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No Keys

graphic: header to the comic "No Keys"

No Keys” is about four friends looking for suitable lodgings and finding each prospect hilariously uninhabitable.*

It isn’t fictional enough, i’m afraid, even though i guess we haven’t looked at any legitimate haunted mansions or houses constructed entirely of broken glass (“You’ll never need a boxcutter or a letter opener again!”). And we are better looking than the way i draw us, haha. But anyone who has had to move knows how tough it is to find the right space to call home.

The least fictional part is the fact that we still don’t have anywhere to live and we  need one too damn soon. I’m writing and drawing the comic for shiggles, because we need something to put a smile on our homeless faces, but i’m also hoping it can shake out a little cash that i can put toward moving costs when we do find the magical fairytale rental(s) that will accommodate our unorthodox family, or failing that, toward a downpayment and repairs on a house (which we’d buy through a community land trust because we’re hippies).

If you enjoy the comic* and you’d like to fund its continuation, drop by my Patreon and pledge. There are some pretty bad-ass rewards and goals! If you’d like to get a gift for someone else as a way to help me out and gently stun two birds with one non-lethal projectile, you can check out S.E.E.D., a collaborative art project that’s helping me fund NOT living in my car.

 

* At the moment, because of technical difficulties (i just can’t get a break this month, haha) it’s being hosted on ComicFury, but that’s temporary. If for any reason nokeyscomic.com doesn’t work, for now you can use nokeys.the-comic.org.

This is what I see every time I come home, even if #Hanzo and #Briar couldn’t possibly know when i’d be back.

via Instagram ift.tt/1FRG7BGvia Flickr http://flic.kr/p/r2iz3v

S.E.E.D.

painting: artist interpretation of a witness account sent to S.E.E.D.

S.E.E.D. is dedicated to collecting firsthand accounts from witnesses of anomalous activity, even and especially in direct defiance of government suppression efforts. If your government has  succeeded in preventing you from hearing about the “seed” landings, click here to access the data that S.E.E.D. has collected and published so far.

Witnesses are encouraged to participate by sending in their own experiences with a nominal processing fee. The cross-referenced data will be published as free information online as well as sent directly to the witness in case any of several panicked governments succeeds in closing down our website.

(Continued)

No Keys & S.E.E.D.

I think it would be in poor taste not to gloss over the details here. I may or may not be more forthcoming later. Basically, the landlord decided to sell this place three months after we moved in. This affects not just my partner and i and our pets, but also two dear friends + their pets who had been approved to take over the lease in the upstairs unit. We all have to find a new place to live ASAP, and our buttholes aren’t lined up with the stars or whatever, because the house-hunt isn’t going well.

There is a pretty intense likelihood that come April, i’ll be living in my car. I would never, and i cannot spell NEVER with enough capital letters to stress this, rehome my dogs or my elderly cats. Anyone who suggests i do so is no longer my friend, forever. You’ve been warned.  One of the cats i’ve had for over half of my life. She would easily rather live with me in an Audi 4000 than go to a new home. My dogs and i love each other, not the house we’re in. I will find the magical fairy tale rental that 1) doesn’t say things like “Dogs under 25 lbs with prior approval” or “No more than two pets per unit” and 2) fits me, my pets, and my partner + his work equipment. (In our dream situation, so magic fairy tale + extra unicorns, we can find a house big enough for us AND our beloved friends, so that no one is left trying to pack their life into a storage unit and a car, and we all have live-in pet care, and table-topping buddies, and and and.)

But i have to be realistic: at this point in the year, before all the students leave in June, the available rentals are few and not well-suited to us. So i’m planning for it as if it’s inevitable. Using the word “homeless” about myself is surreal: I have fabulous credit and an excellent rental history both here and at my last place (where i rented for ten solid years). My dogs have obedience certificates, available references from their veterinarian and trainer, and all my pets have a clean history with my landlords.

