Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How Do I Start Making Comics? One Great Story at a Time

We are going to dip into the mailbag, or in this century, our messages, for this one from J. Wagner in Rome, GA.

Do you make comic books for a living? My daughter wants to and she is a really talented artist. Any advice?

Sure! Work with me! lol They are part of my living. I am going to make more money in the short term from paintings, but meanwhile I'm drawing the comic I hope will break us out in a big way. (That's Integr8d Soul Comics Number One, for those of you who are late to the party!)

I've drawn quite a few and had a small sell-out run of my 2011 comic D'n'A: The Mountain, which, like everything from California days, I need to get back into print. (I just want to do it with its sequel, because getting on bookshelves via Diamond is like murder if you're not a Trade Paperback.)

But I could go on and on. Is her passion Manga comics, btw? What are some of her favorite titles? My advice will vary a wee bit depending on her heart's desire, which she'll need to tap to not only conceive projects, but complete as many as humanly possible, too.

I will start with this: however great your characters, however much you love them, remember you need One Great Story. People have to start somewhere, so think up the life of a given character for a while and see what part of that life seems like a compelling place to tell just one complete and not-too-ungodly-long tale that leaves anyone hungry for more. It will mean so much to her if she gets positive reception for one single complete effort, even if she envisions years of epics embodied in her cast. When you really care about telling that one story, you work through any problems along the way and enjoy bringing a full piece of your vision to life, in a form people can now share.

Just get together an interesting conflict that unveils the inner character in some insight, with a beginning, middle, and end.

Bring something to a conclusion and you will trust yourself more. You will have a template then which you can repeat the rest of your artistic life, throwing in all the new challenges you take up along the way, telling new insights you get about people and making characters that get hung up in people's minds.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Be Chill, Cease Ill: Volume One- it's real


Why Pretend I Meant to Live Any Other Life?

So as I answered a friend, this is how I'm living:

We only have a couple of people come by sometimes, friends made for us by Angela from work. I don't necessarily expect anyone else to actually visit, but I have Mom and Dad out there and the three cats. I've drawn visitors twice. My sisters in law also visit sometimes. Then, it's just my various contacts primarily online. I could probably invite people more often, but I work every minute I can til Angela gets home and then as always she is most of the company I really need.

I am making a couple of overtures to get regular meetups goings but if it doesn't work like so far it will be really easy to look for a city where I might find that. I like my neighbors, too, they're just hard to catch except at some late night time after work, which changes from week to week. I have my own ways of coping, but I've embraced the thing I'm creating to the point that music, visual art and writing are all friends in and of themselves. In fact, what I want to do outside of my house is almost inevitably for Art's sake or my family. I went to California to become this, fully. I can turn loose for a day at a time but even yesterday, I was still quietly practicing songs in the back seat on the ride for a while.

As I have lost the agency of the wonderful favor of the truck, I am content that I'm resigned to the whims of others as to whether I go anywhere I can't go on foot. My life is about relaxing enough, being happy enough, to accelerate towards one of any number of Next Steps each of my pursuits take. Body Happiness is so crucial to that, so I watch what I eat within reason, get some nice walks, exercise whenever I can get the habit activated and discover I love it, and meditate a little to keep the slate fresh, so to speak. The stimulation of Newness as a sense of things keeps the amount of Desire necessary to even express myself creates that paradoxical satisfaction/ dissatisfaction. I lock on to whatever's bringing me my peculiar joy like songs I take times with or favorite cartoons, and I judge myself harshly as little as necessary. No doubt, there's times some good company might've evened out a given night, but then I wonder if I don't simply require a bit of melancholy and other feelings for the sake of embodying the human experience more fully and by contrasts, appreciating deeply the difference (in what my choices are/have brought me=the good of my life as it is compared to any other way).

