Good morning to all you lovely tumblrbros! Lots of personal comic rambles under the cut that don’t really have to do with comics, at all.
As I sit here, shading away in Photoshop as I replenish my comic buffer, as I have been diligent to do for a few weeks now, something occurred to me. This comic is the most important piece of work that I’ve ever done. There are really no “maybes” about it, no “could bes” or conjectures. I have done lots of comics before, scribbled in the margins of notebooks, distributed amongst friends, tucked away into cardboard boxes never to see the light of day again, and posted online in multiple reboots (my last webcomic, O31, made it to 80-something pages, if memory serves, before ultimately being canned).
But I’m really on my own out here with this one. I didn’t produce it with a certain audience or group of peers in mind. I have no co-writer who can toss around dialogue with me. The aesthetic judgment calls are all my own. I’m the writer. I’m the illustrator. And there is no one to blame except for myself if something goes terribly, horribly wrong.
I think at some point, when I was younger, I really wanted to make awesome comics that could show what I thought about, you know, about anything, about whatever. About gender roles, and the perception of the female identity, sexuality, expectations of being an adult, relationships, the Great Human Experience and how all of these things fit INTO comics, but I don’t think about that any more - it’s already ingrained, now. That is what I write about! Will it change how anyone thinks? Who knows? Am I going to be writing for that, anyway? It would seem so. None of that concerns me at this point, though.
My main motivator is that I cannot fail. I can’t.
I won’t let myself sweep away another project over doubts about myself, or my abilities, even if they aren’t very good, especially in comparison to the vast and amazing selection of what is already out there in the world. This story means a lot to me, the themes mean a lot to me, and no, it is nothing fancy. It’s a painfully simple story with simple illustrations. But I don’t care if it succeeds - I don’t care if it becomes “popular”, whatever that means, or if it finds acclaim. All I have to do is complete it to the best of my ability. That’s it! That’s the goal.
And I’m going to do it, I KNOW that I am, because I have dedicated too much to what this story means to me. Giving up or moving onto something else, even if it’s more exciting or if I come up with some better idea halfway through, is not an option. I won’t abandon it for the attractive possibility of getting to work with someone again, and to share the creative burden, even though that is one of the things I love most of all about creating. I won’t change a thing about it to please someone else, because I wrote it all for me… or almost all of it, and the other person that I had in mind when I wrote it cannot see it, so it may as well all be for me.
I know that over the course of this project, my artwork may improve, and that would be lovely, since I do work hard to learn new things, and I want to keep improving until I drop dead. I also know that maybe by the time it’s done, I will have more eyes on me then than I do now - or maybe less eyes. I’ll be in a different home, maybe in an entirely different place, with a different job and new goals. But the one thing that will NOT change, is that this will be my project for that chunk of time. It’s too important for anything else.
All right, rambles over! EVERYONE GET BACK TO WORK!