This was a hard comic for me to post and write about… Which you may have noticed if you follow these kinds of things, as I haven’t posted in a couple months.

Well, a couple months ago my good friend, former roommate and brother for life, JohnPaul Ueber died in a car accident. While he never drew a panel for any comix, he has been a part of Mission Mini-Comix since the very beginning, living with me and Mikey during the first fateful night we had a bunch of homies together to put pen to paper in the quixotic mission to change the world with comix or laugh trying. He shared a household at various points with me, Mike, Antonio, Thom… Maybe most of the rotating Mission Mini-Comix roster has lived with him at some point or another, and he was always a solid rock, a mischievous prankster and the hearth and in many ways the heart of our humble comic making endeavors. One that should have been part of our lives forever.

The world sucks and the world is massively unfair sometimes, and JP’s passing was all the more senseless as he was always the one of us who most had his shit together, and was about to marry the lovely Eva and start the family he always wanted. This comic is about the pain that comes from loving someone and having to suffer the hurt that in someways always accompanies caring for someone. While Antonio wrote this comic before JP’s untimely death and it’s much more about relationships than dealing with grief, for my panel, I expanded upon the theme to pay some tribute to the people I’ve loved and lost, or just seen suffer in the past year. My dad, grandma and JP are all represented in the third panel of this comic. My life is better for having known and loved them all… but fuck it hurts.

I didn’t really mean to ramble on this much, but I couldn’t post another comic on our site without talking about this… sorry for the leave of absence with no word or updates… but it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write… Words can’t do you justice, JP.

But Antonio wrote about this comic more in depth (he has the straight scoop on it, as he wrote the text), so I’ll let him take it away and hopefully lighten the mood a little:

“So, this was something I wrote in the process of dealing with a lot of pain brought about by—SURPRISE SURPRISE—a romantic/sexual relationship. Of course, that’s what most people think about (at least in US society) when you think of “love”. I meant for this comic to be about more than that, though. I wanted it to be about all the kinds of pain that come with all the kinds of love we experience.

I wanted people to be reminded that pain is something that we all inevitably experience, and that it can be transcended (though maybe not ever overcome) by some very particular strategies and exercises. I learned this, not only from trying to deal with my romantic un-bliss, but also from a TV show I watched. That’s right—we at Mission Mini Comix do on occasion watch TV and sometimes even ENJOY it!. Anyway, what I was watching was this show about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and how one particular Vietnam Vet was going through a kind of re-enactment therapy to heal himself of insomnia brought about by powerful nightmares.
His therapist would make him recount his horrific experiences from the war, and every time, bring his attention back to his own body, the ways it reacted to thought, the way in which he embodied his psychological pain. Over time, the pain he experienced with recounting the story faded, until he no longer felt bad from just thinking about his past experiences in war. It was quite a touching story.
Anyway, my favorite panel has got to be the last one, where Jenn confronts the two most evil forces in the (her) world: hearts and genitals. I have to say, I agree.
Good luck to you all in your loving, and good luck in your hurting as well!”

This comic was written by Antonio, who drew the first, 5th and 7th pages Mikey drew the second and 4th, Jenn drew the 6th and 8th killer closer, and I drew the 3rd page (as may have been previously mentioned). Antonio has taken a leave of absence to edurmicate himself in the Netherlands and Sondra and Ram Silverhawk have bought a house up in Portland to start a new life, so the rotating roster of ruffians is down three solid members. They will be missed, but they won’t get us out of their lives that easy. Mission Mini-Comix will shoulder on like we always have… A little more bitter, a little more negative, but with renewed frenetic desperation and both middle fingers widely extended to greet the future.