I have a strange memory. When I was in first or second grade, they would pass out this catalog, it was actually a four page flyer, of books you could order. I think it was called the Scholastic Book Service or something like that. You could order say “you’re a good man Charlie brown” and then in a few weeks a big box would come in and the teacher would hand out all the orders,and you’d get an hour of reading time or maybe you didn’t , I can’t remember…I just remember they handed out the flyer and you had to give it back in a couple of days filled out if you wanted to order something.
For reasons I cannot explain…at age 5 or 6 I decided to make up my own flyer…take orders…and draw books myself, on standard 8×10 paper stapled together. I handed them out and fellow classmates and , for reasons I and probably neither they, could explain…they placed their orders. I think I coincided this with the scholastic thing because I had a hard deadline. I know this because I have a fairly vivid memory of the night before the deadline…rushing to draw books for the whole class. Even into the morning just before I had to go to school. Hastily scribbling drawings and stapling them together so I could fill the orders on time. Given what I do for a living now, this sounds like I am describing some weird dream I had last night. I assure you this happened.
So, you may think…well that explains what you do now…it came from your youth. But hold on a second. Take a step back. At that age I had no earthy Idea that you could self publish comic books. I had little to no idea of publishing at all…or any interest in it. I was like…six. and six in the 80’s was far different from six now…you didn’t know or have access to any information.Where would I get the idea of doing this? Why would I do it in the first place?! Use valuable playing time to draw up books for other kids? Hold myself to a deadline?! Keep in mind here that what I am doing now was not some lifelong dream. I stumbled into it because I stopped stand up comedy. The path that lead me to where I am would make just as much sense if I never read a single comic book as a child.
What could possibly explain some six year old kid making up a catalog, taking orders, drawing comic books for a made up deadline at age six? I mean, I was DETERMINED to meet the deadline, I remember the frantic scribbling and the stress…STRESS at age six over something that was not required by any adult…something completely made up. I was as though I was supposed to do this…?
What if…what if life is not lived forwards or even backwards. What if life is like a body of water and the monumental events in it are life a rock being thrown into it, and the ripples spread out forwards and backwards affecting it. Intensely at first and less and less the further you get from the splash? and the effect depends on the magnitude of the splash? There could be more than one splash of course. Think about it…you date someone who has certain qualities and it doesn’t work and you date someone else with those qualities but a few more and it doesn’t work and eventually you find the right one. Wouldn’t all those previous romances be like ripples further and further away from the one you eventually ended up with. Those of you with children, can you see traces of your child hood friends in them? As you get on in years and your career ebbs doesn’t is seem like a slightly faded carbon copy of the thing you once were? As if…if you folded your life in half and you are now in a similar position in as you were at a point equally in the past before you reached your pinnacle?
I can give you less poignant examples…this pic is from the very first VooDoo Joe story…
I knew just a little about Voodoo at the time and Voodoo Joe was Voodoo Joe more out of unknown inspiration and an interesting scribble than anything else. Later on I would learn that one of the most powerful entities in voodoo was a female goddess who was often symbolized as a mermaid. Now I could lie and say I knew this all along and this was not only a funny gag but an Easter egg for people who knew a thing or two about the black arts…but it wasn’t…perhaps it was a ripple?
What if the monumental moments in your life happened and sent out ripples in the water that formed your life before and after?
No, I’m not high. You know what…there’s just no opening up to you people. I try to get a little philosophical and you jump right in with the barbs. Just forget the whole thing. I’ve got deadlines anyway.