February 1990 was a very frustrating part of my life. My wheels were spinning. My Master's thesis was overdue but stalled, and it was blocking me from moving on in my studies. Although I lived with two other grad school guys, I felt lonelier than when I lived alone (loneliness without solitude). I was certainly on the point of admitting I was gay, but I had no idea how to begin to come out. And it was February in Ohio. Bleah.
Late in the month, an otherwise unremarkable "Calvin & Hobbes" cartoon was published with a panel that spoke directly to me. I cut it out and stuck it to my monitor. I've carried from job to job an enlarged but abridged version: "Why do things have to be this way? Why can't things be different?"
Periodically, I have a pang of grief over how much I miss "Calvin & Hobbes." When this happens, I might re-read all the books, troll the web for news and nostalgia, or change my IM avatar to that little picture of Calvin throwing an existential temper tantrum.
On one such occasion, I read that a comic called Frazz had a similar visual style, and I've been reading it ever since. I encourage you to check it out. I really liked today's comic. It's smart, and expects a lot out of the reader, referencing this classic Charles Addams piece.