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A Break-up Letter to San Diego Comic Con

Dear San Diego Comic Con,

When I first met you, I just graduated from high school. You were so cool. We would hang out all day and talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up. But around that time, you also started to hanging out with the popular kids. They were all wrong for you. They didn’t really care about you or comics. They just wanted to use you. Your attitude started to change. You got all conceited. I mean, you were still cool, even sexy with all that cosplay and sh!t. We still had some good times!

Remember that booth we rented? Or that table? Remember that magical night we watched Warren Ellis talk? Or that Tenacious D concert? Or when I was nominated for that award?! Or remember just simply, staying up late watching movies and cartoons? You always managed to blow my mind and show me something beautiful and new. You always seemed to inspire my creativity and my soul.

Those were good times, San Diego Comic Con. They were great, in fact. Those were times that, more than anything, I wanted to be inside you. And I wanted to stay inside you for a long long time. But now, everyone’s inside you: the press, Hollywood, people who’ve never even read a comic book. We just don’t have that special connection anymore and I can’t imagine sharing you like that.

Now I hear that you’ve become a Goldigger lately so more people can be inside you. So more people can use you and throw money at you. You’ve lost sight at what’s important, San Diego Comic Con. It sickens me a bit, but I’m not here to judge you. You’ve meant so much in my life: those fourteen or fifteen years we spent with each other are priceless.

The sad thing is, most of those people, those new people in your life, will never understand you like I do. Most of those people don’t love you like I do. They just want to have their way with you, maybe for the weekend or just one day, but I wanted you all the time. If I had you all year long, I’d be a very happy man.

It’s been over between us for a while now. Ever since that argument we had at the Portfolio Review section in 2010. What the f#ck were you thinking!?

Anyway please, please, San Diego Comic Con, please have some dignity! Or at least hold onto the dignity that you have left. You deserve so much better. You used to be so smart and charming, but now its like all of your intelligence has left the room.  {You see, that was a metaphor for all the smart and interesting panel discussions like the Comic Arts Conference or Spirituality in Comics… which was a panel discussion I was on one year…. its a metaphor for those types of events being moved to the Marriott instead of staying in the Convention Center.}

Anyway, I’ve been seeing other conventions. I started seeing Comikaze, probably because we live in the same neighborhood. Although we don’t have as long as a history like you and I. WonderCon Anaheim is really cool, but I had to admit, the first time we met, it was really rocky and the parking sucks because there’s that weird cheerleader thing going on. What’s up with that? AnimeExpo is awfully cute, and you know I have that thing for the Japanese, but… I never had deep, thoughtful, inspiring moments with AnimeExpo like I had with you.

I’ve never had a convention like you before and I’ll never have a convention like you again.

Here’s Looking At You Kid,
—Elan’
PS. But if I’m ever nominated for an Eisner Award again… I. will. SO. WRECK YOU!

—and you’d be all like, “say my name! say my name!” and I’d be like, “that’s how you LIKE it you naughty naughty convention!” And I wouldn’t give a f#ck whose watching!

Originally published here.

An Excerpt From That Novel I’ll Never Finish: Red Line

Last week, I took the Red Line, the subway here in Los Angeles, to Downtown. The train was filled with neutral, silent faces except for a father and his three very young children. He sang to them songs, the type you’d learn in Pre-school and Kindergarden. He kept them entertained as a means to keep them seated. A lesser man would yell at them and bark commands, but he sang to them and made them laugh. He made sure they were safe and behaved.

 

So, of course, I chose the empty seat across from him.

 

The father noticed my bag. My bag is one of a kind. It is an ornate and metallic Tibetan scroll holder attached to an East German Map bag. He pointed at it and told his kids that that’s the magic scroll from Kung Fu Panda. The children were in awe.

 

The train’s speakers announced that my stop, 7th & Metro, was coming up. So I showed the kids the metallic scroll holder. They asked to touch it and I let them. It is a mysterious looking thing that I traveled as far as Echo Park to attain it. I have two of them, each one cost me about forty bucks. Although I’ve seen some on eBay selling at 80.

Anyway, the kids wanted to see what was inside. I opened the cover and all there was were pencils and pens. “This is magic.” I whispered. The kids looked at me with confusion. “This is real magic. I use these to control words and pictures. Kings have ruled with art and pictures. And those kings have been brought down with words. Master the words that come out of your mouth, your heart, and the ones you craft with your pen. Ask yourself what the pictures are telling you, or more likely, what they’re selling you. Go to school, and sharpen your tongue like you sharpen a fine and dangerous weapon. Study art and understand the designed world. For some day, you may bring down a corrupt king or become a just one.”

