to remind myself often.

Nothing happening right now has surprised me. I have been waiting for it since leaving Texas, and to some degree, was prepared. At least as much as I could be. The pandemic, and utter failure of a response by the federal government, have caused almost every systemic problem the US has to rise to the surface at once. The United States is at a critical turning point — where it must choose between a more equitable and sustainable future, or eventual balkanization and collapse. The brave people marching in the streets are my only beacon of hope.

There is no MAGA, and to be truthful, America has not ever been “great” for many of its more vulnerable citizens. You cannot reverse time. You cannot turn back the clock. Change is unavoidable. The organism either adapts and evolves, or becomes extinct. In the very near future, we must choose wisely.

I will be registering for the first time since 2008 to vote for Biden/Harris.

Any other option at this time is suicide.

CATEGORY:

[VIDEO BLOG] Down the Rabbit Hole

Productivity amidst upheaval.

Please Support my Work
http://patreon.com/jinwicked
http://jinwicked.etsy.com/

It has been about two months since my last real blog post, though it feels more like two years now. After finishing the USPS video, I chopped off about two inches of my hair, with a little help from Steve to get all the back even. I have continued cutting both our hair since then, so add amateur barbering to the list of plague-acquired skills. I accidentally buzzed off a chunk of one of my eyebrows with the electric trimmer when I let my bangs get too long. It took me days to notice.

In May, my USPS video received over 18k views on Facebook, after it was shared by the American Postal Workers Union. Feelin’ the USPS love!

I finished up a fully-digital piece based on a mash-up of a scene from The Simpsons and Bill Sienkiewicz. Bill accidentally created the “butt challenge” when he posted a censored, nude photo of himself that was taken as a pose reference. I spent way more time on this than I should have, but I regret nothing.

Stupid Sexy Sienkiewicz

Last year you may remember my big office clean-up after getting on ADHD medication. Later in 2019, I finally completed all my backlogged accounting and incomplete tax returns. This year has been a further process of diving down the rabbit hole, churning up loose threads and unfinished projects to resolve. There are a handful of comics and illustrations. The painting below was abandoned in 2016, and finally finished up in mid-May. Etsy store link for the original.

Legacy

As everyone now knows, on May 25th, George Floyd was murdered by police officers in Minneapolis. This is where time really begins to dissolve. I live in Saint Paul, across the river, about a fifteen minute drive away from where much of the rioting in Minneapolis happened. I am closer to where rioting broke out in Saint Paul. Not close enough to be in immediate danger, but enough for concern.

For a little more than a week, my sleep schedule shifted to wake up around dinnertime, and listen to Saint Paul fire and police dispatch throughout the night. My main concern was uncontrolled fire, and being able to quickly alert neighbours to evacuate if needed. I still have not unpacked my suitcase. Fireworks, gunfire, and sirens were near-constant background noise for several days. As was the smell of burning tires. Before it was over I was able to see some of the military vehicles in my area. I was never afraid, but the constant vigilance is exhausting. While the riots persisted I did not get much work completed.

I 100% support Black Lives Matter, and in the grand scheme of things, it is incredible to be so close to where the current wave of protests started.

At the beginning of June, I finished a new graphic design/logo that I originally came up with in 2019. It was intended as a T-shirt design, but in response to the changing economic situation, I scrapped any plans for new T-shirts. The design adapted serendipitously well to face masks, however, and perhaps my favourite piece of merchandise I have had made yet — an embroidered patch. I am waiting on one more item before launching to my Patreon, email list, and then the general public. Watch for those in the next two or three weeks.

Almost all of these items are Made in the USA. You will be able to snag this BRAND NEW design on black cotton face masks (Union screenprinted), 2.25″ buttons and magnets, 1.5″ lapel pins, 2″ keychains, 3″ vinyl stickers, and 3.5″ embroidered patches (Union made). I may also do a signed $5 print!

Its message feels more timely now than when I first envisioned it.

I am gradually adding my artwork to a selection of print-on-demand sites, including some choice older works, so if you have not already take a moment to check those out. Every Wednesday I offer a “design of the week,” for pieces that have been added to all storefronts. There are many print options, apparel, gifts, and home goods available that I could not otherwise offer on my own.

» Jin Wicked @ Fine Art America
» Jin Wicked @ RedBubble
» Jin Wicked @ TeePublic
» Jin Wicked @ Society6
» Jin Wicked @ Spreadshirt

You may also notice my websites looking a little fresher. The last time I did any significant work to my websites or their infrastructure was in 2014 – 2015 before leaving Texas. Much has changed since then, especially the ever-increasing usage of mobile browsers. Some database issues had also cropped up through user- and server-migrations. I could not edit old posts on my comic sites at all. So I am in the middle of nuking everything from orbit, and rebuilding almost all of my websites with fresh CMS installs and databases, optimization, etc.

Rather than rely on third-party plug-ins such as ComicPress, I decided to customize my own WordPress theme to handle my comics. Fixing the comic sites has been a major obstacle (both psychologically and literally) to moving forward on those. Every old task I manage to finally conquer is a victory, and gets me a little closer. My server speed and resources been upgraded as well.

The last thing I am working on at the moment are my several ongoing book projects. A hardcover 2015 – 2020 art book, a mini art book, and new upcoming comic collections. Expect me to run a small trial Kickstarter soon.

