Inside the Mind of Kurtis J. Wiebe

A Life's Journey

Category: Uncategorized

Strange Dread – A Stranger Things Dread RPG

I was the storyteller for a Stranger Things inspired Dread RPG over the weekend. Here’s the first part of the episode. It was a lot of fun, and would love to host another at some time!

You can check the channel for many other shows I’m involved in, including D20Babes, an all lady party in an original Forgotten Realms story. Others include Gadfly, an original cyberpunk world using the James Bond 007 RPG system and Edge of the Empire.

Bounty #3 Preview!

The third issue of my Dark Horse Series Bounty with Mindy Lee comes out this Wednesday! Romance, action and cyberwizardry abound!

 

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Protected: Merry Christmas, Mom!

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Today I Am Wishing You a Happy Birthday

It’s August 8th tomorrow. Another day of summer in another year of my life.

Around this time last year I was sitting in the waiting room waiting for the love of my life as she was prepared for major surgery. I can’t tell you everything  I felt then. I was nervous, that much is certain, and I had no right to be, really. I wasn’t about to risk my life for another. All I had to do was sit there and not pass out.

A task which I accomplished in spectacular fashion.

And after a half hour of work in which I contributed nothing, you were brought into the world and into our lives. Into our family. I’m having a hard time believing that a year has passed between then and now, but here we are.

You’re the measuring stick of time, amongst many other things.

Willow, tomorrow you’re a year old. I’ve been writing letters to you since before you were born, and in that time I’ve realized that these pieces of memory are as much for me as they are you. Because it’s moments like this where I take time to appreciate the value of you when the day to day tends to be a blur of crying, poop and sleepless nights.

You’re already walking. You’ve been timidly trying for the past month but you’ve taken a real shining to it now. It allows you to be more mischievous with increased efficiency. You’ve taught us since then that nothing is ever truly baby proofed, it only ever maintains the illusion of it.

You’re very curious. Sometimes I have to attribute that mischievousness to your natural desire to learn more as a means to curbing my frustration. Snatching my mouse away and closing windows on the computer was funny the first time.

I assure it is not anymore.

You’ve changed me, little one. And you’ll forgive me if I choke back a few tears when I write this. I haven’t really faced these emotions yet. I haven’t formed the words to the choices I’ve made to be a better man, for myself and a better father, for you.

11 weeks ago I swore a sober life. And I’ve done so. Because every morning you smiled and waited for me even on the days when I struggled to pull myself from bed. Because you were happy to see me, unconditionally, even though the hangover was the only thing on my mind.

My life isn’t just my own. It is an owed life; to me, your mother and to you.

I suppose that, if anything, is what you taught me. And I’ve been slow to learn and accept it. I’ve begrudgingly accepted the responsibility.  And while it’s embarrassing to admit it, that’s the truth of the matter.

A year isn’t very long. At least, it never used to be. But you change month by month before my eyes.

And because of you I’ve stopped measuring time by years but by moments. Happy ones amidst sad ones. Joy and frustration. Laughter and anger. And the occasion when you make a marvelous discovery and familysmile with delight that the world has gotten that much bigger for you.

Still, we mark this year for you tomorrow. It’s an important day.

Because all those moments added together make this year.

And it’s the best I could’ve ever asked for, my little love.

Happy birthday, Willow.

Love always,

Dad

A Nar Shaddaa Gamble – My Star Wars Podcast

A few weeks ago I decided to put some effort into a Star Wars RPG and not only run it for friends, but podcast it as well. I wanted to use the Fantasy Flight Games Edge of the Empire rules as they were focused on character and narrative over fiddly number crunching.

I also wanted to create a living world that advanced independently from character choices, that would evolve with or without their involvement.

I put in a few evenings of work and crafted a faction system that monitors their overall goals and a ‘weekly’ goal, a scheme they put into action that happens between sessions. The results are decided by a die roll and a few factors like influence and resources, and said outcome can directly affect the PC’s… or not. Quite simply, they are more likely to get caught up in all these nefarious schemes than be an active part in them.

With that said, here is the link to our first episode plus a photo of the players and their characters. More information can be found on the website.

https://bothanbanter.wordpress.com/episodes-2/

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2015 Appearances Schedule

May 2: 9am-4pm: Third Eye Comics, Annapolis, Maryland- Free Comic Book Day

May 6: 4pm-7pm: Big Pete’s Comics, North Vancouver, Canada. Rat Queens Volume 2 SIgning.

May 9: 1pm-4pm: Hourglass Comics, Port Moody, Canada. Pisces/Rat Queens Signing

May 22: PaizoCon: Seattle, WA

May 23/24: VanCaf, Vancouver, Canada. Convention.

May 28-31: Awesome Con, Washington, DC. Convention.

