I recently had the pleasure to talk to Kasey about her passion for Stoicism and how it helped her both personally and in her career as a comic book writer and editor.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work?
Absolutely! First I would like to thank you for this interview. This is truly an honor. I’m a writer from the Metro Detroit area and my prose horror novella, Pieces of Madness (Rocket ink Studios), gave me residency on the comic convention circuit in 2015. This book of short horror stories (about the insane, cultist, and paranormal) picked up a bit of a subterranean following.
Shortly after, I joined the ranks of Source Point Press and created the Norah comic series (illustrated by Sean Seal). I’m so grateful to say this hand-painted sci-fi noir was met with great reception, became film-optioned, and made me one of flagship creators of the company. Pieces of Madness saw a deluxe rerelease in 2018 and my Viking witch one-shot series, Seeress, was released in 2019 (illustrated by Jay Jacot). This year, we introduced the next four-issue arch to the Norah series, illustrated by Kelly O’Hara.
Up until this book, I was only familiar with the term “stoic” with a lowercase “s”; an adjective to describe someone as strong and silent. As I listened, I realized what was being said was reinforcing an overall perspective I’ve exercised in my own life.
However, a large part of my brand was built on inspiring fellow comic creators. I’ve presented my panel on direct selling in indie comics, Good Luck with That, at many shows in the US, Canada, and overseas. This talk gives insight into not only how to sell your work, but how to summarize and pitch it to both the con-goer and potential publisher. Part memoir, it also sheds light on many misconceptions new creators have coming into the industry.
Currently, I run editing company, Red Pen Media; offering editing, copywriting, and creative advising.
In February, I had the pleasure of being invited to give a talk on Stoicism and mental resilience to the US Marine Corps University in Quantico. While I was there I went into their studio to record an interview for their podcast Eagles, Globes and Anchors. You can listen via any of the links below. (There’s a short clip embedded here with a waveform and links underneath to the full show.)
We begin our conversation discussing the history of Stoicism and the overlooked beliefs the Stoics had. We then discuss the end goal of Stoicism and how it differed from other ancient philosophies like Aristotelian virtue ethics. Donald then explains the Stoic approach to emotions and the common misconceptions people have about Stoicism in that regard. We then dig into Stoic practices taken from Marcus Aurelius and discuss how modern cognitive psychology backs them up. Donald shares how the Stoics used language and daily meditations to manage their emotional life, and how they went about the psychology of goal-setting and dealing with success and failure.
The origins of Stoicism — Where did it start? Who were the founders?
Comparing Stoicism to Aristotelian ethics
How did the Stoic way differentiate between good and bad actions?
The connection between Stoicism and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The Stoic approach to emotions (and misconceptions about it)
How our language can help us manage our emotions
How Stoics view anger and why they use so much space talking about it
Marcus Aurelius’ story, including his circuitous route to becoming emperor
What does Stoic meditation look like?
Was the Apostle Paul a Stoic?
What do Stoics say about changing or moderating our desires?
What about worry and anxiety?
Balancing successful outcomes with successful tactics (and dealing with setbacks)
Read more on the Art of Manliness website. Hope you enjoy! Please feel free to leave comments – I’m always pleased to read your thoughts.
The Stoics can teach you how to find a sense of purpose in life, how to face adversity, how to conquer anger within yourself, moderate your desires, experience healthy sources of joy, endure pain and illness patiently and with dignity, exhibit courage in the face of your anxieties, cope with loss, and perhaps even confront your own mortality while remaining as unperturbed as Socrates.