Since the pursuit of those deeper truths is the most valuable contribution I have for the human race outside whomever enjoys my company personally, it dictates my motives, requiring me to pursue my path empathetically rather than from any Machiavellian set of impulses despite the clarity of intellect to offer a full slate of choices. But that dictation is what some mystics would refer to as the Holy Ghost, or as Angela might put it,the higher self. it is a Self to whom I've found to be true and believe in that I find from stints of silence in the mind, a voluntary quieting of distractions that serve to distract the "floating." It is My Self, My Creator Creating, or even just the particular way I conduct thinking and living. Now I tend less to be a victim of my own rationalizations (those I shoot down by hearing how ridiculous they sound spoken to Angela, who is always steady on) and from a clean emotional starting point, which might take days or seconds depending on how much I'm reacting to "Life," I make what tickles my fancy. Practicing an instrument is another good way to freshen the mind because the Body enjoys it.

Some years ago I realized what I had to offer couldn't be expressed only verbally, but required tactile expression like song and dance and visionary stimulation borne of drawing. Once I was tormented by the ill effects financially that would accrue from living a multiple artistic life, but better I cope with balancing this life than pretend I ever meant to live any other...
https://www.createspace.com/5789419 OK y'all this is it: first book born of this writing I've shared with you here for six years. Grab it while I drop it like it's hot!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

So how was Family Fun Fest? Our single public appearance this year

Hey, I took every cheer and clap to heart! That's the energy I give you back on the next tune And it keeps me out of weighing things from any personal, negative evaluation---because, why the heck are you standing up in front of a crowd anyway, right? If no one's listening, it has no purpose and you could be doing it somewhere more comfortable And yet, you can assume just who IS listening when, at an event spread out like so.

Lots of folks came out. Thing is, most of the adults were there as part of a table to sell food. Not a lot of people came just to buy, but a few did come to play and I hope everyone hungry got some tasty wings and everyone thirsty tried some mango punch, as it was all homemade and outdoors to boot. Kim invited us up to sing almost as soon as we got the equipment set up for our table and, oh yeah, our film crew buddies made their first foray with the new equipment and got the first shots of the new film in the can. Children danced, played tug of war (I had a drawing request, sorry Ryan! You were the only adult on your side!), even painted their own t-shirts.

I am more self-critical when I fail to incorporate my failsafes, but it was a very loose environment and there was no need to feel bad about the three amateur mistakes I made in packing. Heh, we had all our tunes in the slipcases at Schroeder's that time, and you know what? After the lights came on, we couldn't read them! lol! There WAS one thing I noticed; three of my five channels on Wash wouldn't play thru Orange Amp. I should really learn the technical reason for that. Running a bass, acoustic guitar, or vox through it should be no problem, and next time Angela's guitar will be repaired, which will broaden the sound of some numbers and bring back some of her cool solo covers (where my left hand returns to regular size and elasticity, too---that's why we space them just so!). You could think of this as one performer comparing notes with another. My issue this year has been that I concentrate on video-making, writing, drawing, even painting, and then I have to keep my music kick-started. A public performance comes up and you try to whip your skills quickly back into shape. I can't say why I always push for at least two numbers I never performed before every time, except it's good to keep learning! I think the challenge gets my pulse going in a way similar to gambling. I had that big Ed Sheeran hit "Thinkin' Out Loud" up my sleeve, but no capo (it could've been with me; there's always one missing thing that turns out to be with you after all, right?), and Phantogram's "Fall in Love" (dependent on Angie's voice; that's hers), and I meant to incorporate "California Rolls" but wondered if it would be offensive (but even church goers smoke weed ;-D), but what I end up thinking about at these mixed events is, there's no one at our table while we're performing. I spent an hour of Killer Comics playing on the sidewalk at Imagine, which was a delight (someone made a cool panorama photo-Mo?), but I never set up my slideshow there, either, nor did I stay at my table to sell anything, as Kay didn't know any prices.

