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On Running (Badly)

September 30, 2014

On Running P1 of 2
On Running P2 of 2

The above comic is 100% true and is about more than just running (of course). I realized after I had forced myself to finish it that it’s about my whole process of the last year–the FUCK IT process, the JUST GET IT DONE process. As someone who gets hung up on questions of worth and value, this process has served me extremely well.

Right now it’s time for me to admit that after more than a year and a half of crazy output, I’m in a half-baked phase of comics. I have about 5 unfinished 3 page comics and a slew of others that are nipping at my heels. My daily diary comics are getting harder to do. The truth is I am harder on them. It’s a familiar phase and it had to happen right? The honeymoon easy period of doing them has momentarily left the building. I think I might be in a new phase of comics needing more time and attention. I want to get better and do more detailed work. The output and my impatience at answering every call and idea is affecting the quality (at least in my eyes). This of course could be another bullshit story my lovely ego has whipped up to delay action, but I am craving some time to finish work and send it out.  So for the next little stretch, maybe I’ll post something once a week and maybe I won’t.  Of course now would be a good time to also remind myself that everything I do here is made up of rules that I make up. No one tells me to stick with them but myself. So I am going to break some rules I’ve made up.  I am going to take a lesson from my running “practice” and say it’s okay to go slow.  The point is to show up and do it.  So that’s what I’m going to do.


  1. Simone permalink
    September 30, 2014 4:35 pm

    So so good–so true!

  2. John Dunn permalink
    September 30, 2014 5:02 pm

    Remind me to tell you about the summer of 2012, when I was training for a 3-day bike ride from Boston to NY. Arggggggggggggggggh!

    On another note, the following sequence suggests itself to me:

    From Off-Frame: “Hey, Batman, have you seen my knife?”

    Batman looks a bit concerned.

    Next Frame:

    From Off-Framr: “Batman, are you listening to me? Have you seen my knife?”

    Batman says nothing, just looks really uneasy.

    Next Frame:

    From off-frame: “Damnit, Batman, you borrowed my knife, didn’t you?

    Batman says sheepishly: “Uh, yeah.”

    Next Frame:

    From Off-Frame: “Shit! You left it in someone didn’t you????”

    Batman says nothing. Balloon appears: “To be continued.”

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Cecile Somers permalink
    October 4, 2014 8:20 am

    In Wild Mind: Living The Writer’s Life, the wonderful Natalie Goldberg (who wanted desperately to be a runner, tried it and then discovered running wasn’t going to be her thing) said “Runners: run first, then write. Writers: write first, then run.”

    I think that’s sound advice. It just means do what you need to first, then do the other thing.

    When I ran the NY marathon in 1994, there was an 80-year old lady shuffling though Central Park on the Saturday morning Breakfast Run. She moved at below snail pace, her body was bent (if lean and sinewy), but she beamed at all of us foreign runners and encouraged us with a “You guys are awesome!”, which I never forgot.

    There must be just as many myths about writers as there are about runners. Just do whatever feels good. And some days your run will be wonderful and the world will be so damn beautiful, you’ll want to come home and write a comic about it.

    I think you’re doing fantastic 🙂

    With much affection,
    Oh and yes, break rules, re-invent new ones, then break those too. And remember YOU designed my favourite black tee-shirt, the Hip Mama one that says Eat Well – Make Art – Live Free.

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