I try to keep comics stuff regulated to my comics website, but this piece I did for Narrative.ly has crossover into my exploring stuff, so I’m double posting. It sort of explains why I do this whole thing.
I’ve hinted before at a book I made/shelved about my struggles with substance abuse over the years, and yesterday I posted a long half essay, half comics piece, The Fart Party’s Over, on Narrative.ly. (If you saw it with the original title before the change, my apologies, that was not my title. Woof.) It pretty much clears up the basics of what happened to me over the last few years, and how it’s effected my work. It explains why I took a break from comics and (re)started urban exploring. It’s…hm…how do I say this…it’s some Serious Shit I guess. Here are a few preview comics and paragraphs:
via Narrative.ly: “If you ask someone who works in comedy what is the most difficult part of being professionally funny, many, if not most of them, will tell you it’s the depression. I’m not saying all funny people are depressed, but having spent a lot of time with cartoonists, comedians and comedy writers over the past decade, I can assure you that the percentage of those struggling with depression is higher than average. My theory is that since the best comedy often springs from tragedy, cynicism, sarcasm and misanthropy, those who excel in comedy usually come from a background comprised of those events and character defects.”
The way I presented myself in comics was in a cartoony style, with short black hair and bug eyes. It was a style I’d settled on years ago, based on a hairstyle I had once, for about two weeks. I chose the style quickly, without much thought, but perhaps I subconsciously did it to separate my real self from my cartoon self. My cartoon self made my problems seem funny, but when I drew my real self in secret diary comics, the tone and style was completely different and much more reflective of the truth during that year.
And then something changed. It wasn’t planned; it didn’t directly have anything to do with comics or drinking, although it had everything to do with both. Right after I sent in the final pages in for The Infinite Wait, I put away all my drawing supplies and I went outside. Well, more accurately, I went outside and straight into an abandoned insane asylum in New Jersey. And I haven’t drawn comics since.
So the question that probably didn’t cross your mind until I put it there is, if I’m happy and healthy, does it have a negative effect on my comedic work? And the answer is that I don’t know. And I don’t particularly care. If being a good comedy writer means I have to be depressed, then fuck it, I quit. The world doesn’t need any more fart jokes anyways.
To read the entire story and see more comics, please go to Narrative.ly.
Disclaimer: If any information on this post is incorrect, if you have more info or would otherwise like to tell me something, feel free to contact me.