The lesson going forward will be: success will depend on the integrity of those working beside me, and even my best ideas will always work in tandem with someone else in some way. I can envision a five person touring operation where we play and display at conventions around the world, private parties, and other kinds of public dates. You keep everything alive and vibrant until circumstances change to develop the newest opportunity. It's much like the principle of seeds, only it's also like keeping a garden alive at present while waiting for the conditions to plant other things in their season. There are many possible configurations where that five-person operation could be many more, as with much larger tours-but you CAN go too big, like Bowie did with Glass Spiders. Then, you could be Black Flag or X, low ticket prices and DYI all the way. Now how all that works alongside writing books, drawing comic books, and optioning theatrical projects? I am honestly making up this life as I go along, because I can't point to one single person stuck doing it my way. Gerard Way is probably the most successful example close to what I want, and he only wrote Rainbow Academy (though he may have done thumbnails or designs), while bringing in other talents to execute the comic rather than going the painstaking auteur route (the Broke-As-A-Joke method), as he was often busy with My Chemical Romance in those same years. But this also means he has other career choices following the band's dissolution. Well...that's lots to read. Send! And have a nice day.
Oh, Umbrella Academy, lol

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Introducing: Integr8d Comics Number One, from the ever elevating ground floor, up!

In July, I hoped I'd have Pop's story ready in time for his birthday the 24th, write some of Philomena's realm and her encounters with Sunstrike, and get Danger Bot #1's pencils done by September, so I could embellish and letter in dialogue. Could I draw at Manga weekly pace, several pages a week, a single strip? Then, by September 22nd I wanted to start the brand new Not Another Comic Book, so I could keep my promise to Jenn to make her a comic book character. Hey, she keeps HER promises, I think, and I will keep that one.
Sulinar Vix and Danger Bot, never before imagined by me in directly the same story, just the larger tapestry--until NOW!

Over three months later, "Dragon's Line: Storm of the Hidden Temple" was completed and given on August 5th; I started not at all the Danger Bot paintings, maybe now, but I did paint many more times than I anticipated. But, no comic book pages. Even the Stuckwayze couldn't maintain a page/panel a day pace. I'd been invited to be the subject of a film documentary. I'd said good bye to T.J. and also to BS, scraped away the unnecessary, said goodbye to the white truck, t.i.j. (Totaled in Junkyard), and finished my painting spree with a full dimensional, spacious cavern painting wherein is held The Last Rumble, applying some special narrative element to a story invented by Dixie Bowman and shared with me, where we returned Rumplestilskin to Story with an allegory for her own struggle to help out a nephew she considers her son, for he has no need of the mother he had now. I did write the nephew in question thirteen times, and a batch of skits is already three pages thick for his next letter, which I hope is not being withheld from him! Many of my letters were not only tardy, but not even received by the time I saw him, take my word for it, wasn't acceptable or logical, it's his property. Oh yah, and I have to make a mandatory court appearance November 5th two and a half hours from here in Habersham County, because of the accident. yeesh.

I started drawing again, in October, on the second, while celebrating Angela's latest trip around the sun with us. I used "Drawloween" goals each day until after the zombie a week later, when I took Angela's advice and drew what I want. Tonight, I re-organized the room, too, and the drawing table's now right beside me, one reasonable rolling chair trip away.

A plastic zip bag made for newly purchased sheets (a gift from Mom and Pop Bowman to us) contains comics I want to let Joe and Heather next door borrow. VAMPS #1-6 (no #3), Iron Man #149-151 with Dr. Doom, then Camelot, too, then Ant-Man solo, & Giant Sized Iron Man #1;
House of Secrets #17-19 Justice Inc. #1, The Flash #75-79, Marvel Knights: The Punisher #2, Amazing Spider-Man #267, Peter Parker #105 & 106, Incredible Hulk #222 (yep, Starlin one-shot) and #335, perfect for Halloween.

Also, these, of special note:
Yi Soon Shin #1-4 by our pal Onrie Kampan and David Anthony Kraft, drawn by Angel Tempano; tell you more about that one! The GN just sold 1500 copies at NYC Comic Convention! WAy to go Onrie! That is a guy who put it all on the line.

