I haven’t updated this in ages. Luckily, stuff happened! Here’s a long post to catch us up.
2009 was a pretty zany year, to say the least. There were spectacular highs and Earth-shattering lows. In the end, it all brought me to where I am now, and I feel good about things in ways I haven’t in a very long time. Many thanks to all the amazing people in my life for being there for me. To my wife, my parents, family, friends new and old, I say thank you. I don’t really know why I though of all this now, but it needs to be said. You’re all awesome.
Now that I’ve buttered you up, you’ll read my boring crap.
I’ve officially upgraded to struggling artist from… not one. I started going to UW for fine art this past fall, got involved in some local art festivals and met lots of people. I originally was just settling for UW because I could do it part-time and it’s very local and convenient. My original plan was to go to Sheridan for illustration or animation, but money and not wanting to uproot my wife from her steady established job dictated otherwise.
But it became intoxicating. The more I read into art history and the movements and trends and developments over time, the more I want to be a part of it. My first love has always been comics, but I’m thinking more and more about how I’m going to pursue an art career later on. I want to do comics, but what else do I want to do?
I’m still exploring. Lately I’m scribbling constantly trying to sort out my thoughts about this, what I think about art, how I can fit into it, how comics can fit into it… Basically I’m in an artistic holding pattern until I figure that out, biding my time with school exercises and making comics.
Speaking of comics, I’ve got a lot of them on the go.
My main ongoing project for the past few years is my sci fi comic Diaspora, which I’ve talked about before. I did a complete rough draft and tried to start an actual page but was unsure about the format. I didn’t know if I wanted to create it for print or screen. I still haven’t decided definitively, but I’m gearing up for it on screen, and have already started the website for it. In starting it, I realized my actual technical skills weren’t quite ready yet, so I put it on the back burner in favour of some quickie projects to warm myself up.
These quickie projects, as you may have guessed, snowballed into these bloated nebulous concepts very quickly. I’m drowning in paper. I’ve got more things planned than I can even keep track of. It’s consuming me and I fucking love it.
The big thing now is my zine. A lot of great comics artists over time started out with their own personal comics, and that’s how I’m going to get myself started. Ivan Brunetti put out his Schizo series, Chester Brown had Yummy Fur, Chris Ware did Acme Novelty Library and you could even count Dave Sim in that category, starting his own publishing company to put out his opus Cerebus.
It’s worth mentioning that I’ve never read Dave Sim’s comics but what he did in the industry and for himself is a huge inspiration. As a person, I don’t know if I’d want to meet him. He seems to be this outspoken opinionated character and I’m not really one of those people who likes… people. But the idea of controlling my creative output to the degree that he has is a very attractive one.
This, among other things, is what led me to self-publishing. I’ve always had these romantic notions about being all underground and publishing zines and doing it all myself and whatever else. As my love for the comics medium grew, I realized this is a really good avenue to put it all into practice without having to wait for a real career and trying to get published in some mainstream venue. As I’ve said to people, “I’m not waiting for school to teach me shit.”
So since the summer, I’ve been brainstorming and drawing and now I’ve cobbled together a solid 24 pages of original material for the inaugural issue of WHAT magazine. I’ve got most of it done, with only a couple pages left to do. I hope to have it done and ready to make copies by the end of reading week. Eventually you’ll be able to order it from this page, and possibly later from its own website. I’ve got an empire planned.