Monday, February 13, 2012

Prince of all, Master of none

There are a few people now a days sends me a message asking me on what advice that I could give them. Because they say that they are an aspiring comics artist. While there are so many things that I could tell them, I just give them very simple and shot reply. I simply says that "Never give up on you dreams". I say that wholeheartedly because the moment you give up on your dreams, is the moment you fail. I also say that to them ("Never give up on you dreams"), because it is actually a TEST for them. A test on how really determine they are on to become a comic book creator or artist. Because I see so many new indie comics comes and then goes, never to be heard from them again. They probably have a misconception that if they become a comic book artist, they will be famous, have lots of money and girls flocking towards them. And nothing could be farther from the truth. I'm not famous, I'm broke and no girls flocking towards me in my many experience of attending comics event. Many new artist failed to continue for a second issue maybe because they are discouraged by the small number of their comics sold during events. They have probably think that with all their many months of hard work, the return is simply not that worth it. That is one of the hard facts that you must accept when you are just starting out. People still do not know you or your comics, so it is very much probable that your comics will not do well (initially).

I know this person that could be called a "Prince of all, but master of none". Many years ago when I was still on the early months of publishing my comics. This person politely asked me if he could draw a cover for the next issue of Kalayaan comics. He said that he wanted to help me and he is an aspiring comics that wanted to make his own comics. I turned him down and said, "Instead of you helping me, I think that it will be better if you devote your time on making your own comics. And by the way, I already have created many covers way ahead of the interior pages of my comics". To make the long story short, this guy did not finished his comics but instead just doodled around pin-up here and there. About a year later I saw him on a event that I attended. And I was actually surprised when I talked to him. He said that he is completely out of comics making and now busy with his new hobby, which is photography. And I was there in front of him, scratching my head and looking at his very expensive DSLR camera hanging around his neck. I was saying to my self..."okay, I guess this guy is not really serious on making comics". And what is more surprising, after not hearing from him for about 4 to 5 years or so, he is back as an exhibitor of a comics event. Yup.. an exhibitor in an indie comics. After 5 years or so, he finished his comics and already selling it. He even told me that he wanted my character to crossover to his comics. I was just shaking my head, and saying to my self that this guy simply could not make up his mind. I will not be surprise if I will not be seeing or hearing from him again for the next few years.

Many people just could not make up their mind on what they want to do. They want to be a doctor one minute and the next minute they want to be a Lawyer. For those people that really wants to go into the comics biz should really think very hard. If this is what they really want to do in life. If it's not, it's perfectly okay. Contemplate on your self, because it is not really that glamorous. The road is long and hard, and there will be plenty of disappointments along the way, It is not for every body. But if you really really like it, you will stay for good no matter what.

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