The Map #1-4 Chad Cavanaugh is already at work on his next comic series, from Blam! Comics in our spiritual homeland, San Diego. Chad put it all on the line, too. For America, as a soldier. Now, he's keeping the kitchen safe...and growing all the muscles a Dad could ask for!
So, Integr8d Soul Comics, and why are we Number One, again?

I was rambling to our Awesome Club friend Danny J about Danger Bot, who I had drawn a bit differently, but hadn't started Danger Bot #1, even with the new improved ending.

Then a few minutes later, he says:

Danny Johansson: You should do an pretty unexplored manga genre: robot romance rumble :D
C Disharoon: heheh. Ah. If I thought you had time and wanted to do it, I'd just ask you to do that cover. I have no excuse not to do it, really, Well, a robot romance and rumbles are all together possible in the future of DAnger Bot. It won't always be what it is now. heck, I've already posited a version, two, living in the distant future (one is essentially a satellite, converting itself into a battle station). And the other one's a little heroic one, a Sentai, trying to debug its gigantic "cousin."
Danny Johansson: But robot romance! You must do it! And fight in rumbles with the love rivals! :D
C Disharoon: It's great :-D
Danny Johansson: "Your hard casing makes my circuits overload!" :D
C Disharoon: Especially if one robot doesn't really want all the fighting over her...no, wait...she will not be the first character...we need one who wants LOTS of drama and trouble over itself.
Danny Johansson: Yes!
C Disharoon: hahah! Writes itself. And we don't quite know what our p.o.v. character sees in "her" (I don't know if I'll bother with gender per se, since, ya know...)
Danny Johansson: But robots does have genders! :) Fembots!
[10/17/2015 4:27:35 PM] C Disharoon: Then, and only then, have the one who loves peace come along, and wants nothing to do with our battle-hungry hero (oh, that 's what "he" likes" fighting! And that's why he stays attached to the first one, because she brings lots of battles).

I DO like it. Maybe I'll introduce it through Not Another Comic Book, as someone the girls encounter. Then, see if we can get a spin-off! I can never just say no to a cool new possibility to entertain.
Danny Johansson: Why not just fuse your ideas and the new possibilities? :)
C Disharoon: You know, as Danger Bot becomes sentient and evolves, it is drawing its imprint from two people who are rivals, that just may eventually fall for each other.
C Disharoon: Exactly. That's how so many characters like Vado and Shamilal and Merriwyn, from different stories (a novella and an unfinished novel) have ended up in Sunstrike's story.
[10/17/2015 4:32:00 PM] Danny Johansson: :)
C: And Not Another Comic Book is the place for a wild new setting every issue
[10/17/2015 4:32:39 PM] C Disharoon: And the robots are set off nicely by humans

We talked a while longer, but twenty four hours did not pass without my characters from DAnger Bot #1 and Not Another Comic Book #1 now meeting up, teaming up if you will, now in one story, with conflict fueled by a Robot Romance Rumble.

In the next twenty four hours, Sheer-Zan and Miracalla and ancient Lord Dragonvayne all found their way into the story as well, and then, lo and behold, Bonnie shifts the conflict over into a molecular facsimile in Uglyland, so the Stuckwayze are suddenly everywhere, too, and just as I've figured out what's something good visually to depict Telea doing! I learn something brand new about Sheer-Zan that fits nicely with the Sunstrike stories. And my recently-unveiled cross-dimensional arch villain Sulinar Vix? Oh, that sneaky guy. He's here behind the scenes!

Best yet, I even get to use San Diego as my background, a callback to the visual composure of every single Not Another Comic Book since 2007.
AND I have an engine for chaotic ultra violence handy, while picking up a brand new idea from my friend and then bending every single little thing I have in store around it!

The two parts inspired by his suggestion will be joined by a third part, a separate but equal story featuring the origin of Sunstrike from the perspective of Dr. Bonnie D. Light and Princess Jennvincible, with an ending tying right back to events in the opening pages of the Robot Romance Rumble! As a whole, the three stories feature nearly every active Integr8d Soul character I've got. It's like starting the I.S. Universe, for most people, 99% of those to come at least, with the equivalent of Fantastic Four Annual #3, with the energetic enthusiasm of those inventive days of the Lee/Kirby partnership! The third story even has pyramids, pirates, Egyptian mysticism and a chance to homage Ditko and Crowley and Raiders of the Lost Ark while launching my own version of Star Wars/ Trek with Sunstrike's team. First, Bonnie and Jenn must solve the mystery of the man who disappeared from Earth!

