Pointless Arguments 101

Just because you won't stop, doesn't mean I can't try and make you.


I spent such a crazy long time working on this piece and I feel that the Tumblr resizing detracted from the detail, so I figured I’d talk about the process and offer up a closer look at some of the areas of interest. 

First up we have my initial rough sketch, which you may noticed has changed a bit. This was actually whittled down from a much larger idea for a piece that was sort of two sided and featured villains on one side with good guys on the other. I kind of kept that with the Dalek/Tardis dogfight in the sky, but I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to do both sides of it.

The next shot shows some of my inks and it should give you guys an idea of why it took me so bloody long to complete it. I drew in all of the extra details that you don’t even see just in case I wanted to move stuff around.

Third shot shows Amy and Rory. Initially I was drawing inspiration from George Perez who has done a lot of superhero group shots, but I also wanted to give it the epic feel of a religious painting. Those often feature interactions between characters that tell their stories. I thought about Amy and Rory and how the universe constantly tries to separate them. Initially I drew Rory being sucked into the crack in time, but it didn’t look right, so I used the angels from his final appearance to give the piece symmetry. 

I don’t think the Eleventh Doctor ever proposed to River Song officially, but I like to think that if he did, he’d do it with a Jammy Dodger. Sort of ring-shaped innit? And Dorium Maldovar (who deserves more screen time) wouldn’t be amused. Meanwhile, the shrewd Sixth Doctor is trying to take a peek at River’s journal of spoilers. Naughty!

The First and Fourth Doctors never interacted on screen, so I tried to imagine what it would look like. Tom Baker offering Hartnel a Jelly Baby as he over-affectionately leans on the shoulder of his not-exactly-amused past self seemed about right. Sarah Jane Smith was a late addition, but I wanted her in there from the start, I just didn’t know how to represent her. I decided to stand her near her Doctor and the version of her I used was plucked straight from her last appearance in the classic series. 

For those of you who never saw the Pertwee run, the Third Doctor used to ride around in a classic yellow car called Bessie. Bessie appeared again much later in the Seventh Doctor’s run, which is why I have Pertwee driving and McCoy in the passenger seat. Capaldi needed to be in this, but not knowing much about him, besides that people have speculated that his Doctor’s wardrobe is inspired by Pertwee’s, I opted to depict him riding shotgun.

This brings us to the Fifth Doctor and the Eighth Doctor, who are interacting with the Tardis Console built by the Eleventh Doctor and Idris in The Doctor’s Wife. Initially I planned on putting Idris in here, but it didn’t pan out. The Fifth Doctor is quizzically inspecting this technology, whereas McGann is wearing his Night of the Doctor costume and once again carrying the cup he used to force his regeneration.

I didn’t want to give it all away, so there’s more going on than I’ve listed. More references and character interactions. I wanted to give people something they could stare at and ponder. 

So, hope you like it, if you’re interested in buying a print, Bottleneck Gallery will be selling a limited run of 13 (one for each Doctor depicted). All prints will be hand-finished with glow-in-the-dark flourishes. 



The Veronica Mars movie got me to write a review for free. Here’s why.


When The Muppets came back to our screens in 2011, they begged one fundamental question - does the world still need the Muppets?

Three years later, you might think that Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell, and all the rest of the ‘09-ers are wondering the same thing - does the world still need Veronica Mars? Or is this fan-funded film just one last ride in the saddle for old time’s sake?

Of course the difference between Kermit and Veronica is that Mars isn’t out to take the world by storm, just the fans who brought her back from her long absence. Right?

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Inspired by every student whose told they can’t be an artist because it doesn’t “make enough money”.

this is a very easy thing to say of you’ve never been totally skint

money doesn’t buy happiness, but I’d rather be sad and able to feed myself after paying rent

'it doesn't take much to live comfortably” is a naïve statement to make

I agree, this is very…out of touch.  And, it certainly does take a lot of money to “Own a yarn shop!”  Plus, “loving to knit” has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with owning that yarn shop.  Owning a yarn shop is maintaining a business wherein you buy yarn from suppliers and pay people to help you sell that yarn to other people who, oh, say, aren’t spending their time running yarn shops…

Plus, you have to pay for the lease on the shop space itself, pay for the electricity to run the lights, more electricity or maybe the gas to heat the place, advertising to let people know about it, pay the ridiculous prices for the cash register and attendant software (because that’s a niche racket for independent shops), pay for the water and sewer bills because the space will have those somewhere, pay for the maintenance of that entire retail space, pay for the security system services, pay for other little things you might not realize, like, say, if you want to play music legally, it has to be licensed and not just the radio or some music you have—I worked for an independent toy store and saw a lot of this firsthand…

I love comics from people who don’t actually live in the real world where responsibilities and consequences happen. They’re always a fascinating insight into a realm where you can just live happily on hobbies, wishes and pixie-dust farts.