June 13: 11am-4pm, The Comic Shop, Fairfax, VA. Signing.

July 8-12: SDCC, San Diego, CA

July 31-Aug. 2: Boston Comic Con

Nov 9-15: Thought Bubble UK, Leeds

Today I Am Reflecting On You

You’re five months today and I’m still not sure where the time has gone. Maybe before you were born I had all the time in the world, even though I thought I possibly couldn’t have less of it. I didn’t understand less time until August 8th, the day you were born.sleepy willow

I’ve been meaning to write to you again, there are so many little details that I wanted to capture before I’d forgotten them. I’ve failed to do so. I watched you lying on your back the other day and I remembered this little thing you did when you were first born. It was something you and I shared on those endlessly long nights while you suffered with food allergies and the pain that came with it.

But I’ve forgotten what it was, and I can’t remember now for the life of me.

So, before I forget, I’m immortalizing you in the now. Because you won’t always be this way, or even for very long.

Life has changed, for the record. I look back at the romanticizing, aggrandizing pre-father me and want to punch his cloud nine dopey face. Because he has no idea what he’s in for.  While everything I wrote was through a pair of glasses with broken rose coloured lenses, I know I meant them. I was excited for you, and I couldn’t wait to meet you. I just wasn’t ready for how much of an impact you’d have on my life, good or not so good. But I’ll talk about that in a moment.

Shan and WillowYou were born to us by C-section. A few days before your due date, you’d decided to invert yourself like some deranged gut dwelling bat, and you gave us very few options.

It was a bizarre experience. We didn’t go through the process we’d been training for in our pre-natal classes because we skipped past all the labour and screaming and gushing blood (I might owe you for that one). Your mom was insanely calm and focused. Giant needle to the spine? “No problem.” Opening her up and ripping a living creature from her insides? “Shhh, I want to hear the doctor talk!”

Meanwhile, I just tried to focus on anything but the idea that the woman I loved was laying on a gurney with a gaping belly hole. The protective sheet that blocked my view didn’t extend to my imagination, unfortunately.

It wasn’t long, though. There was that brief moment in time where we crossed a line; life without you and life full of you. And in between there existed your very first sound in the world as you cried.

We still had to wait, mind you. You were getting cleaned and weighed. Screaming your head off all the while. I still hadn’t seen you yet, just heard that you happened upon our lives from behind a sheet.me and willow

And then you came to me, all wrapped up and pudgy, like a marshmallow given a heartbeat. I held you. I think I was stunned. I was unsure of it all. Maybe it was because there wasn’t a long build up to the moment. Hell, your mother and I had an expensive French dinner at a beautiful restaurant not 16 hours prior.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t feel anything. I just sat there, trying to take it all in.

And it kind of went that way for a few more days as we eked out an existence in the hospital while your mom recovered. To this day I have no idea how she managed. Not just the physical pain of her surgery, but the emotional and psychological change she had to go through while healing. Her frustration at not being able to move. To lift or hold you properly without feeling excruciating pain.

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She did, though. And she’s the best mom you could ever have.

The following two months were the hardest I’ve lived through. I will tell you this, though: I cried when we returned home from the hospital. That’s when the emotion hit me. That you’d arrived and that you were mine. But there wasn’t time for that because life was only going to become more insane.

Sleeping BabyI don’t want to go into all those details, it hardly matters now that I’ve come out the other end alive and forged by the hellfire. You were sick and cried a lot. You screamed at two helpless parents for eight hours a day, you tried to tell us what was wrong in the only way you knew how, but we were clueless.

Dr. Internet was the saviour.

Since then, you’ve grown. You hardly cry anymore, even when you cut teeth at four months old. You’re downright rude if you don’t get your food exactly when you want it, but most days are good now.

You smile like your mom. You have giant ears like me. Your eyes light up when you’re happy, like mine do on the occasion positivity cracks through my scowl.

You love a bath more than anything. From the time we set you in the water, you kick and flail, stopping only to make sure we’re watching you before going right back to it.

You love music, particularly anything with a dance beat.B+W Willow

You like when I sing to you in the mornings, Josh Pyke being a favourite between us.

You love your mom more than anything. You smile when she enters the room and cry when she leaves it. Not jealous. Nope.

You love people. Anyone can pick you up and you’re just happy to be held. I hope that comfort with people stays with you and you don’t struggle with social anxiety like I do.

You refuse to sleep when we have company because you know something much better is happening outside your crib.

Sitting upYou take the stinkiest shits.

You rub your head in an awkwardly euphoric way while you drink from your bottle.

You intentionally stick your legs out of your crib when we put you down to sleep because you know we’ll come get you.

You smile every time we come get you.

You enjoy doing an inhuman growl that makes my skin crawl.

You would live in your oversized puffy coat if we let you.