For the love of a great synopsis

On a world where robots romantically rumble, contests for consensual companionship, like a mighty axe wielder crushed by a guy with drill hands, as part of several pages of strategic battle and possibly, other combatants. Why? Well, there's a Rizen-Y, and she is the motivation for ol' Drill Hands there to plow through her many suitors.

So a burlesque dancer, Dr. Bonnie De Light, very in her mind and body, has used her mechanical engineering skills to open a multi-space/time aperture, which she calls Portal Immortal. She's brought her friend, Jenny Couture, the webcam entrepenuer; Celestia "Cefe" Englehart, aspiring model; and her cute best friend,Gabby Pepper, a quirky designer who grew up on a commune with Celestia. Jenn's just discovered: when she's Portal traveling, her body and possibly mind are as invincible as her will. Bonnie's gadgets and formulas have a good showing so far.

While watching the Rumbles, they strike up a friendship with a robot, ICR-14, in ID Crisis. Danny suggested him; he doesn't know what he is or wants to be. So, they offer to take ICR-14 shopping, and nickname him "Seer." Once I draw this, Danny J will write "I, Seer"'s lines, and the I.S. characters will respond, a true dialogue!

The Portal Immortal's maiden voyage is a success; the gang lands in San Diego, as planned. But back on Mecha Love Tap World, someone's coercing Lovergirl 67 into cyber seducing ICR-14 with revealed intentions, so ---follow that boy! This way!
And Roberta Rizen-Y, she just CAN'T let that lovestruck fool with no wiles jump through that portal without a wing girl! So, she gets her chauffeur to pick them both up and zip them through the portal. All the dominoes are in place now! But Drill-a-Minute there is...dazed. So our Cupid morphs into NME-9, declares, WITH a STENTORIAN VOICE, Rizen-Y will be his concubine! Through the portal he goes, with Roberto Drill Hands pursuing, hot. And a-waaaay we go!

While at Horton Plaza, Seer tries on outfits of every type, and Gabby advises while entertaining her new friend Kacey on their lunch date. What Cefe senses is NME-9 stalking them! Youka and Shora are having a blast sight seeing, and Miracalla's lunch date is a face-to-face with a vampire so powerful, he's like her compared to most humans, and he seems to know much more about her than she, him. Kacey opens up about adjusting, after being the top of her class, to being hungry for improvement. She ends up placing a grudging call for help to her rival, Ataru Etsuko---bring Danger Bot!


Because Drill Hands Robotto clanks up to find the object of his bellicose attentions cozying up with Celestia, who really only now walked up, but Roberta Rizen-Y moves quick, everyone knows, he bellows. Youka prepares to protect people as Sheer-Zan.

And our hero ICR-14's no more certain who to be than before, no doubt, but what a lot of fun, and it's still a bit before his trip's thoroughly disrupted by events in the courtyard. As for what follows, it's good this place was built with four floors opening to the air wherever possible, to take advantage of the sun and avoid tragedies amid earthquakes. All the same, Danger Bot's on the way.
Bonnie's working on shifting the combat to a parallel dimension of some sort, because really, any violence is sort of her responsibility, for opening Portal Immortal, she thinks. So, in part two, she'll shift Horton Plaza into its molecular counterpart, Hurtin' Plaza, in Uglyland.

Which means, the Stuckwayze and their world and concepts make the party, too, with a promising aftermath for whomever makes it out of this two part adventure alive! So it's really going to read at least three parts, since they will have to travel out of Uglyland eventually, along with part of downtown San Diego, which is being replicated feverishly and rebuilt by the Stux, with their own twisted twists, as you'll see. With the Sunstrike story, they'll make four parts we can publish together.

