Seeing Other People . . .

Sorry, WordPress — I know I’ve been a bit distant lately.  I was going along smoothly, updating 2 times a week and writing a lot, and then suddenly I was gone.  I know, I know, you probably feel betrayed.  Lonely.  Suspicious.  And you would be right.

See, this blog grew out of two of my great loves: writing and running.  But I have another love, my first love, a child-hood sweet-heart who has never really left me, even though I’ve put her to the side and not treated her terrible well over the years.  Drawing.

Yes,  I’ve been neglecting this blog because I’m drawing a comic book.

See, long before I ditched my prejudice against fitness and became a runner and  long before I had literary aspirations, I drew.  I’d say my earliest memories were of me holding a pencil, but drawing and I go back before my earliest memories.  I drew on the walls, I illustrated “books” before I could write, and I spent much of my adolescence dreaming of penciling the X-Men.

Then I went to Bard and fell in love with literature, and I spent less time working on art and more time writing essays.  Then I became a teacher, started running, had a kid, started a blog, and here we are.  But I’ve never stopped drawing, its just slid into the place of a hobby, like juggling or brewing beer.  I doodle constantly, and a few times a year get inspired to create a comic, usually satirizing the state of education (“write what you know,” they say.)

A few weeks ago I taught a week long cartooning elective at my high school, and while the students enjoyed it well-enough, it really sparked a new obsession with drawing for me.  I’d sort of forgotten how much I liked it, and how much I enjoyed laboring over it: not just tossing off a quick doodle, but spending ridiculous amounts of time obsessively lavishing attention on detail and craft.  In particular, I was inspired by this one-page sci-fic comic I did as an example for the class.  I liked how it turned out, and decided to keep working on it.

And that’s pretty much all I’ve been doing for the last few weeks.  I teach, spend time with my partner and kids, and then when they’re asleep, I stay up until midnight slaving on this comic.  I’ve got an 11 page story mapped out, and 5 pages finished so far.  I draw it in black and white, scan it in, then spend the bulk of the time coloring it on photoshop.  Since the first page was just done without anything serious in mind, I’m going to have to go back and redraw it, because the other pages are turning out pretty well (if I do say so myself).  It has absolutely nothing to do with running or this blog, but if you want to know why the dead-air, you can check it out on Tumblr under Voyager Comics. (for some reason the pages are out of order, though I swear I posted them correctly.  They’re labeled, however).

So there you are.  I’ll be back to writing about running at some point — I do have a 50K in just over 30 days.  But in the mean time, this blog is just for me anyways.  I’m not going for advertisers or endorsements, so if I ignore it a little while while I write, y’all will just have to put up with it.

And in the mean time, I you can read my comic instead 🙂


About Chris Van Dyke

I am a 33 year-old high school English teacher and long-distance runner. I live in Brooklyn with my partner, our 3 year-old son and 1 year-old daughter and a growing collection of muppets and trains. Besides running and teaching I like to draw, read, write, cook, and play the harmonica. While I didn't get to run my first ultra-marathon on my birthday, I've got a few more I've set my sights on. You can follow my (seldom updated) twitter feed @aboutrunning. I also blog as part of the Run Smiley Collective.
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One Response to Seeing Other People . . .

  1. runariran says:

    That’s awesome! You are well-rounded. I have a chalkboard wall in my preschool…and it’s not just for the kids 😉

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