the other title

say goodbye to sir vortex

when i was 13 years old, i made a comic book. it was about a regular kid named felix who liked riding his bike, hanging out at the local burger joint (shoutout clara mae's) with his best friend jake, and keeping his nose in a book. "it's always the quiet ones you have to watch out for." felix lives in a dream world as it is, vivid and bright unlike the subdued one he's living in. he wishes for something else. he gets way more than he bargained for as frustrations wind up reaching an apex one night as he's out riding his bike in a thunderstorm. he wants to get away. anywhere.

passing by the now secluded downtown area, he passes by a mirror and his reflection seems blinding. hurtful. he gets off his bike, picks up a rock and throws it at the mirror. the glass shatters out. at that exact moment, at that exact time, thunder strikes. it's also a supermoon but... that's a whole thing that comes up later. listen, it's a comic book so it doesn't need to make sense. anyway. the glass that's now been flying away has been hit by the thunder. it cuts felix, he passes out. fade to black.

he wakes up with cuts and scrapes and little recollection of what actually happens. he cleans himself up as best he can and goes to school. jake freaks out at his scars, the bullies make fun of him, one teacher in particular is concerned, but he evades it all. he goes to the bathroom to see if things are really as bad as they make it out to be - it's not - and as he's inspecting himself in the mirror he realizes something looks off. a little different. the mirror seems like it's floating, almost. like there are waves underneath it. he reaches over to touch the mirror and comes to find it's not just in his imagination. this is real, it's not just a mirror. he freaks himself out, the bell rings, he rushes to his next period.

when school's over he heads home and checks out the mirror in his room. same thing. when he places his hand against the glass he realizes it isn't glass after all. not to him. his hand can fit through. then, his whole arm. his other arm too. he steps inside the mirror completely. he's transformed into an entirely different world. the vortex. a free for all where anyone who doesn't exactly fit into society goes to hang out. you've got your humans, sure, but you've also got your mythical creatures in there too. he goes there often, so do the friends he makes. they even get jokingly knighted, all of them using "sir vortex." boys & girls alike. it's a mindset, a feeling, the kind of escape you can crave.

he isn't a superhero. it's just a place he goes to escape every now and then. he's an entirely different person there because he doesn't have to be weighed down by preconceived notions, by flaws, by his mind. he is louder, more outgoing, fearless. the comic shows off all his adventures in the vortex in contrast to his average life at home. felix by day and sir vortex by mirror, any mirror.

i never did finish making the comic full out but i think about how the ending would go. the vortex changes him and he changes it. for the better. around the world is the knowledge that there are many sir vortex misfits out there who have found a place they belong. however you got here, for whatever reason, you belong.

a friend i reconnected with sent me a text six years ago that said, "hey man, you down to come on tour and play guitar with us?" i said hell yeah. fast forward one band and a solo project later, here we are. can't wait for you to see what else there is in store.

- a

welcome to the vortex