What is Weirdo Poetry, and who are you?
Where I answer all your pressing questions and divulge far too much personal detail about my life.
Hi, I’m Jason McBride, and I’m a poet, writer, and indie comic artist. I write, draw, and create strange, whimsical stories in the form of poetry comics and visual essays.
I’m a haiku junkie, stop-motion maniac, and all-around weirdo.
I’m also a work-from-home dad. I’m the primary caretaker of our four kids and the one responsible for most of the house stuff.
I’m the author of Pirate Haiku, Horror Haiku, and the author & illustrator of Quantum Joy Infinite Melancholy. I’m also the creator of the haiku zines, I Stare at the Sea & The Joy of Nothing. I’m always working on new projects, including more haiku and poetry comic collections.
I’m also neurodivergent. I have an anxiety disorder and ADHD. I’ve also struggled with depression off and on for most of my life.
What’s the deal with this newsletter?
I share one or more poetry comics every day—often but not always—the poem is a haiku. Sometimes I also share a short message about creativity or my process. Everyone gets the poetry comics. Once a week, my paid subscribers get a longer comic (10-30 pages). These comics are anything from a longer poetry comic, memoir, creative non-fiction, and fiction.
How often does your newsletter come out?
I send out a free post every day.
Do you want this to be your main job?
YES! I’m in the process of transitioning from my second career as a copywriter (I was a lawyer in my first career) to my third career as a full-time indie comic creator, poet, and illustrator. When you buy my books or become a paid subscriber, you help me get one step closer to doing this full-time.
Do you have a family?
My wife is an incredible pediatric nurse who is currently dealing with an array of health issues and is not working. We have four incredible children and a mischievous dog named Loki.
Loki loves cheese and barks at delivery drivers from the safety of behind the front door.
My kids range in age from 11 to 18 (three of them are teenagers!). I write about my kids a lot because they inspire me, and I’m around them all the time. I never use their names instead, I refer to them like this:
K—(daughter) my oldest and now an adult
E—(daughter) my second oldest and closer to the beginning of high school than the end
G—(son) my third oldest and a middle schooler who’s ready for bigger things
T—(daughter) my fourth oldest and the one who is most embarrassed by me
Why poetry comics?
The short answer is, I don’t know. I feel compelled to create this strange hybrid art form. I can’t not make them.
Here’s the longer answer:
I’ve loved poetry since a wise and tough English teacher introduced me to Transcendentalism in my sophomore year of high school. I’ve loved comics since I was a little kid, and I discovered my grandparents had boxes of comics that they had ripped the covers off. They owned a small country convenience store, and they destroyed the comic books that didn’t sell by ripping the covers off and sending the covers in to get paid back by the comic distributor. Instead of tossing the comic books, they boxed them up for their grandchildren to read.
I believe that all of us need to read and write more poetry. Poetry comics make poetry more accessible to many people. Comics also force readers to slow down. It takes you longer to read a haiku spread across four panels than it does to scan three short lines of text.
Comics also let you do interesting things with context and silence. A haiku is three lines, but you can incorporate silence when you spread those lines over more than three panels.
Poetry is often seen as an elite art form, and comics a childish one. The truth is comics and poetry are the two oldest forms of human communication. Neolithic cave paintings show beasts in action using a sequence of pictures. They’re ancient comics! All of mankind’s oldest stories were originally poems.
I want to make my corner of the world a better place by bringing these two art forms together and showing more people the beauty and simplicity of poetry and the nuance and complexity of comics.