Did you know it’s not “one-upSmanship”? I did not

Guys, hello! Yes, hello, I am back! Not only to Tucson, but to this comic.

If you have never read my comic before, or have just forgotten everything that I said in the past, I’ve been in Wyoming for a month, at an artist’s residency called Jentel, which is very near Sheridan, and usually has a good view of the Big Horn Mountains, though most of the time I was there we had so much smoke coming in from the wildfires in Montana that we couldn’t really see them.

Jentel was outstanding, with a sort of pastoral beauty (rolling hills, large trees shushing in the wind over a winding, babbling creek, deer in the yard every morning and evening chewing at you with great equilibrium) that meshed very well with all the old British literature I happened to bring with me (Muriel Spark, Barbara Comyns, Dodie Smith, etc.). I got a lot of writing done, and met a number of wonderful people: the co-residents are almost always one of the best parts of any residency, and this was a particularly wonderful group.

There was also a very silly cat named Marilyn, who one of my fellow residents described as being “a little bit cheesecake,” which is perfectly true. Marilyn lived for our attention, and would stretch herself out into all sorts of ridiculous, voluptuous positions in order to get a little petting. Usually when someone asks me to do a comic based on something we’ve seen or experienced, I sort of smile and say “Maybe!” because what’s funny in life is not always a great barometer of what I’ll want to draw or write about. But in this case: hi Marilyn, this one’s for you.

As to the rest of the residency, I think I want to write an actual essay about it, since: 1. I can, and 2. I have a book launch coming up next year (my book isn’t released until June 5, 2018, but already I’m getting nervous about all the essays and things I’ll have to write to promote it; you’d think that the skills of a novelist would translate smoothly to those of an essayist, but this is not always the case). So I’m going to let those thoughts marinate a little bit.

In the meantime, I’m starting to wonder whether I should turn this comic into a TinyLetter, like all the cool kids seem to be doing. If I did, I wouldn’t stop posting everything here too/first, but…maybe? I’ll let you know what I decide.

Fall is coming to Tucson. The temperature this weekend is supposed to drop into the 80s. I’ve lived here long enough that even the 90s feel relaxing, and I can feel the season turning. It’s weird, but a nice weird.