But, first, I want to get out this first one. And to give you a complete story it needs to be part one and two, together. For a limited time, however, I could offer the first 21 pages as a first part, and then press on to complete our story as plotted.
What I envision is publishing a product, Integr8d Comics Number One, with the 42 page lead story, and as an amazing second feature, one 21 page (projected) complete tale, though that one kicks off a whole flargin' series!

So, OK, back to the Robots Romance Rumble. Its two parts form a 42 page comic book story, complete of itself, though with some interesting loose ends left for the near future's playtime. Then, I would love to pair those with the Sunstrike story, since it features Bonnie and Jenn, and follows up on an observation Bonn-Bonn makes in the Robot Romance Rumble tale, about the Vault of Enoch. Their discovery is initiated by the origin of one of my oldest characters, and not the one I've been talking about, only!
Dr. Bonnie D. Light and Jennvincible's jaunt, the third activation of the Portal Immortal, opens the Pyramids of Infinitude, and there, the action-filled origin (part one anyway) of a hero and team bound for an epic adventure I've spent much of this year plotting and inventing. Its star Sunstrike is a hero bound for the novel Eyes of Heroes, which follows that run. That novel's been pecked at for two years, and the run was given tender loving care by me for the first half of this year, before I got invested in Danger Bot and Making Comics. The story I wrote this summer, “Storm of the Hidden Temple,” receives its second narrative tie-in, as we revisit one of its scenes in this story thanks to the Pyramids of Infinitude. When you put all this together under one cover, hopefully in time for next year's conventions, right, you have every active Integr8d Soul adventure character united- Integr8d- in One Great Story!

The two parts inspired by Danny's suggestion will be joined by a third part, a separate but equal story featuring the origin of Sunstrike from the perspective of Dr. Bonnie D. Light and Princess Jennvincible, with an ending tying right back to events in the opening pages of the Robot Romance Rumble!

As a whole, the three stories feature nearly every active Integr8d Soul character I've got. It's like starting the I.S. Universe, for most people, 99% of those to come at least, with the equivalent of Fantastic Four Annual #3, with the energetic enthusiasm of those inventive days of the Lee/Kirby partnership!

The third story even has pyramids, pirates, Egyptian mysticism and a chance to homage Ditko and Crowley and Raiders of the Lost Ark while launching my own version of Star Wars/ Trek with Sunstrike's team. First, Bonnie and Jenn must solve the mystery of the man who disappeared from Earth!

I'm saying, you can invest in these guys and expect a well-thought out story, with high-energy invention, heart, originality, if there's any anywhere in the known galaxy! If you're hungry for more, I promise, these characters are built to last, with rich pasts and links to one another that support their distinct identities. I envy you! All you gotta do is read'em!!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

short and sweet

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

About the Author: preparing for the Be Chill, Cease ill book! Plus: surprise announcement

I have had no less than three motivations to plunge into what remains of our history here on this blog and as Integr8d Soul, creatively-speaking.
One: When now-new Mom Mo Medina, as President of the Rome Art Coterie, invited me to be their speaker on the topic Making Comics, I began compiling a slide show revisiting the greatest influences in the history of American and Japanese comics, and the ingredients behind our own genesis as creators, featuring Danger Bot and the world of Sunstrike, two of our biggest front burner projects, one in comics (our first Manga) and one in prose (our first science fiction novel). Once I figure out how best to achieve the voice overs for the middle section, my seventy minute DVD will be ready for limited distribution, and I hope it can become a presentation at future conventions.

Two: When TJ died, I spent a lot of time reflecting in the spirit of the man, and realized this was a sign to collect the first volume of these writings, as requested before by those who want a nice, pulpy book instead of columns on a screen. Now I could dedicate the book to the one reader for whom I began writing these, and also, dedicate it to a new life beginning, my friends Mo and Hai's baby girl Penelope. Dedication to the rich history and the future wide open still ahead.

