The main reason I went to Comic-Con this year was because of webcomics. I have been learning the art of making comic books for 13 years now and I have gone through many phases. Starting with the raw amateur passionately seeking out every little scrap of information and guidance I could find, to the mediocre professional taking jobs just for a paycheck. In the beginning I couldn’t get anyone to even look at my work it was so bad, and I spent so many years trying to “become professional” that I forgot why I even wanted to make comics in the first place. I lost that fire inside that makes a person so hungry they’ll do whatever it takes to learn, grow, apply, succeed at what it is they’re passionate about.
Back in February, I think, I went to do a store signing in Abilene, mostly to network with some artists down there and introduce myself to the store owner. Being in West Texas, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for that sort of thing. There’s only one store in my town for example. While there I picked up a little book called “How to make webcomics” by the 4 guys of www.halfpixel.com, Dave Kellett, Brad Guigar, Kris Straub and Scott Kurtz. I’ve met Scott a few times at shows here and there, and I’ve bought several issues of his book PVP. I always remember Scott at conventions telling stories so funny it left the entire room in tears. But I hadn’t yet heard much about the other guys. Mostly I picked up the webcomics book because an artist in my sketchclub told me I needed to start thinking about doing webcomics. But honestly, I wasn’t that interested, and I let the book sit there for nearly 4 months without even glancing through it.
Fast forward to about 2 months ago, one of the girls in my comic book studio asks if she can play one of the episodes from the Half-pixel webcomics weekly podcast. Anyone that knows me knows I can’t stand talkshows when I’m trying to work, but for some reason, hearing their banter and everything they had to say made me feel like I was actually in a studio with them, and hearing all the advice and experience coming from them put a fire back into my heart. In just a couple weeks I devoured every single podcast I could download from them (63 in all!) and read the webcomics book front to back a couple of times. I’ve since been reading articles and interviews, and regularly subscribing to dozens of webcomics I’ve found that I like. Basically… I have my passion back, thanks to these guys.
So I wanted to go to comic-con to meet them in person. To thank them and to see if they’re just as nice in person as they were in print and in the podthingies. I was very glad that I did. They were even more friendly and warm than I had expected, especially with how busy they were at the show. I gave them each some of the Zebra brush pens I got from my friend in Japan, and I gave them copies of my SuperZeroes preview book, and got overwhelming response from all of them and I feel encouraged to keep moving forward. Hopefully I’ll run into them again at a show, but I’ll be on the other side of the table.
By the time I made it to their webcomics panel, Amber and I were pretty much wiped out. We were out till 3 in the morning for the Mighty boosh concert, and up really early so she could catch the Spongebob panel, and the webcomics panel was the last for the day for us before driving back to Texas. It was very funny, and awesome to see them doing the banter live. But I’m glad to be back home now. It was a great show, and an amazing week.