You Got Lucky, Babe - On Breaking In
9 years ago, I started my journey in comics. I mean, sure, I spent every free minute from the time I was old enough to push REC on my Fisher-Price tape recorder telling stories and getting ready for that, but, really, resolutely, nine years ago I decided this is what I wanted to do, and, we the aid of some truly wonderful people who had my back, I started on my journey. And now, nine years later, I find myself having just come from a panel talking about how I broke in, and how i got where I am, and realized that, frankly, it's all just luck.
Somehow, I found my first patron (and amazing friend) in Chris Arundel (better known to those of you following along at home as the Publisher at Hoarse and Buggy Productions), and, from there, I've been lucky enough to find a string of people either smart or foolish enough to take chances on me.
That being said, I made a lot of bad decisions, things that I lay awake thinking about, and wish I could go back in time and fix them. I've lost everything including friends, money, and joy from those bad decisions. But, very few of them have had long term consequences on me. That's luck, too. Those bad decisions, in fact, led me down paths that gave me bigger and better opportunities.
ALl of that being said, I've also worked my balls off. Years of killing myself on scripts and marketing and printers and fighting with publishers and going to cons and pitching my ass off in meetings and driving three hours to get to a meeting that doesn't happen because the guy decided to leave for his private island a few hours early.
For the first five years, I worked full time while pulling more than another forty hours a week in the PM to keep books on time and coming out and, theoretically, awesome. For the next four, I've struggled to balance paying the bills with creating art that I love and cherish all while building a family and a social life and all the things I gave up in the first five to get here.
And now, I've got some amazing things coming up later this year. Not just some amazing creator owned, in which I'm working with some of my favorite people on earth, but, opportunities to deliver mainstream books that are built entirely on the strength of my voice and what I've proven over the years.
But even that, while, sure, all that hard work certainly paid off, it really just came down to a couple of people picking my book out of a pile and giving it a looksie.
Everything I have is that same luck. Hell, had I not logged into my online dating account one last time, I never would've met the most wonderful woman I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, nor gotten to have a kid more amazing that I could've ever imagined.
So, look, ultimately the point to all of this is that as unfortunate as it is, no matter how hard you work or how long you toil, sometimes, it just comes down to that flip of a coin. And that sucks.
Unless, that is, you happen to be me.