Welcome to a special edition of Sunday Comics, my weekly-ish newsletter.
Today I am very thankful to make it to my 47th birthday, which is the reason I felt comfortable enough to put a drawing of myself on the cover (I was planning on using Ghost Rider, but we'll get to that).
It was a rough week, as the worldwide wave called the Coronavirus slammed into the country. As the American population slowly pulled it's collective head out of the sand, reality of what we're up against is setting in.
Here's some cool stuff I made this week in the midst of all that. CONTENTS
Jaker Quake (remix)- I colored my Jaker Quake drawing from last week, and it looks awesome!
Rise to The Occasion- Batman isn't real. Sad, I know, but if he was real, here's what he would say to us right now.
Monster or Hero? - I also drew one of my favorite monster heroes, and while I was at it, worked through some of dark emotions that are bubbling to the surface these days.
Work in Progress- I started on a political cartoon... It's not ready yet, but I can't resist sharing.
Hip Hop Music Report Out- I've just been blasting this one song over and over....
I don't have a cat- So why did I draw one on the cover? I'm not exactly sure, but here's my best explanation.
My Birthday Wish- I doubt anyone's gonna buy me a cake today, but you can still help an artist's wish come true!
The Innocence Project- Let's help get INNOCENT people out of Prison!
Last week, I told you the hilarious tale of a pop rap misunderstanding that is The Jaker Quake. On the low, I took a two week Artists In Business mini-course from the always incredible Alexis Fedor to sharpen my storytelling chops.
She led us through a process of sharing a piece with our audience, which resulted in my telling you that story in last week's Sunday Comics. I eventually re-shared the story in a LinkedIn article, and I colored the Jaker Quake drawing for that.
Here's the new full-color version of that drawing:
Speaking of LinkedIn, after sharing this drawing of Batman encouraging us to take care of one another via email, I posted it on LinkedIn:
Batman (Rise to the Occasion) by Samax Amen
RISE TO THE OCCASION
Heroes are born in times of adversity.
While others are folding up and hiding in a bunker, heroes are finding ways to use their unique abilities to save the day.
Heroes feel fear, but they don't panic.
Sainthood is not required, because real heroes don't want to be revered, they want to be useful.
My mentors have taught me that serving others is the heart of heroism.
This is a good day to rise to the occasion...
Like it? I'm sending it off to the printer soon for Limited Edition Vinyl stickers. If you want to pre-order, you can get two 3 x 4 inch stickers for $5 (includes domestic shipping!). Just click the button to pre-order!
The other day, the Nicholas Cage sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was on. Not a great movie by any measure, but it was a fun movie to have on while drawing. One thing led to another, and I wound up drawing Ghost Rider.
Ghost Rider (Wash Your Hands, Please) by Samax Amen
black book sketch, inked and colored in Photoshop.
Even though the movies are iffy, I'm a huge fan of Ghost Rider in the comics.
I love monster heroes, who generally toe the line between superhero and anti-hero. They often struggle with a nature that is neither fully good nor evil. Ghost Rider is no different.
Possessed by the eponymous spirit of vengeance, stunt cyclist Johnny Blaze is compelled to terrorize bad guys into mind-melting insanity as payback for their various crimes.
In times like these, it's easy to feel like others are not doing enough. Even if that is the case, resist the temptation to be merciless. Wishing ill on Spring Break beach party-goers may make you feel better, but it is beneath you.
We have to correct foolish or selfish behavior without crossing the line and becoming less human ourselves.
At the end of Spirit of Vengeance, Ghost Rider saves the world from the big bad villain without forfeiting his own humanity.
In the same way, we must find the strength to hold each other accountable without losing our souls in the process.
I started drawing a political cartoon about Trump. Only he says outlandish stuff every day. Sometimes so many in one briefing that it's hard to choose.
Anyways, there will be at least one full strip ready for next week. I just had so much fun drawing this that I wanted to share it.
Since we've been talking about heroism, I will just say that this is NOT how heroism is done. Three and a half straight years of NOT rising to the occasion.
But enough about your President...
I'm currently looking for more clients for my comic strip service. Helping businesses achieve their goals by turning their ideas into versatile visual assets is a lot of fun.
Some things my ideal clients have in common:
Nostalgia and/or appreciation for newspaper comic strips/funnies.
You always wanted to make comics, manga, or comic strips... but abandoned silly things like that in favor of creating a "real business".
You believe that the way to make lots of money is by helping other people to achieve their goals.
You already use content marketing (email marketing, blogging, social media, ads, etc) to offer value and prove that you understand your prospects and/or can deliver results.
You want to create digital assets that appeal to your ideal clients. Assets that you can give away (as lead magnets) and sell for passive income (like books, videos, music, etc).
If any of that sounds like you, you might be my ideal client! I have worked with book publishers, e-learning companies, stand-up comedians, musicians, Instagram influencers, car detailers, bloggers, personal development gurus, career coaches and more!
HIP HOP MUSIC NEWS Not much to report this week. I've pretty much just listened to this one song The Blinding by Jay Electronica & Jay-Z (or as I call them, Jay E-Z) over and over all week.
The Blinding Jay Electronica · Travis Scott A Written Testimony
℗ 2020 Roc Nation, LLC Released on: 2020-03-13
I've been focused on client work this week (more next week about that) and my daily sketches.
"I DON'T SUPPORT LIFE" When asked about pets, or even having plants, I would often say "I don't support life" as a cheeky way to say I don't own any living creatures.
I find the concept of owning animals to be pretty dicey, but my thoughts on that are not fully formed, and I'm certainly not judging. In fact, I have observed pet ownership to be a source of joy, and I love other people's pets.
I haven't seriously considered getting any pets since my dog Millie (whom I adopted when I got married in 2007) died in 2015.
Millie is With Me (2017) by Samax Amen
Sharpies on polished wood 16 x 20 inches
If I was going to have a pet, I would want a cat.
In times like these when we are being asked to isolate ourselves for safety, having pets probably helps a lot.
So maybe that brightly colored cat cover is a visualization for what I want in the future?
FOR THE RECORD, getting a cat is NOT my birthday wish this year! I'm not set up for it at the moment. So don't show up at my house with a cat. You'll be taking it home with you.
So what IS my birthday wish?.
My Birthday Wish is for YOU to JOIN AMENsiders, fam! (((airhorn)))!
I'd like to invite you to join my Fan Club AMENsiders, which gives my fans a way to become patrons of my art practice, to allow me to make more decisions based on my artist's instincts rather than on my cold reptilian business brain.
(like *ahem* spending hours drawing comic book characters telling you to wash your hands)
My AMENsiders VIP Fan Club members get exclusive behind-the-scenes previews of stuff I'm working on, discounts on custom art, and more.
Everyone who joins at the $25/month level or higher will receive a package of artsy goodness every month, like prints, comics, stickers, etc.
This year, I am donating 10% of my revenue each month to the Innocence Project*, a nonprofit that works to exonerate innocent people through DNA testing and reform the criminal justice system to prevent injustice.