Thanks, 2016 -- Bite Me!

By | Thursday, November 24, 2016 Leave a Comment
It's popular at this point to say that 2016 really, really, really sucked. It seemed like one disaster after another, with some very, very ugly political campaigns in several countries around the world. What's weird, though, is that personally, I've actually had a good year. I successfully completed the Dopey Challenge in January (that's running a 5k, a 10k, a half-marathon, and a full marathon over the course of four days), my wife and I adopted a rescue dog in March, I got a promotion with a commensurate raise at my day job around July, I was able to sponsor a good number of independent comics projects throughout the year including one of the SPACE prizes... frankly, it was a pretty good year for me personally. And I have to say that I am very thankful for that.

I'm also thankful for some of the ongoing status quo aspects of my life. My wife, of course, tops the list; she remains a beacon of light and encouragement for me. Also, she's a fantastic cook! She encouraged me to fully invest in, and build out my personal comics library, which lets me work in exactly the way I'd been hoping to for decades! I'm thankful to have no significant health problems for me or my wife; we're both overdue for new glasses, and my knee hasn't healed quite enough to get back to running yet, but that's it.

Despite all that positivity, though, 2016 still sucked. Because while my life was good, and even though most of my family and friends had at least an okay year personally, those political events are already casting ugly shadows on 2017. A lot of hate has been stirred up. Against pretty much everyone who's not a cis-hetero white male. The proposed policies, if enacted (besides being horrible on general principle) will impact a good percentage of my family and friends. Many of them are justifiably scared, and are actively planning "escape routes" to countries where they still have family in case things get go even further south. That shadow looms heavily over all of us, and colors our perceptions even if, as I said, we individually had a good year.

And then, geez, the losses to the comic book community this year have been harsh...
Alvin Buenaventura
Paul Ryan
SV Padmanabha
Jess Johnson
Jok Church
Mell Lazarus
Darwyn Cooke
Frank Modell
Nine Culliford
Noel Neill
Geneviève Elverum
Jack Davis
Gaspar Saladino
Richard Thompson
Gary Glasberg
Gary Reed
Michiyo Yasuda
Jack Chick
Steve Dillon
Marc Sleen
Jerry Dumas
Cory Adam
(And probably a lot of others! I know this is a very American-centric list!)
There's a lot of talent in that list, and a good number of people were impacted no less than when Prince, David Bowie, Gene Wilder, or Muhammad Ali died.

I'm very thankful this pervasive cloud of darkness hasn't really impacted me too directly yet. (White privilege in action!) I'm even more thankful that I was able to make some downright positive accomplishments this year. But you know, I'd trade all this year's personal progress in if it could eliminate the hate and viciousness promoted most noticeably by Trump here in the states and Brexit proponents in the UK, that has caused so many people so much harm -- in some cases death -- this year. Thanks, 2016, for letting me off the hook, but fuck off! You've brought way too much hate and fear into this world and it's a nastier, uglier place for it.
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