to our hearts and souls

This was a tough Ramadan, wasn’t it? A heavy Ramadan.

Afghanistan, Grenfell tower, Nabra, Philando Castile, Charlena Lyles. A severe injustice. Every single one of these was a severe injustice. 

Our souls wept, our hearts broke, our eyes shed tears.

But we did not despair. We do not despair in the Mercy of God.

He is Just. He Sees all. He Hears all. And in keeping this thought near to us, close to us, we got through. And we will continue to get through whatever this world throws at us. Because no doubt, in the end, good will be met with good, and evil will be met with evil. All can be forgiven if one meets Him with sincerity, except when we infringe upon the rights of others, hurt the hearts of others, bring pain to the hearts of others. Then what of those who take the lives of others? Remember this. 

Be of those who do good. Choose forgiveness over spite. Empathy over judgement. Hope over despair. 

We have the choice. Alhamdulillah, we do. We keep moving forward, our trust in God unwavering.

We have breath flowing through our lungs still. Let’s make it count, for ourselves and for our loved ones, and for our friends, and for those we know, and for those we do not know. 

Here’s to, inshaAllah, doing our best to be good to one another, being a light in the darkness, and leaving this world better place than as we entered it. 

Taqqabbal Allahu minna wa minkum. May Allah accept from you, and from I. 

I wish you all a wholehearted EID MUBARAK! I am grateful for you all. I am grateful Allah allowed our souls to meet/interact upon this Earth. To benefit from each other, to learn from each other, and to grow with one another. May we meet in the best of places as well, my friends, in the Hereafter, in Jannah. Ameen. <3

Spot on. 

Criticism of his horrible policies, and obvious conflicts, is “dishonest media”? Betraying Trump in most cases is actually standing up for the Constitution.

We all have to step up our game. Trump is a true monster. No soul. No heart. No shame.

i would just,,, like to take a moment to appreciate lance in the simulator scene 

alright thank u for ur time

Long Live Octopus Pie

Three cheers!

I check the webpage out of habit, but Meredith Gran’s comic work Octopus Pie is over.  I feel like this is how sports fans feel when a jersey is retired and lifted to the rafters, forever in its untouchable place, time divided between when it was active and whatever comes after.  

That might sound grandiose, but in my mind, nothing tops the ten year run of Octopus Pie.  And in the lifespan of what we call Webcomics, 2007-2017 is a granddaddy of a run, worthy of names like “pioneering,” “influential” and “groundbreaking” because in the space of those years, in this new medium, there was room to be those things without any hyperbole.  The comics landscape of the past decade needed filling out and Meredith carved her space out with precision, showing a polish and drive and a talent from the beginning that set a high standard.  

I’m guessing that I started Hark a Vagrant about six months after Octopus Pie began, but Meredith’s was already a name to be reckoned with, due to the solid reputation of her previous comic Skirting Danger and because she was an honest to god trained animator in a sea of stickmen comics or two-dudes-on-a-couch comics (RIP forever *kisses fingers, holds them to the sky*). I was intimidated by her sheer capability.  But inspired too.  I did not need to be intimidated, she was one of the first people I met in comics, and easily one of the best.

Meredith and I briefly shared an apartment and a studio, and I can tell you, she can draw circles around everyone you know.  I later shared a studio with Mike Holmes, who could also draw circles around everyone, and now the two of them are married in some sort of talent supernova.  I am happy for them, even though I feel like I make grade three crayon pictures next to them.  But the other thing that being friends with Meredith for a long time has shown is the cutting wit, the care for stories done right, the love for a medium that will take you through highs and lows that come with comics, and lately through her job as a comics professor, the nurturing of upcoming talent.  I see all of this in Octopus Pie, a comic where character was paramount, where plots were expertly moved, a fine balance was found between the messiness of people and the fun you can have with stories, where subtle emotional movements where rendered with room to breathe, where I felt like I could reach deep into the hearts and minds of the characters on the page because they had been fleshed out so well over the years that they seemed as real people, people that I loved.

I don’t really like that phrase “comics will break your heart,” commonly attributed to Schultz, or Kirby, it doesn’t really matter.  You see it all the time, mostly when people are reckoning with the fact that they work in an unforgiving medium.  I don’t even know what it is about the saying that I don’t like.  Maybe it’s because we all know that comics are hard work, we all know that you might put your life and blood and heart into something and you might get nothing back.  There are no surprises to be found there - it’s not a bad day you had, it’s a life you’re well aware of living, if you do.  But we love the perserverers in comics.  The people who live the phrase are the ones who inspire us the most.

I’m saying all this, and pardon the segue, because I have seen Octopus Pie, some of the finest story work of my generation, passed for recognition time and again and it confuses the hell out of me, truly.  I don’t want to turn a tribute to a work I hold dear into sour grapes, that’s not the intention here, but lord above, if I can’t point this out now, then when can I?  We all know that there are no guarantees in this life (comics will break your heart) but I’ll say this once and then leave it: this is a comic of quality that was miles ahead of so many of its peers, and it deserved better, industry wise.  To wrap up the earlier point, maybe I don’t like CWBYH because it implies that you should shrug your shoulders and not ask for better every time, that a short end of some kind of stick is expected even.  That’s easy when it’s yourself, but speaking as a fan now, I say to heck with shrugging, I want to put Meredith on my shoulders and parade her around and dump her into a Scrooge McDuck thing full of awards.  

Actually that sounds pointy and bad and the Ignatz awards are bricks to begin with so maybe forget that analogy but you get the idea.

