So, I recently binge-watched the third season of BoJack Horseman, and I must say it was pretty spectacular. There were a few things I had hoped/expected to see that didn’t come to pass, but the absence of these elements was made up for by the sheer number of beautiful and haunting moments that I could never have predicted.

Anyway, down to business. Today’s post is primarily going to be an explanation of the main reason I love the show, and the numerous ways it has affected me. I haven’t done a “personal” blog in a while, so I figured this would be a nice way to be personal whilst also ranting about one of my favorite shows.

The reason this show resonates with me so much more than others is the way in which the characters are all written in such a way that I can relate with all of them – which is an incredibly unusual thing, at least for me.

Throughout the first two seasons I was able to see a little bit of myself in almost all of the characters – and in many of these cases seeing my neuroses personified in such a way allowed me to recognize and acknowledge them in a way I hadn’t previously.

Initially I saw myself mostly in Diane, but the more I observed BoJack the more I was able to put a “face” to my depression and recognize just how far it’s influence had reached.

Mr Peanutbutter also hit close to home when his more depressive traits started to see light. The way he acknowledged his need to constantly stay distracted rang particularly true, and I began to see his positive outlook as a facade – much like the one I had felt obligated to keep up for years.

In fact, the only “main” character I was unable to relate to in those first two seasons was Todd. That fact changed dramatically, however, by the end of season 3. But that’s probably something for another post entirely… once I’m able to process things.

Since watching this show for the first time, and going on a journey with the characters, I’ve slowly gained a new degree of self awareness… which isn’t something I ever would have expected. It’s really made me think about my flaws and try to address them, and whilst I’m under no illusions that I’ve magically improved in these past few months, I feel like the show has started an internal dialogue which could lead to real change.

Obviously all of this is only a small part of why I love the show so much – but it’s an aspect of the show that means a lot to me… so I wanted to at least attempt to articulate it. Hopefully I’ve managed to do that to at least some degree.

I may go into more detail about this topic later, or I might simply write a post about one of the other parts of the show I enjoy. I guess it depends on whether I can write something that doesn’t just make me feel like a vapid fan-boy…

Week so far (spoiler: it’s been boring)

Been focusing on my BoJack Horseman stuff for a few days now… so I figured it was about time for a “regular” post to break things up a bit.

It’s been a relatively uneventful week for me, but I did find out yesterday that there have been a couple of issues with my housing funding application – so that was a bit of a downer. I seem to be expected to have a bunch of things I shouldn’t really be expected to have this early… so I’ve been kinda stressed out about that.

On a more positive note, I’ve managed to commit to my daily doodle-comic thing – which I’m quite proud of. I’ve only done 8 days in a row so far… but quite frankly that’s more than I’ve managed before, so I’m impressed. I did go through a bit of a crisis when I found out my work was super similar to that of a friend, but I’ve managed to shake off the resulting worries for the most part – I’m just going to have to use it as motivation to push myself a little harder. It’s all a learning experience after all.

Still, it was really freaky.

I’m nearly halfway through my “BoJack Dissected” series now. I haven’t started on episode 6 yet, but I’ll have it done by tomorrow – and I think after that I’ll take a little break, and do the second half of the first series in a week or two. As much as I’m enjoying it, it is taking up a lot more time than I expected it too – and I’m a little worried that the constant re-watching of the series is going to sicken me to it – so I think a little time off from it is a good idea.

Plus, by the time I get back someone might actually have read it.

Anyhoo, that’s really all I have to say for now. Like I said, it’s been a fairly uneventful week so far. With any luck I’ll get the letters I’m needing some day soon, and then I can get that stress out of the way – which will be nice. Other than that, I think I’ll be spending most of this week working and doodling.

Fun times.

The Wicked + Wendy.

Had a little more money than usual lately, so when I was in Dundee last weekend I went on a little shopping spree in Waterstones, and bought a whole bunch of graphic novels. Been kinda stingy with the indulgent spending recently, so it was nice to have the opportunity to splurge. There were a few books I wanted but couldn’t find, but luckily I found a few hidden gems; with the highlights being The Wicked + The Divine (which I shortsightedly only bought the first two volumes of) and Wendy – a book which is, rather amusingly, about an art student…

Wendy was actually quite interesting, as it made me realize something (quite obvious) that had been eluding me – not all art is the same. I’ve been suffering from a bit of artist envy recently and was beginning to feel like every published artist I saw was at a skill level I was never going to reach. Wendy’s art was… different. Definitely not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it didn’t have that polish and consistency that has been so prevalent in my recent reading material – it was creative, and bold, but it also seemed achievable. Really achievable.

It’s really encouraged me to think about my art development in a different way. Instead of constantly aiming for technical perfection, it’s made me want to work on loosening myself up, and being more expressive and imaginative. That isn’t to say I have any intention of not trying to improve my technique, but I definitely think reading the comic has brought about a healthy change of priorities. And hopefully this shift will also allow me to appreciate my favorite artists a little more, by lessening the jealousy that their work often instills in me.

The Wicked + The Divine was also pretty great – and reminded me a little of Morning Glories (which, somewhat amusingly, it shares a publisher with). I’ve only read it once so far, so I will likely need to read it again before I can fully determine how I feel about it, but it definitely seems like a series I’ll be keeping up with. Although I felt the same way about Morning Glories, and I haven’t bought a new volume of it since Vol. 4…

Anyhoo, I feel like The Wicked + The Divine is something I could potentially rant about for a while, but I’ll leave it here for just now and wait until I’ve had a chance to sit down and give it a more thorough read. I might wait until I get my hands on the third volume, or I might just do it on my next day off. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Wow, that’s starting to feel like a catch-phrase…

More work to do.

So… I think I’ve got all my application stuff sorted now. At least, as close to being sorted as I’m able to get it. Now I’ve just got to wait and hope that when the time comes I filled in all the forms right and there are no problems waiting to surprise me down the line.

Been incredibly stressed about my SAAS application in particular, due to the fact that it updates so slowly. However, after sending what felt like a hundred e-mails, I finally got a reply that more or less put me at ease, telling me that I’ve sent everything they think I need to, and that it’d take a while for things to process (so I’ll just have to wait).

Now my main worry is just getting my house ready for leaving, and packing everything I’ll be taking with me – and I have no idea where to start in that regard. I mean, should I take my all my books, or just some? What should I do with the ones I don’t take? Store them? Donate them? Trash them? And I’ve no idea how I’m going to deal with all my furniture yet either… *sigh*.

A part of me is tempted to just dump/donate everything I can’t/don’t want to take with me… but I feel like that’s probably a quite short-sighted way to go about things. I’ve got two months to work it out anyway, so I guess there’s no serious rush yet. I’ll just need to take my time and make sure I don’t throw out anything I’ll regret, or take a bunch of things with me that I don’t need…

And here was me thinking that once I had finished my applications I’d be able to relax…

Community.

I’ve known I was gay since I was pretty young. It’s not something I’ve ever been particularly shy about, although there have been many times when I’ve wondered if I would have been better served keeping it under my hat for a longer period than I did. Nonetheless, my sexuality has never really been an issue for me on a personal level. I was bullied sure, but there was never a period where I doubted myself, or wished I was different  – so I’m grateful for that.

However, as easy as it was for me to accept my sexuality, I’ve never really felt like I was part of a “community” because of it. In high school, the only time I was approached by other gay people was when they were interested in sex – beyond that they all made a very intentional effort to distance themselves from me, for fear of their sexuality being brought in to question (which would, of course, have made them a target for the same abuse that I publicly received). So instead of being supported by those in the same boat, I found myself ostracized by them – with a few going out of their way to join in on the bullying to help maintain their heterosexual facades.

As a result, I’ve somewhat struggled to “feel the love”. In fact, it’s only in the past few years that I’ve really become aware of the fact that there is “love” to felt. When I was first starting to explore my sexual identity, I remember signing up for a number of LGBT-oriented forums and receiving nothing but hate when I made my presence known – with complete strangers mocking me for my “ridiculous” red hair, “obvious vanity” and youth. Needless to say, I didn’t visit those forums again. I eventually signed up to another forum shortly after moving into my own house and, whilst I never really felt a sense of “belonging”, I began to see that there was more than just sex and hostility out there – which was a pleasant discovery.

It wasn’t until I watched Queer As Folk for the first time that I began to feel like I was missing out on something, however. Up until then I had been quite happy to make do with the friends I had and just accept the fact that talking about my relationships and desires wasn’t appropriate. Girls didn’t want to hear it, guys really didn’t want to hear it, and I just accepted that. However, after watching Queer As Folk I not only realized that I deserved to be able to talk freely, but that I really needed to.

Sadly, this awareness didn’t change the fact that I lived in a very… regressive area – and as such there was little community to be found there. I mean, I did eventually discover an LGBT group for the local area, but it meets in a town just over 100 miles away from the area it’s supposed to represent (making it incredibly impractical for me to visit), and whilst I signed up for the groups newsletters they always seemed far too mature to relate to. These people seemed to have the answers already, and that wasn’t what I needed – I needed to find people who were still working things out, so I could work it out with them. Because as much as I’m a part of this community in theory, I have no idea how to be a member in practice.

My recurring desire to leave my hometown has partly been fueled by these feelings, and as my departure is finally becoming a reality I’ve started to contemplate the potential this move has in regards to these matters. I’ve become aware of an LGBT group that meets weekly at the campus I’ll be attending, so with any luck I’ll finally get a chance to see what this “community” thing is all about. It could be an integral part of my personal revolution, or it could be a completely superfluous exercise in decadence. Or it could be neither. I guess only time will tell…

College.

So… I got in to college, which is pretty amazing.  By the time my interview came around I had basically convinced myself that it wasn’t going to happen… so to say I was surprised would be an understatement. I don’t think it’s completely sunk in yet though. There’s so much I still have to organize (finding a place to stay, getting my house emptied, applying for funding, etc) that a small part of me is still mentally preparing for failure. I’m certain those feelings will dissipate once everything is more-or-less sorted, but it’s going to be a long process… which means that doubt is going to be hanging around for a while.

On the plus side, whilst all of this is quite stressful, it’s a less immediate stress than the kind I was dealing with in preparation for my interview. Where the housing and funding is concerned, I can only make so much progress at a time (due to having to wait for e-mails, collect evidence, etc), so I’m able to detach from it quite easily at the end of the day, whereas when I was working on my portfolio I felt like every minute I wasn’t actively working on it was a minute wasted. Plus, the deadline here is two months, as opposed to to weeks – which also helps

As a result, I’ve got a lot more time to relax and just enjoy myself. I’ve been playing video games a lot more than usual the past few days (due to re-discovering Animal Crossing), but come next week I think I’m going to start working on a new art project. One of the most recurring problems I had during my portfolio-development period was the fact that I kept on having really cool ideas that I just couldn’t justify spending time on due to them not being relevant to the course. Now, however, I don’t have that obligation, so hopefully I’ll be able to revisit some of those ideas and see what comes from them.

I’ve been trying to start a comic for years now, but always find I get bogged down in the writing process (because I need to know what’ll happen in issue 100 before I can draw issue 1…). So one of my ideas was to experiment with short fan-comics, so I can focus more on the art & page composition and less on the plot. With any luck, I’ll maybe follow on from that with an original comic of some kind… but we’ll just have to wait and see. If I come up with anything particularly good I’ll probably try to scan it into the computer, colour it and upload it somewhere, but I’m not going to commit to the idea at this point – it’ll likely depend on how busy I am at work.

Gotta catch them all.

So, I’ve gotten back into Pokemon recently. Probably as a result of the fact that I have a 3DS now, and therefore the ability to play the most recent games. Whilst I wait for the best opportunity to purchase a newer title, I’ve started playing Pokemon Platinum – mainly to refresh my memory, but also to catch more of my favorite Pokemon, in the hopes of transferring them to my next game. Going back to it, I was actually surprised to see how little I had done.

I mean, I’ve defeated the Elite Four… but haven’t actually progressed much further than that, having been side-tracked the last time I played (trying to catch all my favorite water Pokemon once I got the Super Rod). So, right now my party is basically all water Pokemon. Because strategy and type effectiveness means nothing to me.

Well, that’s putting my Pokemon down a little. I have put some thought into my party, with only one pure water type (Azumarill, who I’ve recently discovered is now a Water/Fairy type). My other Pokemon right now are Starmie, Lombre, Lanturn, Pelipper and Quagsire… and they all have moves of at least 3 different types, so my coverage is actually pretty good.

I think a lot of the reason I drift out of playing Pokemon so often is the fact that it’s so much harder to find real-life people to battle against. I never really feel a desire to create a stronger team than is necessary to defeat the Elite Four, which means I often tend to cap a few at Level 60 and then get bored. However, I’ve learned a little bit about EV training and the complexities of breeding recently, which has given be a bit of motivation to go back and “reboot” my party.