(October got away from me, so my October update is coming to you in early November).
My What I Learned Comic is coming along well. The comic will be 16 pages, and I will be releasing it in three batches in late November. I already have some of the pages done, and the rest are in process.
The image above is how I’m depicting myself in the comic. One thing I have enjoyed about manga is how the artists pick a funny visual for themselves—a cow, an alligator with silly glasses, a crescent moon with sleepy eyes—and thereafter represent themselves as that creature/thing. I decided to do that for my nonfiction comics. I chose a squirrel, because squirrels are already humanoid-ish already, I can draw them fast, and I think they are funny. I also find their cheeky problem solving in the face of challenges aspirational.
My parents have long waged a cold war with the squirrels of their neighborhood. My mom periodically upgrades her bird feeders to prevent the squirrels from eating all the bird seed. The squirrels in turn wrack their brains and figure out cunning ways to get around the new technology. My favorite “squirrel-proof” feeder has a mechanism that makes the entire feeder spin when something large (like a squirrel) lands on it. The feeder takes a few rotations to get started, but when the feeder gets revved up it rotates at a fast clip. The first few times the startled squirrels hung on, gripping the feeder rail with two arms, and were flown around until they were flying parallel to the ground. Then they would let go, and you’d see a golden streak zip off into the yard. (Don’t worry, the squirrels were fine, they would come back to scrutinize the feeder again after their flight).
The squirrels still haven’t figured out how to avoid triggering the mechanism, but what they have figured out is that if they cause the feeder to spin, the feeder scatters a light spray of bird seed over the grass. So, they drop down from the tree and grab the bottom lip of the feeder, do a lazy loop, and land to eat the scattered bird seed. Rinse Repeat.