I hope you read Octopus Pie, I hope you buy the books.  I hope the legacy of it is long and full, because it always will be for me.  And I think readers will agree, because I know this devoted fan base pretty well.  I read the comments, I’ve sat next to Mer at comic shows, I’ve listened to some of the emails that touched her.  I know this is a comic that meant a lot, to a lot of us.  In this world of work we put our hearts and souls into to begin with, that is a wonderfully worthy thing.

I do not know what Meredith will do next, but whatever it is, I am here for it, seat pulled close to the stage.  The retired jersey is in the rafters, the game is still being played by the people who dreamed better because it was there.  Aw what can I say, I’m sentimental!

 Thanks, Meredith. <3

Don’t ever allow anything to disrupt your inner stillness. It’s not worth it. Life is so short as it is; so we must live each moment with peace in our hearts and happiness in our soul.
—  Nicole Addison @thepowerwithin

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Orlando Florida nightclub Pulse shooting, where 49 people were killed for being themselves. It was no coincidence that it was at a gay bar, it wasn’t mere chance that it was “latinix night”. This was nothing but an act of hate. A senseless act of violence from someone who thought he had the right to decide that these people should die because of who they are and who they love. My heart is heavy for the families and friends of the victims. Not a moment goes by that I don’t keep this tragedy and the souls lost in it in my heart and mind. There is nothing we can do now except love. Love with our whole hearts and souls and embrace ourselves and who we love. On this pride month, remember them, remember their names. May you all find peace and love in this tragic time.

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Stanley Almodovar III, 23
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
Luis S. Vielma, 22
K.J. Morris, 37
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
Amanda Alvear, 25
Martin Benitez Torres, 33
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26
Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
Cory James Connell, 21
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
Luis Daniel Conde, 39
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24
Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, 32
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
Frank Hernandez Escalante, 27
Paul Terrell Henry, 41
Akyra Monet Murray, 18
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24
Antonio Davon Brown, 29
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25

Cancers don’t try to have many friends because we put our heart and soul into them. We cut away pieces of ourselves to invest into friendships. Can you imagine all the slivers of our soul we could potentially have missing with too many friends? As an act of self preservation we put on our armor to see who will make the effort. We put on our armor in order to preserve our psyche from overload. To be a friend of a cancer is to willingly exchange a part of your soul for a part of theirs.

I tell myself that I want to write about you, but I still don’t really know how to. You’re the person who makes me wonder every day whether or not this is what love feels like. You managed to care for all of these pieces of me, pieces of me that I told myself were worthless and unnatural and out of place, and you’ve done what all of the other loves haven’t been able to do yet. I’m not struggling to survive without you, but I know that I don’t want to live in a world where you aren’t there. I’m not leaning on you to be everything that keeps me standing, and yet I want to hold your hand for the rest of this journey. You don’t make me feel like I need someone to tell me I’m enough, but you encourage me to be the strongest version of myself every single day. I’m just someone else entirely because of you. And now I know that this thing, this maybe-love..This was never supposed to make me jittery and out of control. This was supposed to calm me down. And you did just that the day your smile brought my tornado of a world to a gentle spin.
—  @itsfangirlalex; Please don’t ever let me go.
I Apologize in Advance

[Image Credit]

So I still exist. Sometimes. I swear. AND TODAY I’VE RESURFACED TO DRAG YOU ALL BACK INTO THE PAIN AND SUFFERING I’M HAVING OVER MERCY /UGLY SOBBING

I’ve never mentioned it, but I’m a Mercy main. And this woman is so important to me. Lord. And since I didn’t have a Valentine this year, enjoy some Mercy feels. 

I’m so sorry. (Listen to this to make it hurt even more)

  • Mercy dies. Now we may all see this as a common thing in-game, but canonly, Mercy has never fallen. Not once. For who would ever be there to bring her back again?
  • She is always at her most vulnerable when flying in to declare that ‘heroes never die’, and she knows this, knows the stakes are too high and the environment too hostile, but she does it anyway.
  • Her significant other is the last soul she ever saves–imagine this to be who you will, I refuse to drag the ship war into this post–and their horrified face is burned into her retinas before everything goes dark.
  • Every person who has ever been revived by Mercy has received a golden scar in place of the killing blow. Some team mates are covered in flawless gold more than others, but in their hearts they all know they carry a piece of her with them. 
  • Until she falls. The moment the life leaves her eyes, those glimmering blessings fade into dark knots of scar tissue. Dull, just like the world has become without her in it. The only one that retains its glow is a piercing mark above her significant other’s heart, brought on by the most lethal blow of all–losing her.
  • Hundreds are in attendance for her funeral. All of them come baring stories of her compassion, of seeing her brilliant wings and a smile on her lips as the pain faded away, as the darkness fled and breath returned to once still lungs. So many of them keep glancing down at various scars, as if still in disbelief that the light behind them is gone. That she is gone.
  • As the skies open up and her body is lowered into the soil, the heavens weep for the woman who showed mercy one last time.

-Queen

i miss how we used to talk. i miss our calls. i miss our night conversations where we just talked about random stuff. i miss the days where we just sat there and looked at each other because that’s all that mattered. i miss how we used to spill tea. i miss how you would tell me to wake you up an hour later but that was just an excuse so we could talk. i miss the times where i could make you smile and forget about everything else. i miss the nights where we laughed what was left of our heart and soul out. i miss going to sleep knowing you were still mine the next day. i miss seeing your face right before i say goodnight. i miss your goodnight texts. i miss your smiley faces. i miss everything about you. i miss you.
—  one of those nights