Archive for ‘Blog’


You may not care…

…but I uploaded some new photos to my Flickr page today.  If you’re curious to see what the Kingston lakeshore looks like in November, then head on over.  Link is on the side –>


Urge to update rising…

Yeah, so it’s currently exam period… which, y’know, actually gives me a legitimate reason to skip updates.  However, I would really like to get a 3 page special on exams (originally drawn 2 years ago) done before Christmas.  I *think* I should be able to get the first one up tomorrow night… we’ll see.

MJ


Going home…

goin’ home for the break.. be back in 2010… more comics then.

MJ


Twitter

I now have a Twitter account: http://twitter.com/scfelixmarcus


Just so you know…

I’ve not abandoned this site.  It’s just that the planned next comic is going to be a little on the epic side.  I really can’t rush it.  Having said that, I may post some less-awesome pages soon (if I can find time). Epic new comic is a long-term project that I can’t let take control of my drawing time right now.  It will be awesome when it finally gets done, but that won’t be for a while.

MJ


You know what’d be awesome?!

An update. Yeah. An update would be reeeeeal frick’n sweet.

Until such time, you can all ponder this vital bit of knowledge which I shall now to impart to you: If you run a website, or websites, make sure they work on a variety of browsers.  Namely, Firefox.  My sites were a little bit broken on Firefox, and – since I use Safari – had been for a couple of months.

Grr.

Anyway, this is the last week of school, and I’m going home next weekend… so that update will either be up before Wednesday, or not at all (until after the 14th).

MJ


I can haz coping skillz?

Well folks,

It is late, and I cannot sleep. Troubled thoughts infest my mind, and I feel the only way for me to find rest is to share. Now, while I know that sharing in such a public forum as this is generally inadvisable, I am – at this point – quite incapable of stopping.

I am gravely disappointed with myself. It has become an unfortunate hobby of mine to look back at my past and think of how sharp I used to be.  I would hold hours long conversations with friends and be interesting, amicable, and enthusiastic.  I see myself now, and am disgusted.  While I still have good friends, and still engage in stimulating dialogues, I find that they are often without the verve of those from my highschool years.

I now feel slow, under-informed, and boring.  It is not that the life I currently lead is any less exciting than that of past years, it is that the fun of discussion seems to have evaporated.

What happened?  Where did I lose my ability to write for hours, and talk with lasting excitement?

One possibility is that the themes of discussion have become so much larger, thus requiring more focus, time, and effort to fully understand and consider.  In highschool (and my first year of university), topics were very personal, petty, and – to be honest – inconsequential.

Perhaps the reason my interactions felt so meaningful was that I was experiencing nearly the exact same situations as my peers.  We were all in the same classes, all trying to survive highschool, and all hoping to find our way in post-secondary education.  Now, however, we are all on seemingly divergent paths.  How can I possibly be expected to hold the same concerns as a nurse, or an engineer?

It has become increasingly difficult to find the common ground that united me with my friends. It may be that I have just as much to say as I once did, but now cannot find an appropriate outlet for my distress.

I believe that people grow and change.  Growth, to me, continues as long as a person experiences and learns new things.  It is our experiences that determine our world-view, and shape our personalities. Once you stop living closely to your friends, you stop growing at the same rate, or – more accurately – in the same way as them.  Resultantly, you become a different individual, one your old friends – who have also grown – may not recognize.

I am scared. Scared of the difficulty I am now going to have relating to my peers.  So many things that once defined my existence have waned in importance, while other – more specialized – interests have grown in weight. Topics of conversation that once formed a substantial portion of my socializing arsenal, now fail to keep me entertained. I grow bored of my conversation before my friends.

This may seem to be all too self-piteous, but I feel these are legitimate concerns.  How does one socialize with people who fail to interest? Friends are important, and I generally feel it to be a case of “the more the better,” but if every conversation is based on falsehood, how can the friendship exist?

The solution might simply be a diversification of interests.  Maybe… but I have been interested in so many things over the course of the past ten years, and each has reached and passed its peak.  I suppose I am just idly waiting for some spark to rekindle my enthusiasm, but that is ill-advised. I should be actively pursuing new experiences!

It has been too long since reality forced me to take an active stance. Since entering post-secondary education, I have been drifting listlessly along my life’s path, sliding by solely on natural ability.  There have been active moments, to be sure; experiences worth remembering and retelling, but I cannot help but feel disappointed with myself.

I have met great friends – people with whom I share many common interests – who will continue to be a major part of who I am.  I am so happy and thankful they decided to include me in their lives.  I am, however, worried that – as we each pursue our respective goals – our conversations, our ability to relate to each other, will deteriorate. I am therefore torn between a very dire need for change, and a deeply held desire to remain the same.

Please, do not misunderstand: I am happy that we are all moving closer to our dreams.  I am thankful for the good times we have had, and the good times that are to come.  The future may be uncertain, and uncertainty may be frightening, but that does not make the possibilities any less bright, any less positive.

Happy thoughts.

Thanks for reading,

MJ


Northwestern Town

I find myself filled with an odd kind of anxiety, a sort of frantic stage-fight that refuses to subside. The obvious cause of this nervousness is my impending trip to Kingston, whereat I will continue my post-secondary education. Mystery solved.

