Thursday, April 8, 2021

Thank You for the Birthday Wishes!

First, I want to thank all of you for the birthday wishes.  It really means a lot to me.  The last year has been one of tumultuous turmoil and torture, and even though I posted The Good Life, pretty much any song off Pinkerton has felt true to me in the last twelve months (particularly tracks 1, 4, 5, and 9, but not in that order).  Don't worry, I won't write another cyberpunk short story about any of it this time.

Make no mistake.  As much as I'm tempted to make a Kyle Katarn reference no one would get, without you guys, I wouldn't "be a content old man."  You guys mean everything to me; you're the reason I'm here at all.

It really makes me glad to know that you guys are there.  I feel bad that I don't do enough for you guys any more and barely post anything, even less anything worthwhile.  Isolated and without drive or purpose, I struggle to get anything done these days.  I mean, I have a ton of unboxings and reviews to put together for you, but I don't know if I ever will.  These figures will probably stay sealed for good.  Hell, Figma Batou's still in the shipping box.

I'm not going to lie and say I've ever really been genuinely happy, as far as I know, but this last year has been even more soul-crushing than usual, and I'm sure many of you would agree.  I haven't even been able to finish A25U #400, which is a project I've really come to hate.  Sometimes I'll animate a second or two and not really want to touch it again for a week.  It should be done by now, yeah, but it should also be BETTER.  I've had to restart it entirely once and powered on through, despite feeling like I should reshoot the entire thing, both video and audio.

Or scrap it entirely.  How the hell I was able to make a 15-minute animated short in a single summer in college defies any kind of explanation these days.  Ah, to be young again...

I told you guys I would do it and I will keep my word.  #400 was supposed to be a silly celebration and it's become some kind of torment that would just finish if I could bring myself to hunker down and knock it out.  I don't know.  It was probably the best I could've done at the time I wrote and shot it, but it still feels like a testament to my good-enough laissez-faire attitude that reeks of mediocrity.  You guys deserve more, deserve better, but I still want to finish it.  Or at least, have it finished.  Have it behind me.

And move on.  Which is something I'd like to talk about if you'll let me bend your ear.

#400, when it gets done (if you believe me, and I don't blame you if you don't), won't be the final Ages 25 & Up comic.  That honour will go to #401.

Don't act so surprised.  You guys know that every time I try to do an animated issue for every one-hundred-issue milestone, the entire comic comes to a crashing multi-year halt.  To a certain extent, it's been a relief not having to throw anything together each week, desperately trying to be at least somewhat entertaining, sidelining real life sometimes and sacrificing my entire weekends others.

I have the finale issue planned already.  Had that round chambered for years.  Hell, I've had it prepared before there even was an A25U.  I'd written the script for a short student film in college that got butchered once it was taken out of my hands (even the director, a good friend of mine, had his powers stripped from him).  It'll finally see the light of day when I adapt it as the last issue of Ages 25 & Up, an issue in which a pair of average-joe--

Sorry.  Bad choice of words.

A story in which a pair of average, working-class Cobra Troopers pull off the job that just might be their last...  A story of endings, and new beginnings.  Of doors closing, and others opening.  Of the sun rising after a long, dark night.  It's not as sappy as I'm making it sound, if you'll believe me.  You'll see, if it ever comes out.

No amount of spending money on stupid crap I don't need can soothe whatever emptiness I might feel.  Only you guys' friendship can do that, and I want you all to know how much you mean to me, and have over all these years we've spent together.

So thank you, all of you.  I'm still here, I'm still trying, I'm still me.  And most importantly, I'm still your friend.

I had a Happy Birthday, in spite of everything, thanks to all of my friends.  I'll keep doing what I'm doing, and I am planning a fun Joe project tentatively called "Pages & Panels" (working title) in which I'll share with you some selections from the Marvel Joe comics as I re-read them.  Could be fun.

But like everything I do, we'll find out together.  Thanks, guys.

Your pal,

Numbers, Helix, Six, and every other callsign, codename, or handle you might know me under

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