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December 12, 2005

Just a note - if you ordered original art, please check your ebay feedback - if I've left you feedback, your order was shipped today. If I have NOT left you feedback, then I have not received payment from you yet, and your item will ship as soon as that occurs - thanks! I was reassured by the post office that all internation artwork should reach its destination before Christmas, for any international buyers that were concerned.

If you have made a paypal payment for artwork, and I have not left feedback for you, please contact me via Ebay - if you've mailed in a payment and you haven't been left feedback, I probably just haven't gotten it in the mail yet, and your artwork will ship as soon as I get it. Thanks guys!

Comic updates are on hold for the moment as I am currently in the process of relocating - I'm hoping to have everything moved over by this weekend. Thanks for your patience with the delays!


Warehouse 23 is now doing poster printing, and as a result they are now offering the 'Read' design in a gorgeous, full-color 11x17 poster on heavyweight paper. I just received my comps today and I couldn't be happier with them. You can access the Warehouse 23 store by clicking on the 'store' button, or by clicking on this link - go give it a look!

Old News:

That's all, folks. Thank you for reading!

If you're despondent over the lack of QoW, this news may cheer you - due to an overwhelmingly positive reader response, QoW will start again next Monday and re-run all the original strips, seven days a week, with commentary. That's right, if you so choose you'll get to read my babblings about what exactly went on with the strips, stuff that wasn't supposed to happen, ideas that were ditched, ideas that were never explored, the works. I realize it's not NEW strips, but I thought it would be fun to do while I work on putting out my next project. Speaking of the next project - I will be announcing it as soon as it's ready to go. Keep an eye on the website, or the LJ community, or the forum, as I'll be posting it all over the place once it's live.

For those looking for other strips to read, check out my links section, and also the Keenspot dropdown up in the corner has a ton of good reads on it as well.

Something Positive
Sexy Losers
Scary Go Round
Checkerboard Nightmare
It's Walky
Psychic Dyslexia Institute
Combustible Orange

Kill all remaining time you have here:
The Dionaea House - creepy and cool story!
fishfish designs: KITTY HATS!
Common Rotation - awesome band!
The Faerie Citadel: Wings and More!
Electronic Mayhem

Email Me

Hi there! You are reading the Queen of Wands rapid-fire reruns, a seven-day a week run of QoW with commentary. Commentary on later strips will contain spoilers, so if you are a new reader and here for the first time, I suggest you take a trip to the beginning of the archives and give the comic a read-through spoiler-free before jumping into the commentary.
Originally aired 10/23/02: Forgive me, because this is a long piece of commentary. Originally it was short - but Randy, damn and bless his little heart, managed to pre-empt me again albeit unwittingly and did a storyline before this commentary came out, dealing with the subjects of the commentary itself. I wrote this about three or four days after the comic ended, and then after Randy told me what he was doing, I decided Iíd best expand on it. So this is...long.

I didn't really like Xenocide - I liked the bits with Qing-jao, and I liked her story in the book, and how she meets her end is utterly heartbreaking. When I first read the book I was really into heartbreaking imagery. I really love Orson Scott Card's writing, and I find it odd and equally heartbreaking that he writes of tolerance and acceptance, and stories of goodwill to those that are Ďdifferentí, and yet at the same time writes an essay essentially condemning homosexuality, blithely stating that being gay is something that happens when youíre molested as a child, and that every gay person has a straight person in them just longing to get out.

Yeah. Just go ahead and think about that for a minute there.

Now imagine, if you will, being a child of the tender age of 11 or 12, I forget when exactly it was I picked up the first novel, and reading Enderís Game for the first time. Imagine being absorbed in this world where an extraordinary little boy is taken to a place where he is forced to grow up, warped into a parody of a child. Imagine crying when you read the bit where he spoke to the hive queen for the first time, and realized what he had done. If you havenít read Enderís Game or any of the following books, this will make little sense to you. I read Speaker for the Dead next, and it went further into the concept of alien races and a lack of understanding. What my young mind gleaned from this was that sometimes you hurt people. Sometimes people hurt you. Does it make it wrong? Yes, the actions are wrong - but sometimes those actions are nothing more than a lack of understanding. Sometimes you think youíre doing the right thing, and youíre doing the honorable thing, and you hurt someone - and you donít realize it because you donít understand what tears are. You canít automatically know everything about a person, or a race, or a gender - thereís no way to know whatís right or wrong, but the very least you can do is try to understand. The Speakers for the Dead were instruments of understanding - brutal to say the very least, but at the same time utterly truthful and unbiased. Thatís what made them beautiful, in my eyes - they lacked any kind of prejudice or bias, and merely told the story of a personís life without uplifting them or condemning them. They were there to make sure that when a person died, at least they left being fully understood.