Especially at the absurd prices the yarn stores get for pixie-dust farts today!

Look, I don’t mind this kind of advice, but they need an addendum: you have to understand that you may not be able to make a living doing the thing that makes you happiest in life. It’s worth looking into. It’s worth trying. But you might find out that it’s not happening for you — or that you can still enjoy your passions as hobbies (maybe even ones that bring in a little extra income as a bonus!) while you get another job to pay the bills. 

I’ve spent most of my adult life following my creative passions, and I’ve had some amazing opportunities because of it. I’ve had jobs that people go “oh my god that must be SO FUN”, I’ve had my work on store shelves. I’ve officially written material for Transformers, G.I. Joe, Spider-Man, Kingdom Hearts, Mega Man, and more. I’ve done comic work both written and art. I know industry pros, I’ve gotten to travel, I’ve done some work that makes me and others happy. Fuck, we’re making a toy line, for crying out loud. Stuff that my high-school self could only dream of.

I’ve also spent good chunks of my adult life working annoying, soul-sucking, physically and mentally strenuous, thankless jobs in retail, offices, and food service between-slash-during those “dream jobs”, because “dream jobs” aren’t automatically self-sustaining, never-ending projects. Companies close. Markets shift. Rights-owners contract elsewhere. Upper managements change and have their own favored people to work with. Shit happens.

I still keep at my passions. Aside from the ongoing work on Transformers and the aforementioned toys, the last couple years I’ve been fortunate to do work with some amazingly talented people who are putting their passions on screen in the online video realm, and they’ve inspired me and best-friend-slash-creative-partner Trent to go at it ourselves, and it’s been very rewarding… creatively. Financially, well, it’s a little bit of lunch money, I can get some cheese and bacon on my fast-food burger. But not once have I got it into my head that the best idea evar would be to not work some other job that sustains me financially as I work on things I love because YOUR PASSION HAPPY IS MOST IMPORTANT EVAR

I fucking CAN’T. The real world keeps shitting in my cornflakes and I’ve got fucking financial responsibilities that could have dire consequences if not taken care of, and a goddamn Blip check for a few bucks a month ain’t gonna cut it. As it is, I’m pretty lucky to even be where I am now, as I kinda owe my family a LOT for helping me through rough years in several ways (and frankly I hate that I’ve had to but I kinda like living indoors and eating first-hand food). I’m fortunate I haven’t had some kind of medical emergency, because there’s some shit that’ll financially ruin you for a long long time.

I’m not saying “don’t follow your passions”. Your hobbies and passions should help keep you sane, lift your spirits, give you release. And I know several people who DO make a living by doing the thing they love. It IS worth looking into.

But comics like this virtually never have any grounding in reality and just barf up a message of extreme lack of self-awareness. I legitimately wonder what kind of life the people who make these live, socio-economics-wise, how much they got from their parents. How old they are. The people I know who are making their livings on webcomics or online videos or in video games or whatever by and large not only went through the “shit job” phase, the reason they make their living now was because they WORKED DAMN HARD at their passions for a long time to get it there. I see the production schedules they keep and it’s staggering. And a lot of them STILL work damn hard and are amazing talents but still need that extra boost because well, shit happens.

Just because you can knit a baby sweater doesn’t mean you can successfully operate a damn store that will forever sustain you financially.

Follow your passions, but not over a fucking cliff. Not everyone was given a parachute.

The lesson I can impart to anyone who wants to actively pursue their passions in a job that’s focused around your creativity and something you really enjoy doing?


I didn’t get to make Atop the Fourth Wall my job overnight. In fact, I was still working at Barnes and Noble for about a year or two before I finally decided to make the videos my priority. And why did I make that decision? Because at that point, I was making more money doing the videos than I was working at Barnes and Noble. The decision was justified in that I could make more money if I focused my time exclusively towards the videos.

And even then, I WAS still living with my parents at the time as a safety net. I wasn’t going to be an idiot by just burning my bridges and expecting to become crowned-king at this.

YES, pursue your passions and dreams… but don’t be a friggin’ idiot about it.

Thing that makes me happiest in life is eating nachos and drinking beer


Well, if you’ve made it to the bottom of this, here’s some further reading.

Raise your hand if you were bullied by ADULTS as a child.




Parents, teachers, the parents of friends, you name it.

mmm, my last name is very obviously and inescapably Polish. almost every ‘dumb Polack’ joke I ever heard, I heard from my 5th grade teacher—told at my expense, in front of other students. 

The parents of other kids routinely mistook me for a boy, and when I corrected them, it was always “Really?” or “how was I supposed to know? or the always-popular “whatever.”

My first grade teacher frequently singled me out as being the class idiot and would actually tell people to laugh at me, because it was what I deserved. I spent the rest of my public school career being beat up regularly thanks to her, and I’ll never forget it.

