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byakurai1313

Caitlin Baner
47 Watchers14.2K Page Views639 Deviations
1 min read

Hey guys!


I wanted to put in a mention to a Kickstarter I recently backed. It's for an anthology of Latinx comics called Mañana, which features several different artists and writers showcasing comics featuring Latinx characters, cultures, and locations! Here's the link to the Kickstarter:


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/powerandmagic/manana-latinx-comics-from-the-25th-century


There are still 12 days to go if you're interested! I highly recommend checking it out! The publishing company, Power & Magic, also has also published a handful of books that feature Black artists and writers. Their stories tend to feature artists and writers of color, writing stories about characters of color AND characters on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. You can check out their website and, if you're interested, buy physical or digital copies of their books here:


https://powerandmagicpress.com/collections/all


That's all for now!


-CB

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6 min read

Hey everyone,


I feel like I'm due for another yearly journal update. I keep saying this but I'm sorry the comics haven't been coming. I don't like talking about my personal issues on The Internet, but in a nutshell I've been dealing with some serious mental health issues, mostly anxiety and depression, that have really made it hard for me to carry on like normal. Every time I start to feel like I'm getting there, something new comes up, most recently COVID-19. Now we have protests against racism the likes of which we haven't seen since 1968... and I'd like to talk about that for a minute.


I've stayed silent on social media about this for a few reasons. First, I simply haven't known what to say, and second, I have felt there's really very little of substance that I can add to the conversation. I'm white, and right now is a time to be listening to black people and people of color in America. Saying "I support the Black Lives Matter movement and I am against racism," while true, has felt incredibly insufficient to me. Very few people online know this, but in my personal life away from comics I have spent the last 4 years doing anti-racism training in my place of employment. I not only know how to talk about racism, but I also have a pretty solid understanding of the Do's and Don't's. I also have a LOT of knowledge about the history of racism in America. Simply saying "Racism is bad" has felt underwhelming and inadequate, and I have really struggled with how to add to the conversation in a meaningful way.


My own comics for years have featured black and brown characters, but none of them has really spent much time talking about race. This is in part due to the fact the stories have focused on other things, particularly domestic abuse in I Just Work Here. But also I believe crafting a story about race needs to be done carefully and in a sensitive manner and I don't yet have a story to put out there that would feel like a genuine, heartfelt story. Oh, I've got several IDEAS, but they're not ready to be told because the characters aren't there yet, and it would be irresponsible for me to put them out there without being ready myself. Those stories will be coming in the future, not right now because we need to be paying attention to the protesters.


So, how do I, a socially awkward shut-in who likes to draw comics, add to the conversation in a constructive way or offer meaningful assistance? Most of my anxiety is social anxiety-- I've never been good with people or relationships, and the last few years my anxiety has gotten bad to the point where I actively try to avoid large crowds. This means I'd be useless in a protest; I'd be too busy trying to hide and not be noticed. I recently spent a lot of money on fabric to make masks for the Navajo Nation, so I have no more money to donate at this time and still be able to pay my bills.


This morning I was reading a post by Alex Woolfson, a great writer of the comic series The Young Protectors that I've followed for years. He suggested he would support the movement by highlighting black voices and characters in comics and graphic novels, and I think this is a truly excellent idea. I'm going to crawl out of my "I Hate Social Media" comfort zone and start posting links to black artists and creators, and comic strips that feature black characters (not secondary characters, but main characters) in a positive and meaningful way. My hope is that this will help to elevate the voices of artists of color in the world of comics, because they have so much to offer to the medium and their stories deserve to be read and shared like any other artist.


I'm trying to figure out a way to raise money for movements or organizations that support racial equality in America. One idea I've been bouncing around in my head is doing livestreams where people have to donate to view, and forwarding 100% of the money to a worthy cause. The livestreams would be drawings of black historical figures, people who made a difference but we don't hear much about because our history books in school focus so much on white history. I'm not talking about Martin Luther King or Malcolm X, I'm talking about people like Claudette Colvin, Robert Smalls, Mary Elliot Hill, Percy Lavon Julian, and so on. Part of combating (institutional) racism is learning to celebrate the accomplishments of people of color and appreciate how they've helped us get to where we are today. It could also be a positive, healthy distraction for those overwhelmed by the news and current events. I'm still considering how I'd make that work, or if there's any interest in that. Let me know if you'd be interested.


