Friday, November 8, 2013

A Giant Passes From The Landscape, And The Mountains Weep

Today's news is not whimsical at all and most bleak indeed.  Joey Manley, webcomics innovator and creator of such pioneering webcomic nexuses as Modern Tales, Serializer, Girlamatic, Graphic Smash, and Webcomics Nation, as well as the co-founder of ComicSpace... is dead.

I can scarcely process it. He was 48. A man who did so much to bring comics into the web 2.0 era, and yet he was gone so soon. It's hard to know what to say when a giant among us quietly passes. Joey, I hardly knew ya... but thanks. Thanks for everything.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Take What You Want, Make No Apology

In other news, after 7 years of failing to buy out this old man's farm so they can expand a military training base there, the Canadian government is just taking it away from him anyway. Apparently, it may be necessary to erode our citizens' right to their own home and sense of security in order to save them from those who would destroy our democracy from within. Hurrah! Oh wait... Let me try that again.  Ummm... hey! Just think about how many jobs will be created by expanding this base...!

Even though apparently this is all about National Security. Or jobs. Same diff, right?  Because otherwise what we just did might be wrong or even illegal. Hey, don't blame us, pal, this is THE NEW NORMAL, where words mean what we say they do. You can either swallow it or choke on it, the true north strong and free...


Just as the microscopic world never seems to run out of new strains of bacteria and germs for us to sharpen our immune systems on, so human society never seems to run out of new kinds of crap human behavior for us to deal with. And it never will. We can lament that fact, and we should. We can also embrace the opportunity to sharpen our skills at dealing with crap and maybe develop one our two new tools for next time.

Bleah, right?  But we'll be dealing with the Human Crap Condition our whole lives, so we might as well do something with the experience. In some cases it may be the only silver lining we get.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Meh. So after not posting anything for over a month, I've decided to let this whole "blog war" with Mr. Geigen-Miller go. Here's why. I've discovered that fretting about word count, or even thinking about word count, is toxic to my creativity. So is worrying about whether what I have buzzing in my cerebrum today will make a proper micro-essay, or whether I have time to make it conform to that.

Word count is kind of a silly way to measure a blog, anyway.  It's one of those post-industrial-revolution ideas for high-mindedly productivity-focused institutions, invented by burnt-out middle-school teachers to keep lazy students from handing in one-sentence exam answers like, "Because Hamlet was pissed off." I'm not really sure how useful it is in the adult world unless we make it so. Do we measure poetry by word count? More than half of my own creative output is graphical rather than written verbal, so setting targets by word count is not a thing I customarily do. I mean, I get that books and short stories and works of journalism need to have a certain word count to fit into their assigned slots when dealing with a publisher (I measure my own comics work by page count), and that professional prose-writers need to have some way of measuring their creative output in order to drive themselves.

But for myself, I already have enough creative targets in my life I'm trying to meet, and I don't need this blog to start competing with them. If that happens, I'll probably give it up and go back to my earlier "I don't have time to blog" position. Bad ju-ju for me.

Instead, I think I'll let my posts be exactly as short as they want to be. If I only have three sentences today, then that's what you get. If I feel like "Here's a cool drawring I did," than that's what you'll get. I think that's what a lot of artist-blogs look like anyway, like quick postcards from someone who's rather busy with deadlines at the moment.

I'm not an essay writer by nature. It's a skill I have and can pull out when I need it, but it's not my preferred mode of communication. And I have zero interest in letting it eat up precious free hours of my day that I could be spending either finding new clients or writing or drawing actual stories... which is actually the thing I'd rather be doing, and what I think most people who know me would rather see me doing anyway.

In other news, here's a cool drawring I did.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


As some of you may be aware, I have just been challenged. Mine erstwhile Xeno's Arrow collaborator, Stephen Geigen-Miller, hath chastened me, "Get thee to a bloggery." (Actually, what he technically said was, "I hearby declare Blog War on Greg Beettam and his Bleakwhimsy blog!"  The rules and sundry to which may be read here.)  So apparently it is ON! as the kids say.  (Kids these days, what will they say next?) So, now now NOW that I am charged to create content to fill this blatherskite of a column, what then shall we talk about? (Hmm?  Yes, we are keeping score by word count.  What's your point?)

 I suppose I could start by telling you where I've been all this time... but I don't want to.  It's mundane and boring and a little dismal in tone, some of the parts have rather poor characterization and the motivations are rather thin. I choose to unbelieve in the narrative, and that's a rather bad sign, don't you think?  Let's talk about you instead.  What do you think of this blog?

Okay, fine, that's enough filling space.  Let me tell you about some of the projects I have had or will have on the go in the coming year.  That's pretty upbeat, right?

