[VIDEO BLOG] Work-in-Progress

Posted in video, work on April 11th, 2019 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on [VIDEO BLOG] Work-in-Progress

Getting the most out of every day.

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

I made a Calvin and Hobbes practice/tribute/fan artwork.

Since I was comfortable with the technique after the commissioned piece last week, I went ahead and produced a start-to-finish video of this one.

Calvin and Hobbes

Recently I received this humbling message about one of my comic art prints. I wanted to share it here, with permission. I feel truly blessed when my work is able to touch and communicate with others on an emotional level.

“Hello, I wanted to tell you my story. In 2016, I was diagnosed with non-curable cancer. Five weeks later, my firstborn and only daughter was with me at treatment. She fainted, and upon being checked, out we discovered she too had Stage 4 colon cancer. We did cancer treatments together. She passed away November 17th, 2016. I’m still battling. Six months before she died, my son was in a horrific accident that left him in a coma and permanently in a nursing home. This has devastated our family… When I saw this about deviled eggs, I cried and laughed, as you see [Daughter] and I made deviled eggs together for every family get together. I don’t mean 2 dozen, we made 10 dozen for our family of 18! This comic was us to a tee! Thank you for bringing back so many memories. [Daughter] raised chickens and ducks, bees and rabbits… she had chicken dishes and signs about “wicked chickens make deviled eggs” even… She’d approve of this purchase… I’d like to send you a photo of her. And [Son] who could eat a dozen by himself!”

Devilled Eggs

I forgot to mention in this week’s vlog, but at the gym, I am finally able to do a real bench press, bar only — about 45lbs. I probably could have put another 10lbs on the bar, but I did not have a spotter and did not want to risk injury. In the past I could never lift the bar up once I got it down, so even though it is a small thing, this is still a big milestone for me. Next is a push-up!

Monthly Spotlight: Bob Lipski

Posted in spotlight on April 4th, 2019 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Monthly Spotlight: Bob Lipski

“Monthly spotlight” is a recurring feature of this blog where once per month, I introduce you to the biography and creative work of some of my best friends and colleagues. Please take a moment to learn about them!

This month’s spotlight is on friend Bob Lipski. In Bob’s own words…


“My name is Bob Lipski and I have been making comics in the Twin Cities since roughly 2001. I grew up reading comics; mostly ‘Peanuts,’ ‘Archie,’ and of course, ‘Calvin and Hobbes.’ I was obsessed with Batman and the X-Men in Junior High, but when I got to High School I discovered ‘Sandman’ by Neil Gaiman and was hooked on non-superhero stuff for a long time. I stopped reading comics when ‘Sandman’ wrapped up, and I thought I was done with them. But when I was in my 20s I got a part-time job at DreamHaven Books, and discovered comics all over again. This time I was drawn to James Kochalka, Alex Robinson, and Julie Doucet. I was amazed at the auto-biographical stuff that Adrian Tomine was doing, and thought I could take a crack at making my own comics. I always liked to draw but this was a new adventure.”

Cover of Uptown Girl by Bob Lipski

“My first comic was a simple, one-page quasi-biographical thing called ‘Fake Farm Landscape.’ Really different than the stuff I do now, but it was stuff about me growing up and stupid stuff I did. I learned a lot about panel structure and balloon placement. I published it on the Internet and did that for a while; maybe a year, maybe longer. I got tired of talking about myself and started a new comic called ‘Uptown Girl.’ It was set in Minneapolis, about a plucky young reporter, and was in the spirit of ‘Archie’ comics and ‘Seinfeld.’ I self-published it monthly for 75 issues. I loved doing that comic. The monthly schedule was a grind. I was inspired by books by Kevin Cannon, and I wanted to up my art game. My wife and I just had our second child, and it was a good time to step away from the monthly schedule, spend more time with my family, and more time making comics instead of spending every Saturday at Kinkos. I went on to publish five original ‘Uptown Girl’ graphic novels (and one retrospective) before wrapping up the series. All in all, I made ‘Uptown Girl’ stories for around 13 years.”

Comics by Bob Lipski

“In 2015 I launched my current comic, ‘The Incredible Retros,’ which I publish five times a week. It’s about a team of superheroes fighting villains in the year 2438. It is very much a mash-up of X-Men and ‘The Simpsons,’ I think. Epic adventures with funny dialogue. I think it’s funny, anyway. I am also working on a new stand-alone graphic novel called ‘Norah Locke’ and it’s pretty much ‘The Legend of Zelda’ but set in White Bear Lake where I live. It’s going to be like 500 pages, and I hope to finish it before I die.”

“So that’s me. I have a wonderful wife and two great kids. It’s a better life than I thought I would ever have.”

Jin’s Note: Through Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, The Retros second print-copy volume “Secret Identity” is available through a Kickstarter campaign.

Comics by Bob Lipski

Learn more:
The Retros
The Retros @ Facebook
Bob Lipski @ WordPress
Bob Lipski @ Instagram
Bob Lipski @ Twitter

[VIDEO BLOG] Jin’s Office Tour

Posted in health, video on April 3rd, 2019 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on [VIDEO BLOG] Jin’s Office Tour

A short video tour because MY OFFICE IS CLEAN!

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

Jin's Office

So, I have been on ADHD medication for almost two weeks now, and this has been a game-changer for me. It feels incredible to not be exhausted all of the time. This drug is also used to treat narcolepsy, which makes sense, but even with a full eight hours of sleep and multiple energy drinks in me I would often be sleepy throughout the day. I drastically reduced my caffeine intake!! Other than the first few days of caffeine withdrawal headaches, I have felt great.