I am, however, confused by the very existence of this unease. I suppose it is an intense reluctance to leave the safety of home for the uncertainty of school, but – paradoxically – it is home which finds itself in a state of uncertainty, with school being relatively stable.

For the benefit of those unfamiliar with my hometown, I will elaborate. Kenora is a decaying city, whose glory days have long since passed. Once very wealthy, its inhabitants gleefully lived ignorant of the world’s economic woes. Undereducated labourers earned wages capable of putting several children through school, and – while ever-present – racial tensions were easily hidden.

Kenora was a forestry town. It arrived at its height mere months before its crash, supporting – at one time – a lumber mill, a pulp and paper mill, and a plant which produced wood-based building materials. It was also a service centre, having both the region’s best hospital and its largest airfield. Two highschools, several public libraries, and a community college provided education for not just the city itself, but also the outlying First Nations communities. Situated on Lake of the Woods, renowned for its rugged beauty, Kenora also attracted summer residents from across the continent. Naturally, local businesses gouged the vacationers, and City Hall created new taxes.

Pulp and paper mills needed a healthy newsprint industry to survive, and – with the popularization of online technologies – said industry dwindled. This brought massive layoffs, and seemingly-unreasonable pay-cuts. Obstinate unions clashed with struggling corporations until, eventually, mills just shut down and locked up. Kenora’s mill, the city’s number one employer, was no different.

The next hit came with the falling U.S. Dollar, and the surging Loonie. Parity (and NAFTA) meant that our lumber, shipped primarily to the States, was no longer economical, thus forcing further layoffs and prolonged shutdowns. With two of the city’s recession-proof industries now dead, survival rested on the building materials plant, and tourism.

Needless to say, the housing market bottomed out, and construction in the States faltered. Combined with the high Canadian Dollar, the city’s final plant was also forced to scale back (thankfully, due to its product’s exclusivity, it would remain in operation).

Now all that is left is tourism, but the aforementioned gouging (and other such unfriendly behaviour), has resulted in a reluctance to buy local. Many summer residents bring supplies with them, or stock up in the nearest major city, Winnipeg. To be fair, many in-town shops have – since the crash – taken massive steps to redefine themselves, and the more business-savvy of the group are prospering.

With a workforce far surpassing the number of available jobs, it is not uncommon to find individuals who rely on employment insurance – such people find work during the summer months, and stay on payroll just long enough to qualify. It is not surprising, then, that the once-prominent middle-class has dwindled substantially. The city’s demographics have shifted drastically during the past few years, and – while there may not be a conclusive connection – the crime rate has shot up.

All these problems seem so far away when I’m at home, looking out my bedroom window. I grew up on a farm, outside of town, and have never really had any contact with urban Kenoraites (outside of highschool, that is). As I my gaze drifts upwards, away from the computer’s screen, I am met with a scene befitting a boreal fairytale: with a backdrop of shimmering poplar leaves, swaying red pines, and gleaming birch bark, stands a doe with her two fawns. A spectacular sunset will give way to dense fog, the rugged terrain transforming into islands of treetops, surrounded by a lake of haunting cloud.

My parents’ property – having been in the family for generations – has become my personal sanctuary, where my childhood’s untarnished view of humanity and the world can be revived (if only temporarily). Here, I am not expected to fish, hunt, sled, drink – anything that has come to define many of my peers. It is a weighty illusion to maintain, and such romanticism has always led to disappointment.

The area surrounding the farm has become increasingly industrial, as contracting companies (providing cheap labour for the remaining plant and nearby mines), machine shops, and storage facilities move to the less expensive, rural properties. Well-maintained yards have begun their fall into disrepair, and the road has become rough.

In the end, I suppose my anxiety could be more accurately described as a fear of losing my connection to this precious piece of land. I love school, and have enjoyed my time in the province’s southeastern corner, but my heart will always belong to the northwest.

MJ


Hi. Sorry.

Hey folks,

Just checking in to apologize for my neglectful ways. This year is providing me with many great ideas… ideas too great to button down. Still, I have been sketching (though, admittedly, less frequently).

Hope to update soon!

MJ


Hi!

What’s up? It was recently brought to my attention (by the author of -> THIS <- fine webcomic) that I had been neglecting my duties. I’m posting this to inform you that I will be uploading SOMETHING onto this site within the next 24 hours. Guaranteed. If I don’t, I’ll… I don’t know… do something very silly in public and post the ensuing Youtube videos instead.

But yeah, before I start drawing, I’d like to also say that my little Mac mini is once again being called into service. I bought Painter 11 when it was on sale ($99… !!!!!!!) but haven’t been able to get it working on my Vaio. Funny how that works… actually, not really. It’s sad. Very, very sad.

Anyway, comicking now, talk later!

(In the meantime go check out Jayden and Crusader, as linked-to above!)

UPDATE: So far, so good with Painter 11. Worth it alone for the pencil tools. So natural…

UPDATE: UPDATE!!! YAY! Hopefully you don’t have to wait another 4-6 months to hear from me again. Also, Painter 11, you’re alright. Oh, and to you, Mac mini, take ‘er easy, eh bud? You’re gettin’ up there, and, well, I don’t think you should be pushing yourself so hard.