RENT.  Everybody needs rent. Wait... is that everybody, everybody?  Damn.  Better go get some.  Give me five minutes, I'll be back.

Okay, done, moving right along...

MY FREELANCE WEBSITE.  This is how I trap clients who pay me money for my mad skills.  Have you seen the website? Oh, you should go there. Then send all your friends there, too.  Tell everyone you know how madly talented I am, and that someone should pay me mad stacks of cash for their marketing/communications/presentations/entertainment designs or visual storytelling needs.  This will keep me in mondo rent and free me up to spend less time squeegeeing on street corners and spend more time on the other projects below. Here endeth the lesson.

....XENO'S ARROW???  Yes, I know, it's in discussion.  What does that mean?  It means we're discussing it, fool.  There will be more later when announcements are ready.  For the moment, there's a website to re-tool, a kickstarter to plan, and some book-editing and reformatting to do. Remember that rent thing? It keeps me busy. Anyway, watch this space for updates.

HARRY STUMPT.  This will be a weekly webcomic when it's ready, which should be real soon.  Wait, Greg, back up, didn't you just say you were busy with that rent thing? Well, yes, but the good news with this thing is it's designed to be faster to produce than some of my other projects, so it will give me a way to keep hooking you merry little poppets up with Gregness while my bigger projects are still cooking. (Clever idea, that.... only took me, what, 20 years to think of it?)  I'm hoping to launch it in October this year, so we'll see. I've already got the first half-year's worth written. Watch this space. What's it about?  Well, if the Mad Hatter opened a speakeasy in Wonderland and Raymond Chandler and the Marx Brothers were getting drunk at the bar, and somewhere on the fourth round of shooters one of them hiccuped and said,  "Y'know... WE shud wridda hard-boiled detective novel togedder... burp!" ...then I'd like to think the result would be something like Harry Stumpt.  So now you've been warned.

MONKEYS WITH POWER TOOLS.   This will be my new magnum opus, which I've now been developing for either 4 or 9 or 11 years, depending on which version I start counting at.  There's a 22-page preview at that's been up online for 2 years, but I beg you not to judge it by that, since that version was produced under duress as a back-to-college thesis project and I've already retooled the whole thing so the story builds more properly. If I had one dream for this project, it would be for everyone who got excited about the Occupy movement to read it. This project has already become a bit of a joke among some of my friends, who I'm sure are now convinced that Greg will never fully release Monkeys because it will never be perfect enough to live up to his vision for the thing.  But that just makes it a better joke when I take them by surprise and start releasing the new version online next year.  At this point that seems like a realistic goal given everything else I'm juggling.  Watch for news in this space.

OTHER PROJECT IDEAS.  I've got lots of cool ideas on the drawing board.  I hope I manage to not die before I get them all out of my system.  Guess I'd better start exercising again.  At least I'm eating a lot healthier these days (thank you, yogic girlfriend!). Anyway, I'll plug those ideas another time when I have more to show.  Some of them I might even be looking for a publisher for, when the time comes...

Hey, that was a lot of words I think!  Poor Mr. Geigen-Miller, he has to count them all.  Blog, baby, blog!!!!

Until next time,
Gregory Edward Beettam, esq. and knucklehead

Saturday, August 17, 2013


I just want to make one thing clear: this may not be worth reading. Never blogged before, so the result could be messy.  I'm sure the first effort will be a meaningless scrawl, the fetid ramblings of an over-preening, self-styled voice in the wilderness, a new driver careening uncontrollably back and forth on the road to some dimly-remembered point. I'm only a decade behind in joining the Blog Brigade. It's a brave new Web 2.0 world out there, an era of I'm-just-making-a-sandwich Tweets, teen-angst Vlogs, and something called Tumblrrrrrrr, and I'm already late to the party... so now BLOG, baby, blog!

Some of you already know me as Greg, the co-creator of Xeno's Arrow. Maybe some of you even know me as the scriptwriter for Captain Lighthouse (...look it up! It's a thing), or as that guy who kept eating all the cookies (sorry). Anyway, I know I haven't made my presence felt in a while.  That's going to change now.  I've got some new projects I've been cooking up... some of which are not quite ready for public consumption yet, while others I hope to be launching or re-launching soon. So this will be a place to watch for news or sneak previews of all that. I also have the occasional urge to drip my snark on the news of the dayI imagine a blog is the place to put these things, much as a I imagine a Komodo Dragon could be a high-powered lawyer if I dressed it in roller skates and a bonnet. However, I have been wrong before. Exercise your judgements!

That is all for now.  That is all anyone needs to know.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the kitchen so I can tweet my peanut-butter and jam...