Well it’s been a while since I’ve gotten a new Strip out… but I had an extremely busy December and now an active January. I couldn’t let another week pass without updating everyone on the fate of Pepe. It’s been a long cliffhanger!
I’ve had my fair share of experiences as a underground comic book artist and I always give one piece of advice when asked. “Don’t do it man!” I mean that most sincerely. It’s not to say that I don’t enjoy what I do or that I’m not proud of the work I’ve created. It’s just that I want the best for everyone I meet and sometimes the best is to tell them don’t do it!
Usually this question is asked without seeing any work. It’s usually questions about “how do I make a living at this” or “I’ve brought out my sketchbook for the first time in five years and I think I want to make comics, should I?” The answer is no, you shouldn’t. Go do something else. The answer is you don’t make money creating comics. I say all that because if you’re absolutely convinced that creating a comic is right for you, then by all means do it! If you’ve got an idea that you can’t get rid of, do it! When you find out that copies of your book are not moving and when you get bored with your comic the only thing that will move you forward is passion. If that’s not there you’ll never, ever make a living at comics. Even people with GOBS of talent are not guaranteed a successful comic book career.
Be prepared to work for years without financial reward. Be prepared to produce new work every day. Be prepared to turn down social engagements. Be prepared for the emotional highs and lows that you have to overcome every single day. Because if you can not do those things the market and the fans will not show up. This is a job. Treat it like a job. Treat it like a job you love doing.
I’m actually writing from a position of mid-transition. I can clearly see what needs to be done. I know how I need to schedule my time and I’m learning to balance my life. Things are not perfect but I’m figuring out what to do with that imperfection. As you think about putting down that next line or pen stroke, here are some things to think about. 1. This is not your masterpiece. This is a warm up. 2. This is not a warm up, this is page one 3. This is not perfect. You’ll never be perfect. Don’t try for perfect. This doesn’t look like my favorite artist. Don’t worry, it won’t. 4. Have fun. If you’re not having fun creating it no one will have fun reading it.
I want to emphasize that I’m not being negative. This is what I wish I heard when I started creating comics. It’s the best advice I can give. Be prepared for commitment and disappointment, but in the end you just might make it.