So I grew up, trying to understand. You have to realize that at this point, my parents didnít really have a lot of influence in my life, how I thought or felt. There was a time that I thought this meant they didnít care. I later discovered it wasnít that they didnít care, it was that they wanted me to form these ideas on my own. They didnít want to coddle me or walk me through my life, they wanted to give me the freedom to make my own choices and decisions, and support me in whatever it was I wanted to do. And there were tears of a different kind, because I simply didnít understand what they were doing, and they didnít understand what I was feeling - because we didnít really talk about it. I spent my life trying to understand everything around me, and didnít even think to apply that to my parents, and wasted several years being angry and resenting them for it. Weíre on good terms now.

Beyond that and as a result of this, I grew up reading books. A lot of them. And I gleaned what I could from them - books were my parents, my mother and my father, and I learned what I could, keeping the good information close to my heart and making a note of the concepts I didnít like - because even though I didnít like them, it was in my best interests to try and understand them, or at least understand why someone would feel that way. This is part of what I gathered from Orson Scott Cardís various works.

Now I want you to picture a 27 year old woman who has grown up into someone that spends her time telling stories, both because she feels that in some way she should be paying back or contributing to this wealth of information that guided her through her childhood, and because she simply likes telling them. Sheís grown up gathering all this information, and her favorite books are the ones sheís learned the most from - they are her parents, in a way, and they have their own places of honor on her bookshelf, and have followed her across the country and from house to house, carefully packed into boxes and treasured for the guiding voices theyíve been.

And then one day, she reads an essay by one of her favorite authors, one of the largest of the guiding hands, the voice of tolerance and acceptance and understanding - and itís an essay so close-minded and judgmental that she has to look at the by-line several times to make sure that sheís reading it correctly.

Iím not gay. Iím not bi. Iím firmly in the Ďheterosexualí side of the human race. But I believe that a person should be able to love who they love, regardless of race or gender. I have friends that are gay, I have friends that have been in love for years and years, and yet they canít marry each other because someone out there decided that Ďmarriageí is their word. This is probably the only time you will see me get even vaguely political here, but I think thatís a crock of shit. People should be allowed to marry. Iím really not going to go into it more than that, because itís besides the point.

The point here is this - I grew up reading his books. I grew up loving them, and learning from them, and listening to what they had to say. Then I read this essay - itís hard to come up with words to describe what that felt like. It was as if that kind, gentle and understanding father figure had casually mentioned over breakfast that today he was going to skin a couple dozen squirrels alive and watch them twitch helplessly on the ground. There isnít really any proper way to describe the feeling. I cried, because this person that taught me that understanding was everything, this person that taught me to accept people, to embrace life, to understand - this person was not a person who understood, or accepted, or embraced anything wholeheartedly and without judgement. This was a person who openly mocked tolerance and understanding outside of the realm of a fictional novel.

And perhaps I should have been wiser and realized that fiction is simply that, fiction - but when I was young I didnít think it mattered, and I still donít. When I write my stories I try my best to take responsibility for the words that I put on the page and the stories that I tell, and leave people with knowledge and information that they can take with them, or simply note and leave behind - but the ideas and concepts that I introduce are all ideas that I firmly believe in and will support. Thatís why Xenith went away, those of you that read the blog entry may or may not have understood that part. Because what I was saying, and what I was trying to get across was not something that I believed in, and was not something that I wanted to leave people with. I donít want to disappoint people, and I donít want to teach something that I donít fully stand behind myself - it seems like a mockery of the medium to do so.

To this day, it horrifies me that an author would write of something and glorify concepts that he doesnít hold in his heart to be true. I still have most of his books, and I still go back and read them occasionally, but the magic is gone. The words are empty, hollow, and meaningless now.

Edit: As this seems to be creating a bigger mess than I'd intended, and as it's become apparently my point wasn't made clearly enough for people, I have added a follow-up blog post that I hope explains things a little more clearly.