What will undoubtedly go down through history as one of the strangest and most tragic years in collective memory, 2016, #TheYearofTheReaper began with David Bowie's BlackStar, one of his last videos from his final album of the same name released two days before his death on January 10th, which Slate.com described as "Deeply Weird, Unsettling". Bowie clearly saw something coming, and numerous critics tried throughout the year to interpret what on earth BlackStar and a second video, Lazarus, could possibly mean.
In immense retrospect, bruised and battered, shaken, and some of us grieving from what we endured from this past year, we realize two things from the symbolism: First, that we presently cover and protect our True Sight from the world with bandages and fake, false eyes crafted of one useless thing or another, viewing the world instead through faulty and outright false outlets that don't allow us to see clearly at all--we only think we see them true. His first message to us was to take those buttons and bandages off. The Progressive movement that rose in numbers in 2016 now calls that, "Being Woke." We're going to need it.
And, two: Life is fleeting, tomorrow is not promised. The year has borne down on me to the point that I want to try to calmly wrap up ALL my projects RIGHT NOW, not knowing if I will see tomorrow, and yet I absolutely must find the time to enjoy my life along the way.
In a year of devastating loss, when so many of our heroes and icons were sucked up into the Cosmos, we find ourselves standing all alone, looking at each other. When all our heroes are gone, the only ones left to stand up and step forward...are us. Our youth are going to need new heroes. What will YOUR legacy be?
I will be very busy in 2017. In the upcoming "Year of the Book" I will be finalizing the graphic novel editions of A Deviant Mind into paperback editions, and will be offering a new chapter every two weeks as I change my habits and hone my writing as well as my penciling. House of the Muses HAS TO BE FINISHED in 2017. Family members keep asking me what I want for my birthday on January 3rd: I said, "Get me some Comic Art Boards from Blue Line Pro!" My wife said she will make sure to get me an ugly Christmas sweater instead. I think she was kidding. I can never be sure these days.
I will also be working with Victor Green aka CompleteArtist to script a three issue episode of a story he has created. He approached me with this project back in October, but under the immense weight of 2016 with family health issues and work which interfered with my ability to get my OWN work done--and the resultant depression from all those obstacles--I had to make a firm commitment to keep my promise and put it on my publishing schedule. Writing on that story also begins in January. I plan to have all three of Victor's books available on IndyPlanet between now and February.
Happy New Year, and may 2017 bring us some peace after one of the worst years in our history. I think so many of us have suffered so many hard knocks and endured so much stress that now we have the stuff in us to stand strong against whatever lies ahead.