Previously: There Is Horror Everywhere
Esther C. Werdiger writes, draws, podcasts, and lives in New York. Read The League of Ordinary Ladies here.
happiness, love, the league of ordinary ladies, esther c. werdiger, what is art
As someone who is an artist for a living, artwork has always been my placeholder for an identity and an excuse to be single/forever catlady/passionately dedicated or whatever. I spent a lot of time last year trying to fight the creative drought - it's funny how when we're happy and distracted and fulfilled in other ways, art seems to suffer first. All of that balance is so delicate, especially when your artwork is so involved with your own life and what people have come to expect of you. Fuck it, things definitely evolve! Your comics are great and I'm sure I speak for others when I say that we're happy to have them, hapless dating disasters or not.
(But if you figure out the secret of: how to make artwork/exercise/clean/answer emails/friends/dating/leave the house/dress yourself/errands/enjoy things PLEASE LET ME KNOW)
I am SO glad you are back. I have missed your comics terribly. I completely understand where you are coming from when you say that it is both easier for you and more entertaining for the reader when you tell self-pitying/nightmare dating experience stories.
However, having followed some of your dating journey via your spellbinding storytelling, I have to say that not only am I really happy for you and your BF for finding eachother, I also still think your art is unique and needs to be shared.
Sure, the phase of your life where you were rife with stories about awkward dates may be in the past. But I for one would still love to hear about your life. Life doesn't stop being funny or entertaining or crazy even if your relationship changes. I can only imagine the hilariousness you will have to share as life goes on.
Esther, you have a real gift for observing the absurdities in life and translating that into art. I will always want to hear what you have to say, no matter what stage of life you're at. I will still read your comics when you're in an old age home writing about how stingy the kitchen is with the sour cream.
@hairpinner I wanted to reply to this and couldn't think of what I wanted to say, but this is exactly right and so well put. Esther, you are a treasure, and I hope for such good things for you, in your art and in love. I'm coming back to writing after three years away. It was so hard, and now it's so good. You'll have fallow periods, but eventually there will always be things you want to say.
This was wonderful! Please keep making things and sharing them, even if they are fewer and farther between than before.
I MISSED THIS SO MUCH.
I AM HUGGING IT RIGHT NOW, PULLING IT CLOSE TO MY BOSOM, AND I AM WEEPING OPENLY.
THERE SHOULD BE A BUZZFEED VIDEO OF OUR REUNION SO THAT EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET CAN WATCH IT AND WEEP TOGETHER AND FEEL IMMENSE WARM FUZZIES.
Esther! It's great to see work from you again. And this particular comic is really relevant to things I've been thinking about lately, as someone who is in theory a writer but has been writing less and less (and is having a baby, which I'm told is time-consuming). So thanks, and do keep creating things, even if they take you a long time.
I just gasped. FINALLY!
LEAGUE OF ORDINARY LADIESSSS.
Esther, I like reading about happy people, and I love and have missed your comics.
This is so perfect. I was once a really creative person and when I hang out with my actively creative friends and they ask me what I’m working on (NOTHING) I feel really bad about myself. It feels like the need to make things has gone away. I miss that. This is forcing me to think about how I can try to flex that creative muscle, or whatever it is, again.
This is brilliant.
Moving to New York (way back in the 90s!) absolutely KILLED my creative drive. At the end of the day after the subway, my tedious desk job, the gym the subway again … all I wanted to do was drink, eat or sleep. Plus, everyone is an artist and everyone seemed better than me and when I was young I let that intimidate me.
Leaving was the best thing I ever did. It took me two years to start writing again, but it's happening. It's so much easier to balance life, work, creativity in other places. SO much easier!
Any asshole can open up a museum
Put all the things he loves on display
So everyone can see them
The house, the car, a thoughtful wife;
Ordinary moments in his ordinary life.
But if she blinks or smiles, she'll give you away
'Cause no one wants to pay to see her happiness.
No one wants to pay to see her day to day
And I'm not buying it either,
But I'll try selling it anyway.
Any idiot can play Greek for a day
And join a sorority or write a tragedy
And articulate all that pain,
And maybe you'll get paid.
But it's a sin when success complains
And your writers block - it don't mean shit.
Just throw it against the wall and see what sticks.
Gotta write a hit - I think this is it.
It's a hit.
This is so incredibly sweet, and Esther has so much goodwill built up, that it even warmed the tiny black chip of flint in my heart space.
Creativity works on its own calendar, and I hope yours and the Hairpin's sync up again soon. Happy Valentine's Day/Eve of Half-Price Candy Day!
Estherrrr!!! This was great, I also hope you never stop making things. I am also in a relationship where I want to cuddle for a million years and what I miss the most is my reading time. I used to read a lot more!
Oh Esther!! How I've missed your comics - they used to be the highlight of my week and were always so sweet and creative and above all - I saw a lot of myself in them. Congrats on your new love - I'm sure we would all like to read a story about him, and would enjoy it as much as a crazy cat lady story :)
ESTHER!! I loved this comic. And I'm so happy for you! I completely sympathise about the art. Look, it's lurve, and it's the job. Over time you and your man will be fine to still love each other madly but want more time to do your own thing. I missed dancing and reading when I met my bloke and he didn't get nearly as much time playing guitar. And I had a crazy insane workload job and I didn't realize it was killing my soul. Now I don't have that job and now I'm not trying to live in 2 houses, after a crises about what my job will be I've not only gone back to dancing and started reading more - I've remembered from a dim past teenage self that I used to love writing, and I'm still good at it.
So don't fret. I write poems and short stories in email to myself during the day. If you can go part time in the future do - but in the meantime recognize you had way more time - and you'll get some back from your relationship (my partner often cooks while I read or write stuff!). Xo
Esther! I'm so glad you're back and I relate to this so much. I'm a person who makes a lot of things too and every now and then I'll have a month or a few months where I just... don't. It used to freak me out, but now I've realized that it's just part of the process. It takes as long as it takes, and sometimes those periods of not making things are when you recharge and find new things to write about.
I don't know how anyone does all of this, either.
@supernintendochalmers Also, the panel of the girl saying, "Oh, fuck off" at images of your happiness made me laugh out loud.
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