Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Happened to All Those Comics?

I used to buy comics pretty heavily. I cut back some shortly before I met my wife, and I cut back a great deal more when a recent series of very expensive automotive repairs (exactly expensive enough to be difficult to face, but not expensive enough to make buying a new vehicle a better investment) pretty much eliminated my savings account. I'm now committed to buying the final issues of five or six limited series and 4 or 5 monthly books that I wish to support because I enjoy the content, they're less well known publications and I admire the work of those involved. Even if further financial stress relating to my pursuit of further education and a career in veterinary medicine forced me to leave off the other titles I don't think I will ever stop buying Usagi Yojimbo. I have not missed an issue of Stan Sakai's great series since I was thirteen years old, meaning I have now been consistently reading the series for more than half of my life. I can write in greater detail about my love of that particular series another time. For the moment I wish to focus on my experience with comics in a broader sense.

Throughout my life there have been extended periods where comic books, particularly of the superhero genre, were a major focus for me. The zenith of this passion for the art form probably occurred when I was in college the first time around, after I left ROTC and was somewhat lacking in a sense of direction, when I decided that I ought to be a comic book writer. Now in hindsight I perceive this as a bit of a distraction and something that was possibly to my detriment, but at the time I think it was too often all I had to hold onto for a real sense of identity and direction. My efforts to pursue this were, admittedly, half-assed. I have written some comic scripts, and plotted out some stories, some using creative properties owned by other [usually corporate] entities. I never really applied myself to it though. I never made every effort possible to see through pursuit of a career in writing nor was I really willing to make sacrifices for it, socially, financially, or in any other regard. I did plenty of comics focused academic work in college as a Cultural Studies major, but I didn't want to go into academia so that was ultimately not something that was of any long term benefit to me.

I wouldn't mind seeing some of my concepts published some day, but I no longer feel a need to build my career or focus my self-image around comics. I think it may have started earlier, that the seeds had already been sewn, but I do attribute a lot of my movement away from that to my decision to pursue a career as a veterinarian and the reestablishment of my focus on that. It has probably made it easier to let go of reading comics in the volume I had, and saved me a lot of increasingly-less-disposable income. I still do like comics though, and I hope that my love of superheroes and and sequential art in any and all genres persists in contributing to the overall make-up of my character. I don't want an association with comics to be my single defining characteristic, but I am proud for it to be a part of who I am.

No comments:

Post a Comment