Lately, I can't shake the feeling that I've been living a dream for the last 10 years or so; I can't account for most of my 20s, and I have to continually remind myself that certain people are dead now and many of my friends have children.
I think it has most to do with the way in which a story is told, whether it feels real either via the music of the telling or the 'honesty' of the story.
I prefer to imagine that my wife, a few friends, and occasionally my mom are the only ones who read what I do, though I realize that this is somewhat unrealistic.
I guess I just don't like being physically in front of people I don't know very well, because I expect to be 'seen through,' or, even worse, instantly hated.
During my Austin years, I was drawing a regular strip for the University Of Texas newspaper, going to school, delivering blood, and trying to change my approach and 'style' as much as I could, since I knew that I'd calcify as I got older.
Comics, at least in periodical form, exist almost entirely free of any pretense; the critical world of art hardly touches them, and they're 100% personal.
Well, there are better cartoonists now than there ever have been. I firmly believe that. There's some amazing work being done.
The first thing I do when I get up is I look out the window. I've been looking at the same image for six years. It's imprinted in my mind like an afterimage template.
As I've gotten older I've occasionally found myself nostalgic for earlier periods of solitude, though I realize that's also likely a false nostalgia, as I know there was nothing I wanted more during those periods than to not be alone, whatever that means.
I don't think there's any independent cartoonist whose stuff I don't like or respect in at least some way or another. We're all marginal laborers - we're practically medical oddities - so I don't see why we can't all be nice to each other.
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