This Valentine’s Day comic was inspired by a fun exercise I learned from watching TikTok. If you have a question for the universe, ask it and then shuffle a playlist or listen to the radio. The first three songs will have a message for you:
One song will describe what’s going on currently in your life.
One song will give you an action plan.
One song will be your answer.
You will have to decide which song is which, as they could come out in any order. I tried this a few times with different questions to which I knew the answers and it seemed to work well. At the very least, you’ll be putting those constructive thinking and analysis skills to the test.
In Shouty’s case, he’s not doing this exercise but a different one where you ask a question and get an immediate answer, which is why it’s funny that he has, in fact, rigged it by using his love playlist. Poor Shouty….
Shouty shows Leonard his mobile phone screen while exclaiming, “I told you she liked me. She’s CRAZY for me! Look!” The next panel shows a close up of Shouty’s phone while he continues to talk, “You ask a question and then shuffle your playlist. First song to play is the answer!” His phone shows a playlist titled “Shouty’s Love Mix” and has “Crazy For You” by Madonna playing. Other songs in the playlist include “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You” by UB40, “Beginning Middle End” by Leah Nobel, “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole, and “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder. In the last panel of the comic, Leonard looks bewildered and tells Shouty, “But you can’t rig it using your love mix! You oughtta put ‘What A Fool Believes’ on that list!” Shouty puts his head on his fist and looks defeated.
Today’s comic juxtaposes the deeper meaning of life and who we are with the pageantry of America’s favorite sports event. The comic makes me uncomfortable–ending with Shouty sitting awkwardly and Leonard continuing to watch the game obliviously–and that’s by design. It’s easy to talk about sports and much harder to talk about spiritual experiences. It’s easier to give our focus and attention almost everywhere but to ourselves and what’s going on inside. I used to be someone who had her calendar booked at all times, never having a moment to really evaluate what I was feeling or what I wanted or needed. And if my calendar wasn’t booked, then my attention went to another person or a television program.
About half of what Shouty goes through is from my own life and this is one of those times. I could write a book about the last three years, but in a sentence, it was the most painful, yet important, three years of my life. Filled with health challenges, loss, and heartbreak, there were some dark times where I didn’t know if I would make it.
Thankfully, I’m still here, like Shouty, growing and learning.
I want to see how the story ends. 🙂
Shouty peeks out from behind the comic, as if coming from a different dimension. Leonard asks, “Where have you been?” Shouty comes into view in front of him and says, “I had a profound spiritual awakening.” Leonard snaps, “Dude, you’re blocking the Super Bowl.” Shouty sits down on the couch dismayed as Leonard continues to watch the game.
So…most of the time I sketch with paper and then start the comics, but this time I also decided to draw a draft without being bound by any brand or style guidelines. I appreciated this freedom and the time savings. I do like the black and white look, so I might adopt this in the future at some time. If not for Shouty, then maybe for when I start my own blog. How do you think it compares with the official version?