I'm also going to be updating the IJWH website with a section to include links to organizations that combat racism and racial inequality. I'm going to include more links to black artists and comics that feature black characters on both my websites.


I've said it before and I'll say it again: I support the Black Lives Matter movement and I support equity and racial equality in our society. If you're out there protesting, please stay safe. Wear a mask, do what you can to maintain social distancing (there is still a pandemic out there, after all). Don't contribute to any violence or looting you may see; keep it peaceful and try to encourage those around you to be peaceful. If you're white, take a moment to listen to your neighbors and friends who are black, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. Learn about white privilege, what it is and what it means for you. Learn how to use your privilege to help those who don't have your privilege. Now is a time for us to listen and elevate the voices of those who for too long have gone ignored.


Racism in America is not a "black peoples' problem." It is a problem that belongs to all of us. It's going to take all of us working together to fix it. Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay hopeful. By working together we can do this.


-Caitlin

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2 min read
Hey! 

I haven't updated this or uploaded anything in a while. 2017 was an absolutely miserable year for me, but 2018 is looking like it might be a bit better. 

I don't like talking about my personal business to the internet (or most people in real life, truth be told; I'm a very private person). What I do feel comfortable saying about this extended break is this: A lot of things went wrong for me in 2017. I've always had struggles with mental health, and 2017 and the first couple months of 2018 have been especially challenging for me. Unfortunately these things don't work on a timetable, like a sprained ankle might. 

The good news is, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I've gotten help and I'm taking care of myself. I'm getting my creative writing/drawing mojo back. I'm doing what I need to do, but getting back into the grind I had before while maintaining my full-time job is anything but easy. I'm not yet in a position to commit to my old schedule, but I can assure everyone I'm feeling a little better each day. Most importantly, the one thing I've been missing for the past year-- the DRIVE to draw and write-- is, shall we say, "waking up" again. Not the bright, perky OKAYI'MAWAKENOW you'd expect from a little kid... more like the "Do I haaaavvveee to?" groan of a moody teenager. So, we're getting there. 

If you're reading this... thank you for your patience. And for not abandoning my silly comics. I promise someday soon things will get back to where they need to be.

-Caitlin
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2 min read
Well hey there! 

I haven't updated or posted anything in a while. There's been a lot going on. It's not that I haven't been drawing, I just haven't been drawing comics that much. I just posted a handful of the things I've been working on (and one comic; that's gotta count for something, right?). 

So what HAS been going on? A lot. Most of it not necessarily what I'd call good. I literally cannot catch a break. In the past month alone I had my A/C die in the middle of a 100+ degree heatwave, and I was in a four-car accident on a major highway (I was not at fault, for the record), to name a few things. This has been a pretty miserable summer. 

I've been spending most of my time reading, drawing non-comic things, building LEGOs, and playing video games. Oh, and cats. Don't forget playing with cats. Basically whatever I think I need to do in the moment to calm down, because my stress levels have been through the roof most days. The days they aren't through the roof I'm sleeping. Turns out it's really, really hard work being a spaz. 

I'm not going to make predictions or promises about when this will all be over, because the last month alone I've lost a few teeth from having life kick me in the mouth. But it's not going to last forever and at the time of this post I'm starting to feel a little bit better. I have decided to try and post more non-comic stuff (the nicer stuff, not random sketches) to make up for the fact things have been so dead here for so long. Hopefully that'll be better than nothing. And in the meantime, I'm going to keep my head above water. 

-CB
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1 min read
Comics are going to be coming out VERY slowly as I handle some very stressful goings-ons in my personal life. Things right now are so crazy I am unable to commit to the normal two comics per week. 

I have a page about halfway ready for each strip but have had almost no time to work on either one of them. My stress levels are through the roof and when I do have a few minutes of free time I tend to spend it trying very hard to relax. I know it sucks to hear but I've got to take care of myself.

I will continue to work on the comics as I'm able and post them ASAP, regardless of the day of the week. My sincere hope is that things will be settling down soon. Thanks so much for your patience and understanding. 

-CB
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