I started writing fiction in my mid twenties. It happened by accident really. I broke my finger making it impossible to draw. Writing proved to be a good substitute.
Before the splintering of my bone, I considered myself to be an artist. My storytelling was comprised of single images drawn onto the page. I didn’t like paint but I loved graphite, ink, color pencil, and markers. They helped me tell my stories.
It became difficult to convey fiction though single images. I turned to comics, a mixture of art and words. It was easier to tell the stories that were in my head. I found my medium and began studying comic book theory. Then, I tried it out for myself. Emo Ninja was my hero, a depressed kid with the fighting prowess of an assassin. He was my satire and my auto biography. I drew him over and over again and half finished two comic books. Half finished because I broke my finger.
I started to write a novel and wanted to study the craft. I took a short story class and loved it. Writing fiction made me realize how quickly I could tell a story. My unfinished comics got tucked away as I became obsessed with writing. I didn’t even look at them for years.
In the last semester of my undergrad, I started to draw Emo Ninja again. They were just doodles meant to help me endure my boring classes. But then, he became the only thing I wanted to draw and the only story I wanted to tell. Eventually, I pulled out the large comic book pages, literally wiped the dust off of them, and worked until I finished. It was the first large project that procrastination couldn’t stop.
Of course, as life became busy again, I stopped working on the second issue of Emo Ninja. I completed a year of my Creative Writing Master’s and helped start The Artificial Selection Project. Casually, I showed Ryan and Kevin my comic. They told me to make more. Once again, dust was wiped off large pieces of paper, and my pencil and pens have been pressed against the page.
I don’t know how I keep forgetting that I’m an artist too. Making comics is my solution; It blends my love of art and writing.
Maybe this is a comic book creation call to arms. Those who can draw and write, pick up your pencils, draw pictures in panels, bubble your dialog, and box out your narration! Or, if you’re not an artist, maybe this is an urge to collaborate with one. Give them your story and they will draw! To be honest, I’m not sure if this is any of those things, but I do know that I’ll keep making comics–even if I break a finger.
If you are in the San Diego Area, Little Fish Studio is a great resource for learning how to create comics.