I have a few potential leads, and if one of them pans out in time to keep me out of Chateau de My Car, the other sad reality for me is that i’m painfully short for moving costs (which may include buying a small supercheap fifth wheel or RV to make wheeled living more bearable) and possibly a deposit and a pet deposit. I don’t make much money and our savings were wiped out during the November move (in celebration, we had one $30 Christmas present between us).

Which brings me to the reason you’re reading about my misfortunes instead of me dealing with them privately as per usual. I have two artistic fundraising endeavors launching this week! Since i have the privilege of skills, i’ma use ‘em.

First, No Keys is a weekly webcomic about bizarre house-hunting shenanigans with the aforementioned beloved friends. Here are our avatars:

drawing: cast of my supernatural house-hunting comic, No Keys

That won’t launch until Wednesday. You’ll be able to fund this through my Patreon, but you don’t have to–you’ll also be able to tip me with PayPal directly, or if you’re as hard up as i am but you enjoy reading it, just pass the link around! (I’ve missed doing a webcomic, so this is actually a silver lining: my situation is pushing me into doing something that i’ve wanted to start for awhile. )

Monday, there will be S.E.E.D. I’ll leave you with an image–details tomorrow!

painting: artist interpretation of a witness account sent to S.E.E.D.

Are y’all messing with me. Because seriously.

I am so busy i shouldn’t even be writing this, but i can’t not tell you what just happened. I CANNOT KEEP THIS TO MYSELF.

I stayed home from retail-work so i could build special cat furniture to keep one of them from peeing on the bathroom floor right next to the litter box, like a total asshole. She refuses to share. Then i spent hours sweating as i moved/organized boxes in the garage because we have new roommates a’comin’ and they might need some space up there. Then i had an intense prep session with my co-presenter for our cats in coffee workshop on Tuesday, which lasted just under five hours. I was about to start working on stuff for the next issue of Nightmare (woo!) when, i shit you not, the ceiling began to leak a mysterious, dark brown fluid that smells like delicious smoked sausages.

Let’s go over that one more time, folks.

The ceiling began to leak a mysterious, dark brown fluid that smells like delicious smoked sausages.

photo: ystery liquid leaking from our ceiling

I DON’T EVEN.

art: Last panel of Bill Watterson's October 25, 1986 "Calvin & Hobbs" strip

Cats in Coffee!

poster: workshop on painting with coffee i'm running with a co-worker

I’m running this workshop with my friend and co-worker Maegen. If you’re in the area and it sounds like fun, sign up soon… I think we’re going to run out of space! (If it’s popular enough, though, we’ll do it again, so even if you miss it this time you may not be out of luck entirely.)

Twelfth dog, best dog

Because Hanzo is an enormous male pit bull, almost no one wants to pet him. But because he’s also a doofy, sweet, good-hearted kitten of a dog, it hurts his feelings when people avoid him. They walk across the street rather than pass him on the sidewalk, and he watches them with his ears up and his tail wagging slowly, and more slowly, and then stopping as they go away. And i admit, i hate them a little bit every time. Not enough to want them to get hit by a car or anything; just enough to hope they develop rectal polyps or contract pink eye.

I’m queer, but i’m not the kind of gay where you put your dog in clothes–at least, i never was, until i realized that it made people more likely to pet Hanzo.  And i’m queer, but i’m not the kind of gay where you sit down on a couch with a bunch of other dudes and get emotionally worked up over even more dudes sweating and rubbing all over each other. But if some sports love will get people to pet Hanzo, for them to treat him like a living thing with feelings instead of some kind of scary deathmachine? I’m on it.

photo: my pit bull Hanzo decked out for his (not my) Seahawks fando

It’s not just a trick i’m playing on people. “Got ya! That dog you just patted on the head because of your voracious fandom is a reviled pit bull!” This dog is genuinely a good person. You know what he did today?

He walked into the animal bloodbank–he led me in, while i was trying to go down the street–and i figured i’d let him snuffle around for a minute and weigh him before convincing him to leave. The receptionist saw him and dropped her jaw. “I was just going to call you–we needed a dog of his blood type to donate today.”