 

My stop came up and the doors slid open. Instinctively, I threw a smoke bomb onto the floor and disappeared from the three children and their father. As I left, like a ghost, I said, “You’re an awesome dad!”

True story.

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Star Wars Tarot: The High Priestess

One of the biggest challenges of adapting Star Wars into a set of Tarot cards is the lack of female characters. Sure, there are a lot of female characters in the Extended Universe but that may or may not be cannon. This whole problem of the lack of females in the Star Wars movies reminds me when me and my sister used to play with our toys.  Although my childhood memories are hazy, I do remember a diminutive Darth Vader riding in the passenger’s seat as Barbie took him for a ride on her pink Corvette.

 

The female parts are a little underwritten.

–Amy Poehler

 

Our last card was “one”, the Magician. We are at number two, the Divine Feminine. Where a Magician has to train and study to perfect his craft, The High Priestess just is. It just happens. Traditionally, for boys to become men, they have to go through initiation, or they have to prove themselves as a man. When a girl becomes a woman, one day it just biologically happens. Personally, it reminds me of how me and my sister separately learned Tarot. She just picked up on it and would give very intuitive readings. I read books, went to lectures, practiced and made mistakes.

Now, I know I might tread into language that might be politically incorrect. “Masculine” doesn’t necessarily mean “a man” and “feminine” doesn’t necessarily mean “a woman”. I have met women way more masculine than any man I’ve met and men who are way more feminine than any woman I’ve met. And I’ll probably use other terminology that has nothing to do with gender issues, but with explaining my understanding of Tarot.

So The High Priestess is “The better half.” She is kind of like a female magician, maybe even a wife or girlfriend. But also The High Priestess used to be The Popess, a female Heirophant (or the Pope). The feminine principle is hidden, mysterious and subconscious. Within Christendom, in the Holy Trinity, The Holy Spirit is feminine. We can understand what the Father and the Son are, but the Holy Spirit is a lot more abstract. So is The Force.

Often times, this subtle power that the feminine has has been mistaken for the women being the weaker sex. Subtle doesn’t mean weak. Gravity is a very subtle force in the Universe.  But without it, there would be no stars or planets or galaxies. Can you imagine what your life would be without your mother? And if you were motherless, didn’t you often dream about what it would be like to have one? Being a woman is powerful. There are countless times I’ve made a fool of myself to a nice girl. They really don’t have to do much, hell, they don’t have to even be that pretty.

I work in a very masculine, geeky, industry. When its just men in the room, it has a certain energy. When you introduce some women– and I don’t mean “we’re going to hook up with our co-workers”– when you just bring women into a very male environment, things change. Its a bit lighter, more balanced and a bit more sociable.

 

Behind every great man there’s a woman.

–Proverb

 

A long time ago, George Lucas had a wife, Marcia Lucas. She was the editor on George Lucas’s early films. They had a divorce toward the end of  Return of  The Jedi. Being a creative person, you’re probably going to talk about a good amount of your ideas to whoever’s sleeping in your bed. And if that person is smart and creative, they’re going to call out on your bullshit. They’re going to tell you when your work sucks or when they don’t understand this or that. They will be supportive, but they will be honest. I could just imagine George Lucas showing Marcia his first draft of Star Wars and Marcia telling him what she liked and what she didn’t understand. I could imagine them disagreeing on how this shot or that shot should be edited. I can also imagine how messy this divorce was since the Oscar Award Winning Editor, Marcia Lucas,  has only been mentioned in passing from official LucasFilm books. She might have not been a writer or producer or director in the creation of Star Wars, but I can’t see a woman in her position, both as an editor and a wife, have some sort of influence on the films.

 

I have an innate ability to take good material and make it better, or take bad material and make it fair. I’m compulsive about it. I think I’m even an editor in real life.

Marcia Lucas

 

The Prequels are a good example of a Magician (ego) without their better half,  High Priestess (subconscious).  When George Lucas made “A New Hope” he was just a film school graduate who made some interesting films. When he made “The Phantom Menace” he was GEORGE LUCAS and no one questioned his ideas or his authority. No one took him aside and told him, “I’m not so sure about this Jar Jar character.” And the only person who could say anything like that was no longer sleeping in his bed.

So, here we have Princess Leia hiding secret plans in R2D2. And then when Luke Skywalker sees a part of this message, he had to find out who this girl is as if she was a part of him.

When you compare Luke Skywalker to Princess Leia, Luke is defined by what he is doing. Princess Leia is defined by what is revealed. As we got to know Princess Leia, we assume she’s a damsel in distress, but later on we find out that she’s not a bad shot. Her love for Han Solo is hidden, even by her, although its apparent to Han Solo. She was a hidden Jedi. She never knew she was Darth Vader’s daughter or Luke Skywalker’s twin sister. Plus, that metal bikini was a revelation in and of itself.

