It's that time of the year when we turn to the pages of the Alaska Cannabist and review another batch of home
(more after the jump)
I shared a meme on social media that had me mulling over some aspects of tribalism. A pet theory I've been entertaining as of late is how another yet major part of the foundation of American culture was fractured with the rise in Black Lives Matter + politicization and protests among sports. Much like the regrettable polarization infecting other areas of public service by malevolent incompetence, when a previously apolitical, supposed safe zone reserved for letting off steam (ie channeling sanitized corporate + marketable urges) is removed, we now see these roaming bands of savages intent on scoring points by beating up the opposing team.
These folks could seriously use a healthy outlet, much like how followers of QAnon and other conspiracy theorists obviously exhibit obvious and serious deficiency in processing the power of imagination. This was no doubt due in some small measure to never having their imagination properly stimulated, say by reading works of fantasy and science fiction (another crucial reason to support literacy). I have a lot of empathy for folks baffled by their illogical contortions and unhinged beliefs - it reminds me of the equally inconceivable tenets of Christianity or other religions. This is from the perspective of someone raised on an upbringing of mythology & fairy tales... so the bullshit detectors were already in place by an impressionable young age when I was exposed to attempted indoctrination to similar cultish and abusive groups. The bewilderment and perplexity of coming into contact with evangelical systems is the exact same thing.
Back to Batman: Another take would be how I never aligned myself with teams like "Marvel" versus "DC," endless fanboy debates aside I've always sided with characters, and even more specifically later on in life, it's the writers in particular who will shape my view of a feature or franchise. For example while I do have an essential reading section on the shelves dedicated to Batman, it's the work of individual creators I'll gravitate towards - and good storytelling is the shared aesthetic. Bonus points for irony in that one of my favorite authors is almost anything by Grant Morrison, who certainly has his own unique perspective. You simply cannot ever look at things normally ever again once you've mentally wrapped yourself around Flex Mentallo, The Filth, and Doom Patrol.
So this happened earlier in the week:
“The Thirty-First Alaska State Legislature extends its sincere congratulations to a truly exceptionally gifted Alaskan artist… and commends him for taking the time to give a dam.”
One of handful of super-humbling hat-tips I've been really grateful to get in my career. Thanks so much to Representatives Grier Hopkins and co-sponsor Adam Wool, and especially Tania Clucas for the accolades and support - it means a lot. Also it looks like I'll accept the kind offer from the outstanding folks at the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce to just hit the repeat button and roll over into bonus overtime as an extended Artist of the Year.
This was exceptionally generous since all the gigs offered as part of the package were canceled on account of COVID-19. Likewise for the honor of being the poster artist for the fair.
"Thanks for all you do for the arts, arts education and most importantly sharing the majesty of the work of the beaver. Your achievements are a credit to your hard work, dedication, skills and commitment to doing the best. I'm optimistic about Alaska's future because we have strong and skilled people in our community, especially ones who can make us laugh during crying times." - Rep. Hopkins, House District 4
So far 2021 looks to be one of the better reboots ever made... I can't wait. In the meantime I'm takin' the weekend off: be safe everyone.
Update: Yeah sure, an official Legislative Citation is cool and all, and what a wonderful surprise to be on the front page of the freakin' newspaper and all, but let me tell ya when Sourdough Jack name drops you - now that's on-trend.
Bears repeating. This is a recent editorial panel that ran in the paper which was slightly different in that it wasn't partisan nor personal - distinctly at odds with the usual political diatribes. This especially during an election cycle, and aggravated by the bitter, ugly and violent rhetoric that divides Americans even more.
Most cartoonists – excepting editorial - are pressured to just entertain, and not get political, partisan or personal, but we don’t have that luxury anymore. Hence the recent urgent opinion piece posted here a few weeks back.