My dog voluntarily saved another animal’s life. He doesn’t even know that! And he hates being sedated, he hates hearing other animals be upset, but he strode right in there, because he’s such a bucket of love that he somehow sensed that today was the day to be awesome.

I wonder, of the people who cross the street to avoid him, how many of them have donated blood recently, or taken their animals to donate blood. I’m not foolish enough to think there’s a correlation between charitable acts and fear of strange dogs. But you know… the part of me that sees Hanzo droop and wants them to instantaneously develop a kidney stone? That part can’t help but wonder.

Leo making faces. Well, face.

 

photo: our bearded dragon, Leo, in the Christmas treeWe thought Leo might like to climb around in the Christmas tree after we divested it of ornaments and lights. Turns out he likes to just sit wherever we put him and never move, forever. Sometimes i think he might qualify as a plant.

But then he does things like zoom around the room looking for crickets we might have just accidentally poured all over the floor, because that’s how low his opinion is of our housekeeping abilities.

photo: our pit bull Hanzo being jealous that our pet lizard Leo is on my lap, not his.Hanzo watched Leo racing about. (And by “racing,” i mean, “scrabbling in place like a cartoon because little spiny claws are crap traction on polished wood.”) Hanzo clearly wants the spiny little dog with a skin condition to like him, but he’s not really sure how to make it happen.

Christmas in pictures, tweets, & tumbls

photo: my mom's yearly sacrifice to the grandpuppies.

This is actually pre-mortem photography. It will not be an open casket funeral.

My mom’s yearly, hand-sewn sacrifice to the voracious grandpuppies was popular for the entire ten minutes that it lasted. The cloth guts on the floor were too graphic; i simply cannot show you the carnage.

photo: our holiday meal and our tree

You can’t tell in the photo, but the tree has orange-and-purple Halloween lights.

Keffy visited and quickly became the unofficial pet photographer:

 

photo: Leo, by Keffy

Honestly, December hasn’t been a good month for me, and Christmas wasn’t perfect either, but i still feel like we’re ending the year well.

We’re in a new spacious house, with a wonderful imported roommate and her hilarious, lovable cat. Even if i’m poorer than i was a few years ago, i still love each of my three jobs. I’ve been with the same indescribably splendid man for almost fourteen years; we know and love each other more every day. I’m growing a secondary relationship with a woman who constantly surprises me in all the best ways. As a bonus, i get to see her boyfriend often–there’s a chosen brother i never want to lose. The concept of chosen family has never meant as much to me as it has this year. Thank you, 2014.

You’re invited!

photo: bin full of snacks

Goodbye “Haunt on Dupont” Party!

When: Noon to darknoon (12:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.), Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Who: Anyone who wants a last chance to see the ghost that made me stop saying “I don’t believe”

Why: We’re bribing you with pizza, snacks, beer, soda, and good company. Yeah, we’re cleaning and painting the house we’re moving out of, but you know us… it’ll still be a party.

Seamus is even setting up some rock show-worthy speakers and playing music to which you can sing, dance, and scrape ancient Halloween decals off the windows. We’ll also be building some cat furniture for the new house, and right now, the front room has a “moving sale” in which everything only costs as much as you feel like paying. (Seriously, we’re not going to argue with you. And there’s some awesome stuff, including a real wood entertainment center, a lightdesk, four matching dining room chairs, and a bunch of books that don’t suck.)

Where: If you don’t know where we’ve lived for the past ten years, e-mail hauntondupont @ plunderpuss dot net and i’ll hook you up. (This IS the Internet. You say the words ‘free beer’ in public and you never know what loser is going to show up and make it dirtier than when we started!)

What to bring: We’ll supply all the cleaning equipment if you supply the hands to wield them, and we’ll supply all the noms if you bring the mouths to chow them!

I haven’t really gotten to see any of my friends for over a month, since it took that long to clean out my superhoarding catastrophe,  so this is as good of an excuse as any to hang out for a little while. I can have just as much fun with you while we swat spiderwebs as while playing a videogame, and hopefully you feel the same way, because it’s a really big-ass house for just two people to clean.

Come see the ghost before we give it up!

photo: fridge door full of beer