[VIDEO BLOG] Veritas

Veritas means truth.

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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.

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[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.

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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.

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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.

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[VIDEO BLOG] Year of the Rat

Taking my work to the next level in 2020!

Contribute to my LOA Fundraiser here: https://www.facebook.com/donate…

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

This is the receipt from the prescription I recently picked up on the second of January. I struggled through all December, and waited to buy my medication, only for the health insurance company to apply this toward my deductible for 2019. A deductible that would be extremely difficult to afford on my working-poor home health aide wage, if not for my personal business. Navigating this system has been a nightmare, and most of the working poor do not have the resources that I do. Please support universal health care in the US.

Pharmacy Receipt

Recently, I also ventured deeper into my office cleaning, getting to one of the few places I had not reached yet — a hanging file box of random artwork and documents. I found several unfinished Lunch Break comics, including this one drawn around the time I started to seriously break down and lose the ability to reliably function. I drew a similarly-themed Dollar Late strip years later.

I never finished the comic about not being able to finish comics.

Unfinished Lunch Break Comic

I also found the originals for my mini-comic covers, sketches, and some other random pieces that I added to the Etsy store. Custom request sketch cards, new signed prints, my first Kickstarter, Free Comic Book Day, 2020 convention announcements, SECRET PROJECT, and more coming soon!

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[VIDEO BLOG] Thankfulness

My trip to Grand Rapids, MI, and things I’m thankful for this year.

Please Support my Work
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http://support.jinwicked.com/

At the end of Grand Rapids Comic-Con, I teamed up with the always-dashing and talented Dirk Manning on the convention’s in-house karaoke stage for a performance of Disney’s A Whole New World from Aladdin. I had a blast, and I HOPE to have an encore performance with him at a show next year!

I made a little cartoon about it! The original is available here.

Dirk and Jin Karaoke

And though she was not able to make the trip to the convention, I completed this sketch of friend Crystal O’Rourke featuring her pets and animal buddies.

Crystal O'Rource

Crystal is part of a new collection called Café Macabre, check it out!

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MSP Fallcon 2019

The leaves on the trees around my home are all turning crimson, orange, and gold in their most jarring and short-lived transition of the year — summer into fall. Unlike the gradual, sleepy-slow unfurling of spring after the winter’s melt, fall explodes into colours which are gone almost as suddenly as they appear. We have already had our first light dusting of snow. The radiators bubble and whistle, as the daylight hours grow ever-shorter. Winter is coming.

Stephen and I made an appearance together for LionCon in Saint Cloud, MN. It suffered from unfortunately dismal attendance, due to location and multiple venue changes, but as a result I got some forced rest. The drive up and hotel were comfortable, and it was great to see my new booth layout with the pipe and drape. The evening weather was perfect for walking downtown.

Jin Wicked at LionCon

The headaches I was frequently suffering over the summer have mostly gone away since getting my new glasses. (The frames I am wearing in the picture below were purchased when I lived in Minnesota back in 2000 — I had them re-lensed.) My vision had indeed become a bit worse, which is a real problem with the volumes of drawing, reading small texts and screens, and otherwise over-working my eyes that I do relentlessly. I am probably actively worsening my vision by doing these things, but it is an inevitable hazard of the job(s).

Jin Wicked at MSP Fallcon 2019

All of my accounting and book-keeping is finally, completely, totally up-to-date and fixed. All necessary documents have been amended and filed. Everything possible that can be automated is now automated. Such a shadow was lifted by finally overcoming that task. I will have 2019’s filings ready in January!

Earlier this summer, I was also starting to suffer persistent back pain from my day job, a very common occurrence in care-giving. It took about two or three weeks of conscious and deliberate effort to retrain myself to squat instead of bending at the waist or twisting, but I have seen dramatic results. I basically get paid to do dozens of body-weight squats per day! My core and legs have noticeably strengthened, as transfers have become easier. Especially-so for bodies my size or slightly larger. Perhaps some day I shall achieve my dreams of comforting the sick and dying, while being strong enough to crush a man’s skull between my thighs. I mean… a watermelon. Crush a watermelon.

Jin Wicked at MSP Fallcon 2019

We had a wonderful MSP Fallcon this year! The convention started with a cold and rainy morning, but traffic rallied around noon, and stayed strong right up until close. The energy was good, and I made enough money to take some of the sting out my large LionCon loss. Special thanks to my friend Michael, who helped with photography! I was able to get the photos uploaded and tagged (for as many as I could!) on Facebook by the following Monday night.

I have been privileged this year to assist with the promotional materials and T-shirt layouts for the convention. Alongside the other contributing designers, I would like to bring a more unified appearance and voice to the convention. I was able to assist with the website for this fall show as well, and am looking forward to making further improvements over the winter for spring. I hope to expand the convention’s footprint across the Internet and social media. Over the course of setup and during the show, I spent a few hours collecting cards and getting to know my fellow creators a little better. I LOVED the eagerness from everyone, excited to share with me what they enjoy most about tabling at the show! Their communication and feedback is essential to promoting the individual creators and the show as a whole. A rising tide lifts all boats.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to give back to this show which has given so much to me, and which has become like my family and adoptive home.

I am also grateful for the opportunity to grow my leadership skills.

Jin Wicked at MSP Fallcon 2019

Mark, Root, and I have also been working more regularly on the COMIC BROS Podcast we record together, including a newly-revamped logo and illustrative episode teasers. I am especially proud of Mark and Root’s efforts in Houston, where they have organized a “Drink and Draw” meetup, become regulars at local shows, and engaged in other community activities. Root has been doing a remarkable job with the COMIC BROS Instagram feed, Facebook page, and blog. Mark has done great interview work! Also on Twitter and Youtube.

I talk some about my evolving personal goals in this month’s episode.

For the next three weeks, I will be working on sketch cards in preparation for Grand Rapids Comic-Con, my final show of the season. After I return, I will be taking a break from conventions until MSP Springcon 2020 next May, to focus on producing my next two books, certification for HHA/CNA, and my volunteer work. This was a year that has been about outwardly-facing energies for me, and personal battles, which I will write more about over time. Now that I feel like I have reached a situation of authenticity and stability, I am ready to turn my attention inward and move on to the next phase in my development.

Please consider supporting my Patreon if you are not already.

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