It's been an absolutely embarrassing long time since I posted here. I could blame all manner of things, but what's the point? I was busy elsewhere... that's all.
A lot has happened to me in the past month or two. In a way, I left a career that has treated me pretty well for nearly twenty years behind in pursuit of a new one. It's not that cut and dried, of course. Things rarely are. I know I will do more inking. I know it's possible that I'll be scrambling for inking job by this time next year. I also know, thought, that I really want to be a writer. Inking the last page of the last inking job I had lined up was an interesting experience. Likewise, embarking on what I hope will become a real career as a writer has been exhilarating, daunting, and a bit stressful.
I have a lot to say about the shift, actually. I don't want to blow my blogwad in one day, though, so I'll just pick one thing to focus on for now.
I was twenty-six years old in the summer of 1990, when my wife and I moved away from home to live in Philadelphia. She was going to work on her Doctorate at Penn. I was going to be closer to Marvel and DC Comics in New York, and to establish myself as an inker. Quick aside- screw you, spellchecker, for not knowing that "inker" is a real term.
Anyway, Cynthia and I had been married for only seven months when we hit the road. It was a big step. We weren't kids by any stretch, but it felt like a pretty grand adventure. We were leaving behind parents and relative security to find out if we really could make it in the world on our own. Thankfully, we had each chosen our partners in this adventure wisely. Me more wisely than my wife, I should add.
In short, we did it. My wife, because she's brilliant, kind, and lovable, finished her degree and entered the job market in great shape. I, thanks to a stubborn nature, a little talent, and the help of some extraordinary friends (Mike Manley, Phil Hester and John Heebink, to name a few), made a real career for myself in the comic book business. We settled back in Kansas and began the next chapter in our lives, welcoming our children to the mix.
I indulge myself, and anyone still with me at this point, in these memories because they hit me hard as I finished the last page of this last (for the time being) inking job a month ago. I found myself tinkering with that page: adding unnecessary details, picking at stuff that was really done and good enough before throwing the page on the scanner. It didn't take a lot of soul-searching to realize that I was being wistful.
Damn near twenty years ago... nearly half my life ago... my wife and I took our big first steps together. We drove to Pennsylvania to face the rest of our lives with a thick veneer of excitement and possibilities covering what had to be a lot of uncertainty. We made it. We built good lives for ourselves and our children, and now here I was saying goodbye, even if not permanently, to a job that had served as a cornerstone to that life.
I know it is right for me to move on from inking and into writing. I know that the former represents something of a dead end, while the latter represents almost boundless opportunity. I also know that writing represents challenges that I haven't faced in a long time. And, this time, it's not just me and my young wife along for the ride.
Shit... I better get to work.
I'll be back soon.