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about me: 7-11 and making comics

I love comic books. I have from as early as I can remember. The visual medium of comics is viseral and gripping. It communicates in ways that just prose can't do. Every page, every panel plays such a crucial part in story, structure, tone, voice and in just conveying action and feeling. From the prehistoric era (the cave paintings of Lascaux, France) to the modern comic book, visual storytelling has been a part of human communication and interaction.

I wish I could tell you exactly what my first comic book was, but alas, I just don't recall. I can't even tell you what age I started reading, but I do know that I was reading comics before I started kindergarten. They were my reading gateway drug and still my preferred reading material.

I do fondly remember the trips to the local 7-11 with my dad. He would go in for his Camel cigarettes and my younger brother and I each got a comic from the spinner rack, soda and a candy bar. While the sugar highs were always great, the comic books were what we would get the most excited about.

It was mostly DC Comics, but if the Marvel comics on the rack had better covers, those were usually selected instead. Well, that and if no issues featured Batman. Which was rare, considering the Dark Knight was in Batman, Detective Comics, Brave and the Bold, Justice League of America, Batman and the Outsiders, World's Finest, and All-Star Squadron. First we'd read our individual issues, trade them, read the other issue and then discuss them. Inspired, we'd then draw panels from them. With both my brother and I having artistic talent, we would crank out our own comics. These inspired several (really bad comics) on our favoirte 6x8 blank page Mead notebooks. Countless hours were joyfully put into these. Sadly, none of these "comics" survived.

What I'm trying to say is, that to this day, visual storytelling is what really excites me. Everyday that I get to work on a storyboard, a comic book, or another piece for my portfolio is just like those stops at the 7-11. I love it. Except I don't eat a candy bar and soda (those have been replaced by coffee/beer/whiskey and a healthy snack). The countless hours laying out panels, looking up references, constructing a page and then actually creating it is a joy. Sometimes its crazy f-ing frustrating but once you nail it, its one of the most awesome feelings of satisfaction.

I want to make comics. I want to get up every morning with a deadline, a script, a pencil and numerous cups of coffee. I'll never be rich. I'll work long ass hours and at some point, I may forget how much I love what I do. That's when I'll sit back with a good comic, a beer and recall those trips to 7-11.

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