Hi, everyone. NO, I’m NOT dead.  I’m deep in the throes of creative block, and apologize for my absence and the lack of updates. I hate to use the “H” word, but maybe a hiatus is exactly what this is.  Walks like a duck, talks like a duck, is named Howard, it’s probably a duck-like object. I didn’t WANT to go on hiatus, but as Mick Jagger said, you can’t always get what you want.  Last year, two bouts of kidney stones (one from each kidney, one of them mistaken for a moon but was really a space station) and laser surgery on my eyes for incipient glaucoma really drained me physically and emotionally. Add my “normal” chronic pain, which has been worse lately than usual, and you have a spoon-sucking vortex of mind-numbing malaise.  The upshot?  I’ve got more art for a couple of pages that I’ve been staring at numbly, occasionally doing some work on it, but it’s really got me down.  But I haven’t given up. I want to tell this story, and will tell it, when I’m able. Bear with me.

On a happier note, I backed a Kickstarter program a while back for a documentary on the origin of comic strips, leading into the modern phenomenon of webcomics and indie comic publishing. It’s the film STRIPPED!, directed by Dave Kellett and Frederick Schroeder.  Because I’m a backer, I got my digital copy of the film a couple of weeks ago. Let me just say this is the BEST film about comics I’ve ever seen in my life. I was teary-eyed several times during the film, partly because I’m one of those people (though I’m not in the film), and I know many of them personally. I’m beyond proud to be part of the comicker community, and if anything, this film is helping kick me back into gear and creating again. You can get the film online from iTunes or in multiple physical formats. They’re trying to get it to #1 on iTunes for TODAY, April 1, and that’s not an April Fool’s joke. Go check it out and get it on iTunes or another format — you’ll enjoy it!