I know I’m missing things. I know there aren’t words to encapsulate everything that you are and all that you mean to me. For anyone to understand, they would just have to spend a bit of time to find out why we love you.christmas hat

I suppose that’s what the five months has taught me, if anything. Every moment I spend with you matters. It means something. To you. To me.

And when I woke up this Christmas, I looked around and saw something new.

My family.

And I’m so glad you are part of it, Willow. I couldn’t imagine life without you.

Love always,

Dad

Dia De Los Muertos: Lonesome

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My Statement on the Rat Queens News

This is a difficult and upsetting statement to write. I couldn’t have imagined something I love so dearly would become connected to domestic violence.

After a few days of reflection and going through a roller coaster of emotion, I’ve realized I’m not angry about this revelation. I’m deeply saddened. When you work with someone so closely on a project that is so personal, you are much more than creative collaborators, you become friends that feel like family. I have a lot of love for Roc Upchurch, I’ve spent a lot of time with him, at conventions and signings and quiet times over dinner when the crowds have gone away. Shannon and I have spent time with his wife, whom we admire greatly. With everything that has happened, I still care about and love Roc and my greatest hope is that in all this there is an opportunity to find help and for healing to take place in his family. They are never far from our thoughts.

I’m not a stranger to domestic abuse. I know that keeping abuse a secret and being afraid to speak about it are why so many people suffer in silence. It is a topic that needs to be openly talked about and there needs to be a feeling of safety and acceptance for those that come forward with their stories. It is why I am addressing this news rather than burying my head in the sand.

I know many readers are asking the ultimate question: What now? I was on vacation with my family when the news broke and I’ve spent the past few days debating what to do. Rat Queens has always meant a lot to me. I’ve poured my heart into the series, and through it I’ve shared my life, revealed my fears and insecurities and it’s helped me cope with lifelong struggles of body image and confidence. 

I want you to know that Rat Queens means the world to me on a personal level and my mission for the series is unchanged. I want to write stories about women that I see in my everyday life, about friendship and to make comics that include and embrace diversity.

As of today, Roc Upchurch will no longer be illustrating Rat Queens. This is going to be a transitionary period for the series as we rebuild and prepare for a new start. I am committed to Rat Queens, to stand by what it has always been praised for and to prove to the fans that they weren’t wrong in loving it.

Thank you for your understanding in this difficult time.

Kurtis J. Wiebe

As a Vancouver resident, I encourage contacting Domestic Abuse Services to learn how you can get information about abuse or make a charitable donation.

http://domesticabuseservices.ca/

 

 

Today I am Building Our Future For You

June 20, 2014

Willow,

I’m on a plane back from Los Angeles. I’ve been away for five days and I’m an hour from home. I’ve missed your mom a lot. She’s told me you’ve been quieter than usual since I’ve been gone and that when we talked on Skype you danced to the sound of my voice. You touch my heart in ways I can’t begin to explain and I haven’t even met you yet. But, we’re getting close. Seven weeks, to be exact.

I’ve been meaning to write a letter to you for a while now, but I’ve been planning my future so that I can give you a comfortable one. That’s why I took this trip. By the time you can read and understand these messages, you’ll already know that I’m a writer. Or like to think I’m one. It’s a strange profession, but I want you to know that, from the moment you’re born, I will support whatever it is you want to be. I grew up in a time when everyone thought creative careers were an impossibility. It’s nonsense. Just know that, like with most things in life, it’s not an easy path.

I’ve been thinking about the journey your mom and I have taken. The time has gone by at a terrifying speed and you continue to grow and change our lives. Mostly your mom’s, to be fair. You’re stretching her out and she waddles in hilarious fashion that I can’t help but laugh at. You’re insanely active, kicking the hell out of your mom, apparently the most when she laughs or when The Police come on the radio. Or when she sings.

Life for me has stayed much the same, externally. The life I live in my head, however, has gone from work related obsession to work related obsession plus you. If I’m being really honest, I’ve been feeling scared. I see what is to come and there’s a panic inside that I can’t shake. What if I can’t support this family? What if you get sick and I can’t help you get better? What if, what if, what if…

And that’s me. Sometimes I am fearful. But there’s also so much anticipation, Willow.

What if she looks like her mom? Or both of us? Or, worst case scenario, she looks like me? What will she love? What will she sound like? How will she feel in my arms?

I spend a lot of my time waiting for you. That time can’t pass soon enough.

I turned thirty five this year. I realized not long after it was the last birthday I’d celebrate as a man without a child. Your mom and I went on a trip to New York together, the last we’d take as a couple in this stage of our lives. My last father’s day without a child physically in the world. Next weekend I’ll attend my last comic convention as the man I am now.

But you know, despite my fears, you’ve made me ready to be a father in a world of firsts.

In seven weeks I will hold you, my baby girl.

Love,

Dad