Three: Eager for the trial by fire of making their own movie, while brainstorming for a strong hook, our friends here in Rome discussed how much fun Angela and I have brought to their friends' lives by simply showing all you need is the love of what you make (and when you can imagine for whom it's made, the energy's always there), so they should let nothing paralyze the rich inner lives they, too, foster. At worst, you're gonna die, anyway, and you don't really know when! Why ridicule your own need to create, when you can always find out why do it at all as you go along. So, they got a project in mind, figuring it would remain inspirational enough to them to see it clearly from its end and speak to every one of us who want to create our own pieces of culture, no matter what cares the world. The announcement of that project can be found here for the first time publicly at the end of my final page for Be Chill Volume One. I hear it's a cool engagement you can make with the reader, to show them a little of the cat behind the doing of this thing.


About the Author

Cecil Disharoon, Jr. freelanced for the Crimson & White campus newspaper while on Presidential Scholarship to the University of Alabama. As Creative Director of Tuscaloosa's Planet Weekly under Sean Johnson, Cecil began writing in his personable style for feature articles, including the humorous science column, Ask Dr. Chickenhead. His wife Angela's poems inspired him to write songs again, and the next several years went towards writing mostly songs, several complete chapters, and short stories. He probably graduated, too.

In 2005, the Disharoons took a chance on a shoestring budget and two Greyhound tickets. They made a new life for themselves in San Diego, California, where the duo performed and recorded as Integr8d Soul. In 2012, they began playing parties as Soul Rocket Ba-Doom, first an Elton John cover project, which later focused on Anime theme songs, in an atttempt to perform for cosplay and comics conventions anywhere. Integr8dsoul can be found on Reverbnation.com and Bandcamp.com, as well as Facebook, Google Sites, and live Internet broadcasts.

After years of home made coloring book stories and mini-comics, Cecil's youthful love of comic books awakened in new efforts. Their first Not Another Comic Book was drawn and presented to kind creative professionals in 2007, leading to self-printed, locally sold mini-comics and a full-sized Not Another Comic Book in 2008, inspired by the city's famous International Comic Con, hosted in their downtown neighborhood. Cecil decided to somehow progress, albeit more slowly, with music, comics, and more writing. The blog he began for his childhood friends focused on life in California from a very personal inner perspective, his creative projects, the local artists and occasions he and Angela attended. Integr8d Fix was his concurrent blog with several pastiche stories intended to work out aspects of his unfinished novel Tranz, and finally write full stories with many of his childhood favorite characters. This evolved into reviews of interesting runs of American comics and a brief retrospective on some of Japanese animation's monuments. He also shared their beginner drawing struggles & tips, and the progress of Integr8dsoul.

In 2009 the Disharoons created Happy Surprise and the Search For Complete Disappearland, a surreal and inventive children's story featuring characters from Mysti Hazel's Garden, a recurrent setting in their broader fictional universe. In 2012 they assembled the first volume of Kat's Electric Thieves, a collection of eighteen erotic short stories, later expanded with new material and a frame narrative that gives each story an individual character author, writing for the other two. Before leaving their adopted city, in the summer of 2013, Cecil finally achieved the novel he'd wanted to write for eighteen years with I'd Go Anywhere With You, based on the feelings and times at the beginning of his relationship with Angela, as an indie-film style romance novel, published May 5, 2014, the anniversary of their arrival in California.

At the time of this fourth book, while re-visiting Georgia, the Disharoons became the subject of a film documentary, Anywhere With You, directed by Jeremy Justice and Mary de Mesquita.

The Facebook page for the movie:

Bridge painting on our cover created by Mario Torero, pictured above on the right, and is featured in Chicano Park, San Diego, California.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Same Mistake (James Blunt) Lyron & the Marc Kane

A Better Place: for our blog's first and faithful reader, our friend TJ Jones

I started painting this three days after my friend TJ died. I may have laid the base coat the night of that final morning.
Those three days were surprisingly joyous; as I painted Rylo Ken and hung out with my wife, A. Dawn, we felt TJ's presence well up from deep in our core, the part of him that will be with us always, vibrant and strong, free to celebrate his freedom with his spirit. I had just begun painting in earnest this spring, and did not have a long history of frustration with it; painting fit right in alongside learning Japanese songs or electric bass with embracing new things of late. For these years I've been drawing in pencil, I've yearned to give you more color, and thanks to A-Dawn, we're acrylic and idyllic!

