Returning to "Brave Play" (was Omega and Alpha)
On Wednesday, April 4th, I passed the oral defense of my doctoral dissertation. After approximately six years working towards it, I have, short of some paperwork and arriving on Commencement Day to collect my degree, completed my Ph.D. studies.
It's time to return to comics.
But...how? And...with what?
For that matter, the answer to any of this is knowing what you want to get out of comics. Do you want a high profile career moving between creator owned and WFH comics? An Image series followed by a chance to play in the Big Two sandbox, followed by an adaptation of an existing property, and then back to pushing a creator owned work...? Do you want to stick with the kind of literary comics we produced earlier and be known for that?
Is it a career with financial aspirations? Or a career with artistic ones? Or a lark?
They are all worthy goals, but the first two are a career of one sort or the other. The last one is a hobby. You probably know what you want, if you listen to your heart. Then its a matter of planning the path and walking the walk.
I've a few ideas.
write what you're capable of writing...
not necessarily the same things.
Then onward to publish-or-perish territory.
high-quality work that gets noticed, gets a readership, and, in a nice
loop, gets brought into academic discussion. All that means -- on my
part as a writer -- is writing good comics, I feel.
I would love the chance to write something for the Big Two. Someday. Eventually. But I cannot let that be my driving force.
These look like the key sentiments to me. They might be a bit at odds. Books that get picked out as Year's Best most often tend to be personal work, although not always. Personal work for some (many? most?) of us tends to be work that conforms more or less to the kind of genre work that can lead to playtime with the Cool Toys in the Big Sandbox.
So why not outline a path for yourself in that direction for the next two or three years? Target some anthologies DHP or maybe submit to Pj's OCP book if he's still looking. Go for an Image mini-series or two. Come back to Archaia with an OGN that's a bit more mainstream than LALS and SNKS.
The only real way to find out if its still you, is to try.
Just, I would say, don't wait for anyone to give you permission to make a comic. Start writing. Writers write. The only way to find your path is to start down it.
Writers write, unless there's something on TV. Or that shelf needs rearranging. Or it's time for a snack. Or that Sudoku's not going to do itself. Or there's something else on TV.