Tuesday last week, I completed the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) so my therapist can do more of a general evaluation, and help me develop more effective strategies to accomplish my goals. Since beginning my medication I have been on time to my day job every day, knocked out a list of over-due errands, cleaned and organized my office and supplies, and created that past-due watercolour commission in a week instead of a month. (Actually less, because I painted it once, was not satisfied, and redid the whole thing.) The lower dose is sufficient to keep my head in the game at my day job, but I did need more to keep my ass at the table while I was inking and painting. It feels so good to just DO WHAT I WANT TO DO, rather than chase every stray thought or shiny object in the periphery of my brain. And I found even as the medication wears off for the day, or the days of “break” I have taken when it is not needed (recommended by the doctor to help reduce tolerance), I feel less overwhelmed. I can listen when people talk to me, it does not turn into gobbledegook after five minutes! I can remember things for longer than thirty seconds! I CAN READ A BOOK. WITH THE PAGES. IN ORDER.

Golden Hour after Bill Watterson

Golden Hour after Bill Watterson

So, yeah, game-changer. I am also back on my carb-free protein shakes, and in the gym four or five days per week. Sadly I did lose some of my gainz. I am working out harder and more frequently than before, and eating more. Now I get to really learn how quickly I can build muscle. On to Swolehalla!!!

Here we go!

Posted in health on March 24th, 2019 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Here we go!

No vlog this week — I am still feeling a little under the weather, mostly with a persistent cough. I do not really feel bad otherwise, so it may be some form of allergies, as Spring is breaking out here. Regardless, I will not subject you to my mouth full of lozenges and occasional sneezing. I also want to locate a couple of items before I record a “video tour” of my workspace.

Thursday morning I met with my psychiatrist, and after speaking with her for about an hour and a half, I left with a prescription for the lowest dosage of an extended-release ADHD stimulant medication. Thursday felt weird. By the evening, I was in an exceptionally crabby mood, which improved after eating. I was able to stay at my computer desk and edit about seventy photographs along with the video for my Dugsi Academy visit, including the corresponding posts and uploads. That took roughly ten hours with a working dinner break. Friday and Saturday, I worked at my day job. Friday I felt very “awake” and definitely noticed the crash about eight hours in. However, I am also reducing myself down from a high caffeine intake, and one Excedrin gave me a second wind about an hour later. Saturday was “smoother” and my co-workers were surprised to see me show up a few minutes early for my shift. I did not really make any extra effort, but it is easier to be punctual when not distracted by everything, constantly. Time will tell if this dose is effective long-term, though she did give me her permission to double-up if I feel I need it. I suspect that may be necessary for my most tedious projects, especially inking.

Saturday evening I also noticed I felt much less compelled to check my phone constantly, or respond to messages instantly. In my interview the psychiatrist did bring up OCD, which I have long suspected I have a mild degree of. Door locking and checking repetitively is the big one, related to childhood traumas, but primarily the type centered around rumination. (This is, in fact, where the title of my blog comes from, sharing a title with this series of comics — which in retrospect is more accurately an illustration of ADHD.) She commented that I seem quite analytical and offered me to take the MMPI if I would like to, so I am going to complete that this week as scheduling permits, before I see her and the therapist again. They both seem significantly more insightful than the therapist I saw for anxiety issues in 2016, which was a waste of time.

The best I can describe what it has been like “inside” my head until this point is to imagine yourself locked in a room with a dozen televisions and countless radios, playing different and sometimes contradictory channels at full volume, constantly. It creates a mental “fog” that demands a huge amount of energy and deliberate effort to stick with one track of thought, even manifesting into physical exhaustion. The bursts of hyperfocus on projects I am excited about are where I have traditionally gotten big things accomplished. Of course, that can be, rarely, artificially-induced by procrastinating until deadlines, etc.

By Friday and Saturday, I started to feel the “fog” clear, as if putting on the correct pair of eye-glasses for the first time. It is a strangely calm, quiet, and peaceful sensation, nothing like the lethargy and sluggishness characteristic of anxiety drugs I have taken in the past like lorazepam. I am confident that with the combination of medication, feedback from my therapist, and lifestyle modifications (such as using earplugs to fight overstimulation), my struggles with productivity can finally be overcome. I have seven books to finish.

Five years ago, I accepted a commission for a watercolour piece “in the style of Bill Watterson” or as closely as I can emulate it. I still cannot recall why?! I accepted this fool’s errand to begin with, but I decided I am ready to tackle it at this time. How quickly I can complete this is going to be the first real test of the efficacy of my ADHD medication. Let the experiment begin.

“March Reading Month” at Dugsi Academy

Posted in work on March 22nd, 2019 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on “March Reading Month” at Dugsi Academy

Yesterday after I got back from the psychiatrist office, I finally had the energy and time to sit down and edit the photos from my visit to Dugsi Academy on March 5th. Many thanks to my friend Ben Cooper for photography and video of this event. The kids almost knocked over the tripod a few times, and there is no way I could have had such lovely shots without his help.

The first-grade girls were possibly more excited by my makeup, hair, and hat, than the activity sheets I made for them. Fortunately, I was not bothered by them grabbing at me until they started trying to remove my hat!

Jen at Dugsi Academy

Jen at Dugsi Academy

Jen at Dugsi Academy

It was a great time, and I hope to receive similar opportunities in the future. When I have had a chance to touch-up the activity sheets I made, as well as produce a few new ones, I plan on making them available as free downloads on a special all-ages webpage for parents, teachers, and grown-up kids.

When I have more materials prepared I would also like to reach out to public libraries and other children’s organizations within the community.

View the full photo album here.