The Hornet Bisection

As a booster of beekeepers, and by extension bees, I feel like I should have a strong opinion on hornets one way or the other. I don’t really. I figure they’re out there doing work the same as anyone else. But when one gets into my apartment, I want it out of there.

This is why, mere moments ago, when I found a hornet in my living room I tried to gently usher it out by capturing it under a glass and doing the thing where you slip a paper under the glass and all that. You know what I mean. I’ve done this successfully before with hornets and other insects. But this time, either because I was tired or because it was jumpy and moved too quickly, instead of being trapped in the glass, it was crushed under the edge of the glass and cut nearly in half. I’d wanted be merciful, but fate wouldn’t have it. So I took the remains and placed them in the soil of my potted plant Borson, and I am making a post here on my website to honour a little insect that fell through no fault of its own.

(Also, it’s entirely possible it was a wasp. I genuinely can’t tell.)

I am reminded about how when I was a child I tried to make a deal with God that I would never unknowingly crush an insect under my feet while walking. I don’t know what I was offering God in return. I figured, if I see an insect as I stride along, I can handle the pressure of correcting course to make sure everyone is happy with the outcome. But if I don’t know its there, what can I do? I don’t want to step on anyone.

I guess I was a little wiener kid and now I’m a big wiener kid. I just don’t want to step on anyone. Or bisect them with glass. Can’t always get what you want, though, PDR.

Fish Got Fins

fish got fins
they use them to swim
they live under water
and get eaten by otters
fish don’t have hair
they don’t live in the air

(This has been a poem I found in the notebook I used in art class in grades eight and nine.)

Musings On Mortality

Since this site is meant to be a full chronicle of my life and times, even though I fail most of the time, it should be noted that on February 20th my father died suddenly. The following weeks has been a bit stressful and felt very long. And it was bookended by some hilariously-timed car troubles and apartment issues that just compounded things. I’m told that my father had expressed wishes that if he had to die, it would be sudden. He got that wish, though I’m sure he would have preferred it happen a decade or two down the line.

I have never liked the idea of sudden deaths. I mean, I’m not fond of death as a concept at all, but sudden death has always bugged me the most. It’s something I think about when I hear about car crashes or house fires or, in this case, unexpected cardiac arrest. I always think that the deceased had plans that they expected to get around to. And the more mundane the plans, the more it gets to me. The person in the car crash probably had a movie they were looking forward to seeing when it came out, for example. In the case of my father, he and my step-mother were planning a trip, which I’m sure would have been great, but what really got me was when I was at his place and I saw a book he’d taken out, presumably to read, and he never got the chance. I hate that kind of thing. I’ve seen people who argue that death gives life meaning, but I don’t agree. I’d be perfectly happy if we all got to live eternally and it was our own damn responsibility to inject meaning without external forces that ruin it for us and tell us that that makes it better.

Haiku!

This dumb universe.
It could be so much better.
Entropy is bad.

I feel like I much have mentioned this somewhere else on this site, but I went through my existential crisis of pondering my mortality at a very young age. I remember the changeover from nine-year-old PDR to ten-year-old PDR being particularly rough. I became aware that once I was out of single digit age, there would be no going back. I could tell then that I was just marching inexorably toward the grave and nothing could stop it. I lost a lot of sleep over it. I have distinct memories of lying awake in bed, picturing time as a flowing river and just trying to stop or slow the water. It never worked, and it never has since.

Time as a kid went by relatively slowly, but it was too fast for me. And now I’m at an age where every week flies by as if it were a day. I don’t lose as much sleep over it as I did, but it still bugs me.

It sure would be nice if there’s an afterlife where time doesn’t matter anymore, wouldn’t it? We could all read all the books we want.

Super Sunday: Justice-Woman and Metalfist

Usually on my Super Sunday post I try to create some superhero that would fill some hole I see in our action heroes of the day, or I just make something up on the spot, probably based around a terrible name. Well this month I am doing something different: Last year, before the Super Sunday even began, I brought you a story about Justice-Man, a hero I made up back in Junior High times. Well the thing is that Justice-Man had a large supporting cast, and have been stuck in my notes for more than a decade. This month we’re going to have four Super Sundays dedicated to the friends of Justice-Man. (Some of them, however, may fill holes in society’s current crop of action heroes of the day, and we’re almost guaranteed some terrible names.)