I came to see I'd have nothing suitable completed for his funeral, not even with overnight delivery. Then, I took a wonderful trip to finally take up a three year long invitation from my friend DAK, in the mountain- a good break to keep from the gloom. Now, we were in a crash that totaled our truck on the way back, but even then, we were basically OK as was Mr. Hahn, and fully covered, if dismayed. As Pop and Charlie drove us home from the Wal-Mart where we'd holed up thanks to the tow driver, we get a text: remember that movie we said we wanted to do? She got the Grant! We can start filming the documentary if you're still good!

We Good, We Good!

On some level, I got this painting to many stages where it looked in some way brilliant. Yet, my haste to send it to Oklahoma, absent of TJ himself, dissipated. I began thinking of it becoming an object to associate so much so with grief that it might be put away one day soon as a bad memory marker. So I waited. I learned a lot about painting this time out. There's still something wrong with it. But when would I ever want to finish a memorial painting for a best friend in the world like TJ? You NEVER want to face that. But you do. So much more intense for his wife and daughter. This is really for them, because he was really theirs, most of all.

Encouragement. Companionship. More real world trouble than 99% of the human race, but for the time he came on to chat or even share a call on the phone, he was these things 100% personified. He was honest from the start when we reconnected that I couldn't actually expect him to live anything like a normal life span now, and eventually he prepared me to begin making peace with the fact that one day, any day, the final message would come. In this life's world, anyway. Beyond a bit of death in the way, we're pretty much inseparable!

Here we are, singing one of his absolute favorite songs (favorite?) for his birthday in 2013.

By request from big Red himself:

This joy he strove to achieve in his agony reflects here. His daughter seemed very protective of her poor hurting Pa, in the sweet photo I modeled over and over again. His smile masked tremendous pain! But with Mama's help, they did make joy. The hardest part is going on to live a life while the person you love suffers alone at home, but TJ is beyond loneliness now, and pain. What a triumph it was to live. What a triumph it was to die. In their love, they found "A Better Place." That emotional place of family love, as viewed by the mother, is where the painting is set.

I will never forget his courage, for he has been part of my support system again not only these past six (at present)years, but on so many days when he could not reach anyone at all, and I was writing good stories about my lost friend as early as 2000 or so, this jazz-inspired story about us on the loose in Shannon as young'uns. He gave me a seat for his darkest demons, and allowed me to intuit many things too hard for emotional people to read, and tell him what I thought. We could do this because TJ, unlike so many people, never ever looked down on me, nor I, him. All his false sense of self-importance had been destroyed when the disease beyond diagnosis tore away his world beyond his will. Yet, he was glad for that, to be more pure as a spirit, while more crippled as a body. But yes, I know he missed a regular life, and there was no one more grateful for those who never really gave up on him.

Go to the very first post of this blog, if you want some idea of my friend; it's just a little thing, but I wrote it because I began this blog in Feb. 2009 for the purpose of TJ having my writing to read. It's time now to write this and maybe four other posts to tie up Volume One into a collection I can dedicate to Teej. He and I even began notes for a book about opioid addiction, with anecdotes included to make the case for cannabanoids.

I'm leaning on the first three years of posts for content, but many of my stories have a shot at appearing in Integr8d Fix vol. one by Christmas season. Besides, like TJ, I often have been at my best when I am simply a few words to read at your leisure. Our mutual friend Paula Hill Lewis asked me to make a printed book I think three years back now, and she'll be the first to know. Hope to end the month with Be Chill, Cease ill in print. Hope with me?

What a long, strange trip it's been.
RIP Troy Heath Jones, "B'Joy," "TJ" "Certified Electrician at age eleven."