First of all, thank you to those of you who have been sending me early Xmas gifts. I feel like you guys treat me very well without sending me gifts, but I certainly appreciate it when someone thinks so much of my work to send me a gift on top of whatever else. I’ve been very blessed to have such a loyal audience when my skills are so mid tier. Even though I haven’t had time to work on anything extra I am still working on my Lego submission for the fan built thingy & the extra parts help me along. Of course the sets for this season haven’t been super architecture friendly, but a little imagination can make up for that. Anyway, just wanted to say a blanket thanks for that. Also, even if you say you don’t want a sketch in return, just remind me if you ever change your mind & I’ll get to it as soon as I can. I don’t put a time limit on that. It’s like in the godfather “someday, and that day may never come, you will come to me with a request…”
As far as the comic goes, family dynamics can vary wildly from group to group. When I was little I was struck by how out of place the women my uncles dated seemed around my family. The slow, timid, ones never lasted. My family is unintentionally brutal when it comes to teasing & outsiders get their feelings hurt very fast. The ones who ended up staying were the ones who were able to hack it. When you join a family from the outside your ability to adapt to the new group is key. My dad is an odd case though. He’s part of the family, but also sort of apart from them. Stern & quiet, he doesn’t join in in quite the same way & never has. Yet the rest of the family accepts and loves him for who he is even if they don’t really “get” him. Everyone else is sort of equals whereas my dad actually gets respect. My sister is very much like my dad in that respect, not usually part of things actively, but sort of commanding respect via sheer force of will. I dunno, I’m sure everyone has things they can’t easily explain about their families. There’s so much backstory it’s very hard to spell out in a way that can convey all the subtle layers of subtext & meaning.
In sadder news, my sister’s dog had to be put down because of cancer. They all took it pretty hard, including my mom, but my nephew is only 3 & the concept of death is a bit much for him. Mortality is such a brutal aspect of life, but no one can escape it. Frank was a wonderful dog & his fate was cruel. He lived a good life with a family who loved him more than most dogs can claim though. If there is a place where we go on I hope he goes on in joy. I hope my nephew will remember him in some way other than being the first pet he lost.
Apparently when I was very young my family had a dog, but I have no memory of it. I think there might even be a picture of me with it somewhere. My memory of the story is even vague now, but I think it was given away because it was too rough with me. I do know that I was terrified of dogs until I was… oh, well into my teens at least. I actually liked puppies, but even smaller dogs made me uneasy, especially if they barked at me. I didn’t get over not really liking dogs until we owned some. Now, of course, our house is awash in dogs. Strange, loveable, creatures…