I think the subject of just why artists do the things we do is probably the subject I’ve written the most on in the last ten years of doing comics. Far be it from me to stop now given that I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Every now and again I have to reaffirm why I do this. Call it reviewing my mission statement.
Ten years ago I starting reading Sluggy Freelance and I decided “Hell, I can do that! He sucks!”. Bare in mind that was his early stuff. The next day, Christmas Day, I drew a comic. It was crude and was going to be about the behind the scenes of a comic that never seems to happen. Ironically, that comic never happened. What did happen was I didn’t touch it again until sometime in April. I drew another comic with a version of myself and Austin. I showed my friends and they thought it was, well, there. I told you that story so I could tell you this one.
I did another one a few days later. I assumed I’d stop after that like I did everything else. Then I showed the second one to Austin. “You did another one?!” I think that did it. I liked the shock. I liked the idea that I could do something on a regular basis. Five years later I finished the story I started. I’d had problems finding motivation all during Kota’s World. I’d thought about quitting the thing several times. Then it was gone. I was going to take a year off. I didn’t make it. For all my belly aching and moping I needed this.
I still do.
Sometimes I forget this. Like now. I keep looking for reasons to keep going but, when I get down to it, all I should do is look back on that six months where I didn’t do comics. I don’t know what exactly it is, but I absolutely need to do this.