She is the better half of Luke Skywalker, separated at birth and sort of attracted to each other in an incestuous way. When Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were being written, you could get a sense that the whole brother/sister thing was written a little later. It could have easily been written where they weren’t siblings and they lived happily ever after.

 

The Force runs strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And… my sister has it. Yes. It’s you, Leia.

–Luke Skywalker

 

On The Khabbalistic Tree of Life, The High Priestess is associated with the path between Kether and Tiphareth. Tiphareth means “Beauty” and its associated with the heart, the sun, the son (as in Jesus Christ), other god-like men like the Buddha. Kether means “Crown” and it gets more abstract, its God in the highest. It kind of see this as a trinity. Two Sephora held together by the mysterious and sacred feminine. That if you travel past the Christ or the Buddha or the best part of yourself, you can reach the Divine, the Force.

 

Tao produces one
One produces two
Two produce three
Three produce myriad things

–Lao Tzu

Derek Lin Translation

 

Do you think Luke could have ever done it without the love (as ambiguous you want to define that word) for his sister? My Dad just turned 7. I can’t imagine him living without my Mother by his side? Behind every great man is a great woman. Behind Darth Vader’s anger is his dead mother. A great Force is hidden behind your subconscious. If you do not recognize this side of yourself: the feminine, intuitive, secret, hidden side of yourself, then you might just end up with a cold, robotic, asthmatic heart. You might end up as some shriveled up old power-hungry Emperor. You might end up with too many damn Star Wars figures displayed in your room. Maybe if you got rid of half of them, you can make room for someone to share your bed with.

 

May The Force Be With You.

 

Next, The Empress (But I haven’t done that, so the next is The Hanged Man>>

More resources on the High Priestess:
learntarot.com

The Pictorial Key to The Tarot

Theory of Everything Comics on Instagram!

instagram

 

Hey guys,

I know its been a while since I’ve posted anything up, but I have been fixing up the website a bit and normal day job stuff. Also my phone broke. But the good news is I got a new one and this one can support Instagram. So follow me on Instagram to see random sketches from my sketchbook. Currently, I’m stuck in Jury Duty and its mainly drawings of people sitting still.

http://instagram.com/toecomics

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Star Wars Tarot: Two of Swords

Remember this scene? Anakin fights Count Dooku. In their first battle, Anakin lost his arm, now Count Dooku is no problem. When Anakin gained his advantage over Count Dooku, Senator Palpatine told the Jedi to kill him. There was a moment of hesitation, but he made his decision.

 

He must choose his own path; no one can choose it for him.

–Princess Leia Organa

There are a lot of interpretations of the Two of Swords. The one that I was taught, and it usually comes up in a reading is “make a decision.” Often times there is a stalemate in your life. You have to choose which sword to put down so you could move on with your life. And Anakin’s decision was to kill Count Dooku, listen to Senator Palpatine and take one more step toward the Dark Side.

Anakin Skywalker has the eyes of hate and anger. They burn with rage. When you are burning with rage, you have blinded yourself to reality. In the Rider-Waite deck, the woman in the Two of Swords is blindfolded. She can’t see. And Anakin can’t see, or at least he only sees what he wants. When your anger and hate are uncontrollable, you are obsessed on one thing, like that guy who cut you off in traffic or something stupid your mother said to you thirty years ago. He needs to make a decision. In this case he made the wrong decision.

Later on in his life, when he was told to kill his own son, Darth Vader finally made the right decision. He finally let go of his hate and anger. And at the last moment of his life, Luke Skywalker took off his mask, his blindfold, so Anakin could look at him with his true eyes.

 

Don’t do this. Don’t shut me out, let me help you.

– Padme Amidala

When you make the wrong decisions, you are often denying your true emotions. Anakin shut himself from mercy, love and compassion. He chose to kill… everyone. The thing with decisions is that they are sort of linked with your identity. Criminals, although they might have been raised well, might start off by stealing candy. They think of themselves as a person who steals candy, so stealing money from their mother’s purse isn’t a big step away. After that, pickpocketing someone’s wallet fits into their identity. Why not stop there? What is the difference between pickpocketing a man and taking it by gunpoint?

Anakin killed an entire village of Tuskin Raiders. They killed his mother. That’s the sort of man Anakin Skywalker sees himself as. What’s the difference if he killed the man who cut off his arm? Eventually those actions will lead him to change his identity all together. Eventually, he’ll just become Darth Vader.

May The Force Be With You.

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