While digging deep on my desktop drives, searching for missing high-resolution art files, I ended up having to manually sort through almost 10k (yes, really) files that had been dumped on the Desktop or in a hodgepodge of “temporary” folders. ADHD! These are files I saved while working on projects, and things copied off of my mobile phone. During this process I found a lot of photos and mobile phone screenshots that I assumed had been unintentionally deleted.

I edited my #MeToo post for clarity, names, and additional images.

The traditional comics community has exploded with allegations of abuse and mistreatment in recent weeks. Each time this issue resurfaces, to some extent I end up living through many of my own experiences again. I posted a small Twitter thread about it. This year has been emotionally unrelenting.

…And, lastly. Sadly.

Thursday I attended the Celebration of Life for Mike Edmundson, who passed away unexpectedly on June 20th. Mike was one of the pillars of the MCBA/MCBF. I first met him on the morning of May 16th, 2015, when he picked me up from the Roseville hotel and took me to the MN State Fair Grandstand, where my new life really began. Big Mike’s warm smile and giant-sized hugs were always welcome and appreciated. He was one of the kindest, gentlest, and most good-natured souls I have had the honour to cross paths with, and one of the most dedicated supporters of the convention. Beloved by volunteers, creators, and attendees alike, Mike’s loss is one that will be felt deeply, forever.

Thank you for everything, Mike. I am grateful that I got to call you Friend.

CATEGORY:

Good Quill Hunting

There was an expectation that I would start to experience some unexplained aches and pains after turning forty years old. I did not expect the entire world to start falling apart. Anyone who knows me on a personal level is aware of my apocalyptic disposition, but my money was on a gradual slide into oblivion through the effects of climate change, not a fairly rapidly-moving plague.

Not that quarantine changes much for me, since I have been mostly holed up in my office, working on various things. It does seem to feel more suffocating when you have no choice. Multiple people have noted that I was fortunate to leave elder-care when I did. I am delaying the CNA class until danger passes. I have enough savings to tough things out for up to six months living frugally. Very frugally. Please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber, or purchasing a piece of art, if you can comfortably afford to do that. I know almost everyone is struggling right now. It has been difficult to remain positive.

In an effort to cut back on my use of disposable technical pens, I have been inking almost exclusively with brush and quill pens. The Mandalorian piece and assorted sketchcards below were inked with quill pens. I have been working with Speedball Hunt nibs #102, #107, and #104. I also picked up a selection of B-Series nibs, hoping for a satisfying alternative to felt-tips for stippling.

Tiny But Fierce

My “house brand” sketchcards are here, and the first couple of batches have been shipped out. The ability to ‘request’ cards is a Patreon subscriber perk, with the option to pre-purchase the original before it is offered to the general public. The cards are $60/ea including US shipping, however I am guaranteed to spend at least an hour on each card — usually more.

JinWicked.com Sketchcards

These were completed mostly last November and December, but I can finally share with you my contributions to this new Dawn 30th Anniversary card set, published by Dynamite. The occasion marked both my first paycheque from a major comic book company, and first mention in Previews World magazine.

I continue to be incredibly grateful for all that the Linsners have done for me, including the opportunity to work on this sketchcard set for them.

I will have a very limited number of Dawn cards (much like the ones pictured) available directly from Etsy later in the fall, with my Patreon subscribers given the first opportunity to purchase them. $100/ea including US shipping.

With my tax refund, I was able to restock all of my books currently available. Each “printing” is 100 books. This is the fifth printing of Best of Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break, third printing of Just the Rats Ma’am, and the second printing of Best of A Dollar Late and A Day Short and my Happy Rats colouring book. For my future books, I will be running Kickstarters for the first print runs.

Books available at Etsy!

These are all things that, under normal circumstances, I would be (and was) terribly excited about. Right now, anything resembling bragging feels gauche and insensitive. Mostly, I just feel an uneasy weariness. I am going to hunker down, continue working, and hope for the best. Stay safe, everyone.

CATEGORY:

Happy Happy Jin

Two days after publishing my previous post, I resigned from my aide position about a month earlier than planned. Multiple friends and coworkers had been independently giving me unsolicited advice to, more-or-less, be more selfish. When your own coworkers are telling you to escape, that you deserve better, I think that is a fairly clear sign. The facility piled even more services on top of my already-crushing usual nightly assignments, and I threw in the towel.

Most of last week I spent catching up on business, running errands, building a new website for the comic book convention, and sleeping ten hours a day. I finally started to feel somewhat normal again by this week. To get back in the swing of things, I finished up colouring this set of four Happy Happy Rats for both prints and inclusion in my upcoming art book. When I made my colouring book in 2018, I had a few rats earmarked for prints and stickers later.

Happy Cthulhu Rat

Happy Art Nouveau Rat

Happy Unicorn Rat

Happy Picasso Rat

Jin Wicked Sketchcards

I also finished the design for new 2.5″ × 3.5″ custom sketch cards, and sent it off to the printer. Completed cards will be available for sale through my Etsy shop, however, to request specific characters or subjects on custom cards will be a Patreon-exclusive benefit. You can subscribe to my Patreon here.

CATEGORY: