The empty blackboard bugs me a little. It has a bit of a dizzying effect being blank, but I think I could've made this a much more interesting detail. I drew these pages very fast - it was an intense process - and I was trying to cram in so much.

I get heart palpitations even looking at a drawing of a can of Red Bull. What a strong sense memory it is. There was a time where I drank at least one a day. Vodka and Red Bull was my favorite out-at-night drink in college, for its ability to get you drunk fast and keep you awake. The resilience of my 20-year-old self is mind-boggling. I try not to think too hard about what I would've been capable of with a good diet, sleep, and regular exercise. I probably wouldn't have been as depressed. But I also wouldn't have had the endless time and energy to obsess over my own work, tearing it down, rebuilding and refining it. Nowadays I do that in the shower, on a run, or in the handful of minutes between laying down and falling asleep. It's how it must be.

5 thoughts on “OTSAN #5

  1. I know the chin curtain on background guy in panel 3 is supposed to be a hipster beard, but here in 2020 I immediately thought "God dammit, the mask doesn't do any good around your neck."

  2. I'm reasonably confident that without sleep deprivation, and the whiskey and pop that enabled said sleep deprivation, I would not have finished college. I was always too self-conscious about my own work to actually produce it if I wasn't doing some sort of meaningful damage to my brain while making it.

    I taught for a decade or so – never art – and my blackboards nearly always ended the lecture blank. I always had dreams of freehanding diagrams and charts that would enhance my students' comprehension of some concept or another, but unless I had the visual in hand before starting lecture, I'd end up producing baffling spaghetti that my students described as somewhere between "incomprehensible" and "actively anti-meaning."

  3. Ugh, those sleepless college nights aren't missed now that I think about how unhealthy that must have been. Though it never felt totally bad in the moment, but I'm realizing now that it wasn't normal to feel like garbage all the time. Completely agree with the obsession over work- we'd avoid sleep to get an extra couple of hours to add to our illustrations with the expense of our physical and mental health.

  4. Every time I think about what things would have been like had I done things differently the only answer I ever come to is that I wouldn't be who I am today. And that would suck.

  5. The blackboard is kind of cool being pitch black actually. It's like the black void that is Hanna's sleepless mind, is how I read it. I been there. (right now)

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