Insecurity Coat

So I used to wear this trench coat. . .

Probably not the best way to start this, but one of the biggest problems I’ve had through my life was one of self esteem. I suppose it all goes back to my childhood, but that part is for my therapist to hear. The real point is that I don’t have much of it. Sure I have an ego, but that’s not the same thing as self esteem when you get down to brass tacks. I don’t have a lot of faith in myself or my abilities. I don’t really respect myself to some degree and that’s where the coat comes in.
I had this trench coat that I wore on and off for years. Part of it was I thought it made me look cool but mostly it was  a shield. I used it as a form of armor. I felt separate from everyone. I eventually grew out of wearing it, as one is oft to do with childish things, but it left it’s mark.
My dearest Kathryn pointed out to me once that in my two series, Kota’s World and The Errant Apprentice, both of the main characters wore trench coats or dusters. Somehow this had escaped my attention. On some deep level the armor had made its way out. Despite what a friend once mentioned, all of my main characters are an idealized version of myself or contain qualities that I wish I had. Terry especially.  The coats are a way of identifying myself with them more. Interestingly, I’ve started drawing Terry without his coat more and more lately and now that it’s time to work on Mailbox Rocketship I find myself designing Keith without that signature piece of clothing. In both cases it’s a conscious decision. It’s time, once again, to take of the coat and put it away.
The question is can I really put it down? I’m not physically wearing it anymore and neither are the characters, but as I sit here and type this I can feel the sleeves. I feel the long material draped down the sides of my chair. I feel the collar around the back of my neck. I still have my armor on. I’m still trying to be cool instead of trying to be me. I’m still trying to please people instead of pleasing myself. I have to put on a show on some level and that’s what the coat is all about. It’s a character that I still haven’t stopped being on some level. I’m still trying to be the snarky main character of a TV show that doesn’t exist. There is no audience. On some level it may be why I started making comics in the beginning. I need that audience. I need to be seen to exist. Otherwise, who am I?

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