I call this one “Universal Love Song”. Feel free to get in touch if you want to use it in either your big budget Hollywood picture or your quirky indie romance!

Writing an online dating piece — a how NOT to guide

Not long ago, a bisexual friend of mine living in Memphis was messaged on a dating website by a woman who listed herself as straight. Recognizing the woes that come of being outwardly bi on a dating site, my friend just assumed the girl wanted to keep that side of herself private. And, hey, this girl was cute, they had dovetailing interests, so why not, right?

Well the “date” was a waste. The woman in question was, in fact, straight and even had a long-distance boyfriend. So, bewildered and kind of annoyed, my friend called it a bust and moved on.

Then this article came out.

It turned out, that this woman, Kerry Crawford, is a journalist and was researching online dating for an article she wanted to write. She never told my friend this. So far as we know, she never told any of the people she’d gone out on a date with.

Now, I don’t know Kerry Crawford at all. She may be a lovely person. But this article she wrote is the definition of bad journalism and the way she researched it is entirely unethical.

But it’s important that we define exactly why this is not how you journalism.

The most obvious journalistic problem is that Kerry came in with a very clear bias which she used as her hypothesis (that online dating is inferior to dating “in real life”). She at no point makes any effort to disprove her own theory. It’s almost as if Kerry specifically sought out things that would prove her assumption. 

The second problem is that, according to my friend, Kerry was already dating someone while conducting her research. So she wasn’t actually open to dating any of the people she went out with — again she seemed only to be conducting research to prove her assumption. I can’t imagine she was very surprised when she discovered she wasn’t interested in another woman since SHE’S STRAIGHT.

But that’s just why the article isn’t very good. And, hey, that happens. I’m an online journalist, too, and I’ve put out some less-than-stellar work to hit a deadline. Sometimes things happen.

The ethical problem here, though, is less understandable. Had Kerry told her dates that she was doing this for research, then there would be no problem beyond the fact that she kind of stacked the deck to prove her own point. But, instead, Kerry kept that particular fact to herself. Then she used what little data she’d amassed without anyone’s permission.

And the real irony is that Kerry wasn’t even entirely off-base at first. Dating in Memphis (whether online or not) can be difficult if you don’t fit a certain type. And there are plenty of people in Memphis who aren’t getting any younger and are beginning to worry they won’t be able to find someone to share their lives with.

After the article was posted, my friend contacted Kerry both in the article and on Twitter because she was upset that she’d been used. Someone at the publication, the Memphis Flyer, deleted almost all the comments pointing out the unethical nature of Kerry’s research including the one written by my friend. Kerry did apologize on Twitter, but not in any meaningful way that showed she understood why what she’d done was wrong.

It’s also worth noting that Kerry never even mentions in her article that she went out on a date with a woman, which raises all sorts of other questions that you may feel free to speculate on at your leisure.

The bottom line is this — if Kerry had been honest from the get go, she probably would have gotten some really compelling data she could have used to write a truly comprehensive article. Hell, she could have contacted people for the study online and “in real life”. She might have even learned something!

But she didn’t. She lied. She wasted peoples’ time, emotional energy, and money. And that sucks. Because dating is really, really hard. Especially if you’re a thirty-something queer in Tennessee.

The art of grieving and motorcycle maintenance

There are lots of ways to process the seemingly insurmountable grief that comes from losing someone you love. And while most are valid, and all are understandable, there is one thing you must never, ever do.

Don’t blame yourself.

It might sound obvious, but the human brain is surprisingly stupid for such an intricate and complex piece of equipment. Sometimes it only takes one incomputable fact to send those firing synapses into a feedback loop.

Your brain wants a pattern, a puzzle it can solve. It wants to make sense of all the things. And, really, we all want to feel like we have control, that we can overcome anything if only we try hard enough.

And then your friend kills themselves and the artifice of us all being the heroes in some kind of grand narrative gets completely blown to hell.

So your brain does its thing, it tries to compensate, tries to take this seemingly impossible and horrible thing and work it into the narrative of control.

That impulse? Fight it. Because therein lies the path to madness.

Because, in your effort to regain control you will do the one thing you should never ever do — you will blame yourself. You will search for the moment when you cut right when you should have swerved left instead, you’ll question all the things you said and you’ll question the things you didn’t even more.

You’ll convince yourself that you’re the villain because you let this horrible thing happen. And it will destroy you.

It may not sound like much better, but embrace this truth and believe it — you cannot save people, and that is okay. Because you can still love them, be there for them, share all the highs and lows for whatever time you get. You can be grateful and sorrowful, you can help the people falling apart around you and let them help you when you can’t keep it together anymore. And you can carry the spirit of the people you’ve lost with you for the rest of your life. Let that be enough, because it is, you know.

But don’t blame yourself. Because this? This is not your fault.