The first mainstream comic I ever read was Crisis on Infinite Earths
--a beat-up handmade TPB my older brother had in his bookshelf, which slapped together the original issues under a rough green watercolor-paper cover. It was dense, insanely complicated, filled with mobs of colorful characters and references to continuity I knew nothing about. I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, still learning the ins and outs of the English language, still struggling with reading comprehension and motor skills, but I immediately fell in love with it. The colors, the George Perez art, Wolfman’s apocalyptic prose, strobe images of Barry Allen withering in staccato and hordes of super-people tackling universal stakes suffused with unshakable hope--it blew my young mind and made me a lifelong fan of comics.
A decade-and-a-half later: I quit college, left the house, decided to pursue my dream of making comics for a living and realized, to my dismay, that it was FUCKING HARD. The comics community, locally and abroad, is filled with tons of amazing, talented people, all chasing similar dreams, and in an industry with limited slots to offer I simply wasn’t good enough to compete. Never mind, I thought, I’ll make comics anyway--and I did. Between freelance gigs, night after night, page after page, I drew out stories that were sometimes crap and sometimes okay, constantly pushing myself to get better. I struggled with bills and odd jobs, worried about money, acquired a recurring pain in my wrist and right shoulder--all in the hopes that I would one day become good enough to do this for a living.
And one night, tired from work and hungry for something to eat, I reached for my wallet, looked into its empty gaping maw and despaired; literally crumpled to the floor and bawled like a madman. Because it was madness: I’d left my home, my family, school and security in order to devote my life to a medium that frankly didn’t give a shit about me. I thought I’d ruined my life. Lost in self-pity, choking back tears in a mess that I called my room, I contemplated ending it then and there, when I happened upon my dirty old copy of Crisis on Infinite Earths
. Reading it again, I remembered the super-people, stalwart and unwilling to surrender to the abyss. And I decided it wasn’t the end of my world unless I allowed it to be.SUPERMAKER
came out of that experience. It was submitted to the Zuda comics competition and rejected two weeks before the imprint went down. I initially intended this to be longer but ultimately decided that, with a few tweaks, it would work better as a short piece. You can read the whole thing over here (click the picture to go):
I’m doing much better now, by the way. I’m still working things out, still honing my craft, but I’m little more secure and a little less dramatic. I see my family more often, go out with my friends on weekends and take comfort in writing and drawing. I love my life, however clumsy or flawed it might seem, because it gives me enough leeway to immerse myself in my passion. I don’t know if I’ll ever make a decent living out of comics, but I sure as hell won’t stop making them.
P.S. I haven't blogged in a looong time and I don't know when I'll be blogging again (these days, I like to spend my free time working on my graphic novel), but if you want to reach me or know what I'm up to, I'm more likely to pop up on my Twitter
+. Viva la komiks, and thanks for reading.