In response to THIS POST, I asked Zack if he could identify a “style” in my art. He told me yes, but that it doesn’t show as much as it could because of some ingrained bad habits. Specifically, by the countless hours I’ve spent reinforcing those habits through earlier drawing projects, instead of practicing better ones. Basically, that the thing holding back my drawing was Fenix Gear. It’s something I’ve known for a while, and has followed me through creative, professional, and personal work. I am unable to let go of Fenix Gear.

Story of my life.

Whether it’s writing, art, or just how I live my life, Fenix Gear is the barometer that I look to, imprinted on me as indelibly as the scar on Zoe’s face. And it goes deeper than you may think. It’s not just a comic or a series to me. Fenix Gear, for about a decade, was my one and everything. It was only after its first 5 issues were complete and I was able to focus on other things that I was able to step away from it, and its removal from my life was like getting divorced, but never quite getting over my ex. I was never able to fully step away, never able to escape it. It haunts me, sometimes even haunting Unlife. I’d even say FG speaks through me rather than me speaking on it’s behalf. It’s almost as if my conscious self doesn’t have a say in this project.

A while back, I was asked to try and get in touch with my inner child and, for the life of me, I couldn’t. The idea was that connecting with him would allow me to see what I really wanted. But the only thing I could locate was, unsurprisingly, Fenix Gear. Leylie had somehow taken on the avatar of my younger self, Zoe the stubborn, uncompromising heroism I believed in as a child and was devastated to find missing in the adult world, and Carolyn representing an incipient sexuality I was struggling to understand. A lot of who I am had become so messily intertwined with what I wanted that couldn’t untangle it all. For better or for worse, Fenix Gear can’t be gotten over because it is now one and the same as my inner… me, I guess.

I wonder if that’s bad or if it gives my inner self more form. Honestly, it has given the child inside me a much clearer voice. I understand what it wants. And with that knowledge, for the first time, I know how the series as a total would end. Maybe I’ll write it one day, the last Fenix Gear story. It is outlined. All that’s left is to write it…

But I struggle to start. Not because it’s too hard. Hell, it’s the clearest script I’ve ever imagined. Rather, because it still feels like a backwards step. It feels like a regression when I’m trying to grow past it. I don’t want to forget it, but I don’t want it to control my writing sensibilities. And who’s to say this ending I forsee is really the end? I may think of another. A continuation. Keep the ball in the air forever. And even if it was the actual end, can I really sacrifice more time when I am trying to move past it? When I want to be a greater writer and artist, how long can I swim in the seas of the past? All I know is that ignoring it isn’t working. Something has to give…

I thought, after writing this, I could put it out of my head for a bit. Instead, as I get off the train for work, I am taken past the F and the G trains. FG. Constantly around me.
Go figure.