Whelp, it’s been ups and downs lately.
A few weeks ago I was watching BoJack Horseman season 2. I really like that show. It’s funny, and very much in line with what we tried to do with I’m Famous! and Black Snow. Kind of a hybrid of the two. But that’s not why I bring it up.
At the start of this season, BoJack is really struggling with trying to be a more positive person. It isn’t in his nature and he has to work really hard at it. And ultimately it doesn’t really work. At one point in the season he has something of a break through when he and his frenemy Mr. Peanut Butter have this exchange:
Mr. Peanutbutter: “You’re a millionaire movie star with a girlfriend who loves you, acting in your dream movie. What more do you want? What else could the universe possibly owe you?!”
BoJack: “I…want to feel good about myself. The way you do. And I don’t know how. I don’t know if I can.”
I found that very poignant. And I must admit I find BoJack a little too relatable. In fact, as I watched this season I started to think I probably suffer from depression. Not an entirely new thought or a revelation exactly, but something that felt more true as I watched BoJack and his problems.
I know it’s pretty silly to have a Netflix cartoon be the catalyst for self reflection, but I don’t think we can control these things. I’ll share a messed up memory with you. I was around the age of ten and my parents had just started their separation. I was watching a very special episode of the always saccharine Full House, where D.J. and Steve broke up. I found it really dull and annoying, and said something about how stupid I thought it was. Then I turned and saw my mom crying behind me, and she said how she really connected to the show beacuse that’s how she felt about my dad right now.
Anyway, I’m not here to talk about being depressed. Last week was my birthday! One week ago I turned 32. I did my best to avoid turning it into a time to evaluate my status in life, and instead just tried to enjoy it. And for the most part I did.
On Thursday I closed a deal with a local writer to be the illustrator for her children’s book. A Message for Grandpa. Signed contract and paid money. Good stuff. A goal achieved, really. So I’m pretty excited to get to work on that. It’s kind of a dark story, as it teaches kids about death, but I think it is really well done. Here is one of my first sketches for it.
An exciting challenge that I look forward to.
Then on Saturday things went bad. I broke the website. This very blog was gone. Thankfully the comic sections were still up, but I essentially destroyed years of content on the main hub of the site. It was a series of accidents and stupid mistakes that lead up to it. And it was really hard to fix.
I decided to see if I had a backup saved on my external harddrive, and that’s when I got an even worse blow. None of my comic stuff was on either of my drives. A few days before I had made an effort to reformat one of the drives for my Mac so I could have the content duplicated on both in case something happened to one of them (which did happen to me years ago). So I did, then copied everything over from the first drive onto that second drive. Then I decided I wanted to add Time Machine to the first drive so I could get automatic backups of my computer, which required the drive to be erased of content for some reason. So I did. Then I copied all the stuff back over from drive two to drive one.
Well, apparently somehow the comics stuff never made it over to drive two. I have no idea how that could happen, as it seems everything else in the folders made it over. So now the site was gone and pretty much of the files with the drawings were too…
After many headaches, phone calls, going through annoying processes and paying money to support people I was finally able to get the site content and database back up today. I’ve also been trying several recovery programs to get back all that lost content on the drive. Which takes a really long time. I tried Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery, but that did not find the comic files. Then I tried Disk Drill, which did a better job.
Unfortunately, as of this writing I’ve only gotten about a quarter of the content I was looking for back. I ton of files came back corrupted with errors. So I may be pretty screwed.
So that’s not too good either. At least most of it has already been documented in book form and on this site. So that’s something.
But let me tell you, realizing you’ve somehow inadvertently caused your own downfall really sucks. And the idea of having to start over from scratch after some fourteen years of work is pretty daunting. Working in a digital media where your end product is just a Photoshop file and a jpg is pretty scary, because it’s easy to lose that stuff.
But here I am, ready to continue. I’ve got a signed contract and have already been paid half my fee, so I better draw this kids book! And I’ve got a really funny depression storyline all set for Optimistically Cynical, so I want to get to that. And don’t forget, I’ve got this Black Snow graphic novel I need to get back to work on. I need to buy a scanner that can handle the jumbo paper so I can finally get that first scene finished.
So, as usual, I’m down but not out. Time to pull myself back up.