Justice-Woman

Kimberly Mills was the only daughter of a former superhero, but before she was old enough to realize that, her father adopted a troubled teenage boy. The boy had been born and created to be an assassin and had only recently been freed from the organization that treated him as a weapon. While there was some concern about young Kim being in such close proximity to a former killer, but it turned out that she was a humanizing influence on Alex. They became very close. Eventually Alex Mills would grow up to be the superhero Justice-Man and Kim, who inherited her father’s super-speed powers, became Justice-Girl, hoping to be a sidekick to her brother. While Alex wanted to keep Kim out of danger, her ability to come along and help him out before he even sees her meant that she was hard to stop. Eventually, though, Kim had to leave for university. Her super-speed meant that she could still go to Toronto to visit her brother on occasion, but eventually she decided that it would be easier to just do crimefighting on her own. That continues to this day when, as Justice-Woman, she is one of the world’s foremost superheroes working as the leader of her own superhero team.

So anyway, I wanted to say that Justice-Woman was something of a change of pace from most girl versions of more well-known superheroes. She has her own set of powers, her own career, and doesn’t exist just to work alongside her brother. I wanted to say that, but when I consulted my notes, it turned out that I didn’t even have a first name written down for her. I guess that I can excuse young me for ignoring Justice-Woman’s development, I was obsessed with Justice-Man and not really trying to use him for social commentary, but I have to say I could do a better job of telling stories for her today than I did then.

Metalfist

Hugh Duval has a big suit of armor that gives him superhuman strength and the ability to shoot energy burst from his eye-slot. He uses this to fight crime alongside Justice-Man.

Metalfist is an oddity. I’ve drawn him into pretty much every sketch I ever did of Justice-Man’s friends, he exists on every list I made of that group. I have no information about the guy. If I ever did have an idea about who this guy was beyond being a friend of J-Man, I apparently didn’t write it down. To tell the truth, I feel like maybe I just drew him into my crowd scenes becaus he was easy to draw. And considering that his suit of armor there is, apparently, covering him entirely in metal, I have no idea why his fists are the part he has decided to name himself after.

Super Sunday: Rhinoceros Woman and Rabbit

Two superheroes this week! I created this duo as a duo, so they’re a duo. One is superhumanly strong and tough, the other quick and agile. One can punch through a bus, the other can jump over a bus. They fight crime. They are:

Rhinoceros Woman and Rabbit.

We’re not even a month into this thing and I’m already presenting my second rabbit-themed character. What does that say about me?

I have mentioned in the past that I made a comic about a guy called Zappo back in elementary school. What I haven’t brought up yet is that on the inside cover of that comic I, emulating what I saw in real comics, created an advertisement for another comic. That advertisement was for the adventures of Rhinoceros Woman and Rabbit. That makes these two among the very earliest superheroes I ever created. Still, this is probably the first time that I’ve drawn them since. I don’t have that Zappo comic any more, which is a shame, but I still have a pretty good memory of how these characters looked. Rhinoceros Woman, with her shoulder pads and horns, and Rabbit’s weird sunglasses/angular ear-like-things are exactly the mental image that’s been in my head for about two decades. Rabbit is pretty ridiculous, I admit, but I’m pretty proud of the fact that Rhinoceros Woman, probably the first female superhero I ever dreamed up, is not the standard “Hot Woman” that 99.99% of female superheroes are.

I’ve always been a fan of male-female friendships in fiction that ARE NOT given any kind of sexual tension. This is probably the rarest kind of relationship depicted in our society. I’ve bet we’ve seen more “innocent child/alien or robot” pairings than truly platonic male/female friendships in movies or on television. But these two are friends, partners in crimefighting, and nothing romantic. That said, at some point, probably well after elementary, I decided that Rabbit was probably gay. That helps to reinforce their just being friends, obviously, but it also defeats the significance of the platonic-ness of their relationship. What I want is more relationships between heterosexual man and woman who are nonetheless not in a Will They Won’t They plot. Still, there’ll be time for that in the future. For now, I’m also going to let Rabbit stand as the first gay superhero I created too.

I have never bothered to think up origins for these guys. If I ever need to, I will, but for now I’ve got a lot of room I could work with these characters. You’ll never know where to expect them to show up.