There is a scene in the original Star Trek t.v. show where Dr. bone takes a smart pill or absorbs smart rays or something and starts doing a brain transplant with supreme confidence…then the ray or pill wears off and he becomes terrified and questions why he ever thought he could do it and why he started.
and THAT my friends is what it is like working in a creative industry. Your job is all in your head and there is not much in the way of quantifiable things your ego can glom onto as far justification that you should have ever started. So, it is a lot of highs and lows, and not much in the middle. Even a weathered veteran such as myself, with a formidable resume, has periods of abject dismay at the path he took in life. It would help if the sink in my apartment was not in such a strategically bad location. It is the first thing I see when I walk into my apartment or when I walk out of my room in the morning. I see it and the dishes in it and nothing I have accomplished in life can supersede the realization that today I will be eating a hot dog over the garbage can. That’s a lie..I will eat it laying way back, slouched in the chair, so any crumbs fall onto my shirt. Then I will hold the shirt way out as I stand up so the crumbs stay on it and walk to the garbage can and shake the crumbs into it. It’s probably a toss up as to which is less dignified, but in my view…as man is a tool using animal…using the shirt as a tool has some shred of dignity. That’s a lie, I forget I could have just eaten it over the garbage can and lament that I now have to go through the shirt holding march to the garbage can.
Someone asked me the other day what I thought of the GOP Presidential debates, I immediately thought back to my shirt/crumbs/garbage can march earlier that day and replied ” each population gets the leaders it deserves”. He found it to be a profound quote as opposed to the ” why on earth would you ask me who should lead the free world” reply it was meant as.
Being an exhibitor at Comic-Con International does not help in the “highs and lows” department. You go from 5 days in the most beautiful city on Earth ( next to maybe Athens) with non stop fans encouraging you, surrounded by piers and friends to…a sink of dirty dishes and living in anonymity. It is a jarring contrast. It leads one to wonder which person he is…the creative powerhouse loved and admired by fans and piers alike, or the guy with a shirt full of hot dog bun crumbs.
I started putting some actual effort into my twitter account (even though I don’t understand twitter or want it to exist, it does and having 78 followers is probably not a good look) and have been increasing my “followers”. It is customary, I am told, to follow those people in return, so I do. Each person you follow sends you some template message thanking you for following them with some blurb about whatever their creative efforts are. THIS is not helping. Instead of boosting my ego by increasing traffic to my creative endeavors, I am being deluged with the reality that every Tom, Dick and Harry also thinks they should have this job. That and the occasional scam or link to porn. Whenever I think about how tough it is to separate yourself from the pac in the creative industry, I think how tough it must be to peddle porn for money. 95% of the internet is porn, good luck posting anything legal that is going to stand out. Hell…I bet posting illegal stuff only separates you from 60% of it.
I got this message in my twitter email just a few minutes ago…
“thanks for the follow! Just know: You are enough, you can do it. Never give up. Have an amazing day.”
One might call it serendipity if it wasn’t right next to a message with a link to some porn. Maybe it was some diabolical cross marketing that was meant to bolster my ego enough to look at the porn…? I looked at the porn, I was unimpressed. You call that “porn”? There wasn’t one thing on there that I wasn’t already personally tired of doing. Do you think porn stars are thinking about sleeping with someone else while they are having sex? That’d be depressing. You are having sex with someone so good looking they are being paid to be filmed while having sex, and yet you have become so jaded that you are picturing someone else anyway. Would they picture someone ugly, just as a change of pace? or a lost love? or the first time? Maybe they are thinking about their Dad or their Mom..that’s not what I meant..I meant like thinking back to their childhood and happier times…yikes, what the hell is a matter with you? Wait..is there a site for that? PM me. I’m kidding, don’t PM that to me. If you do, CC my therapist, so I won’t have to bring it up. He’ll bring it up and I can accuse him of something for a change. “how did it make YOU feel to see that? HUH? HUH? Is that how YOU envision YOU’RE mom? …does she look like that? what’s her number?’
Anyways…any encouragement would help til I get pass the current bout of “lows”. I’ve been working on this the last day or so (see below) . A Vlad the Impaler story. It is one of those gags where the gag itself is just okay, but the subject matter (Vlad the Impaler) makes it fun to draw. This is where the skill comes into play. An “okay” gag can be made into “good” or even “real good” if you tweek it correctly, give it some help in the set up and execution. I am only showing you the top half because the bottom half gives it all away. This gag requires a sense of timing that I will be honest, would be a hell of a lot easier animated.
Speaking of animated, season 2 of TRIPTANK on Comedy Central will once again feature one of my stories (more info next time). So that’s good. I really should get a f*cking agent, everything up to this point has just fallen into my lap. If you know one, mention me…uhm…best to focus on my formidable body of work and gloss over the whole hot dog crumbs thing.
ALSO, you can come and see me this fall at these two shows…
anyways..here’s the progress on the Vlad story ( follow me on instagram for nightly progress on stuff like this, and YES, I will put up more how to videos soon…it would be helpful, if when you email me about that stuff one of you told me what exactly you’d like me to explain, I’m not a teacher, I don’t have a curriculum and I have been doing this for over a decade and don’t really know what is common sense and what needs explaining anymore, I’ve lost that perspective on things. ASK what you’d like tips on and I’ll make with the tips)
How is it possible I can ink so masterfully and yet it takes like 15 tries to hold the phone steady enough to get a decent non-blurry pic?