January 18, 2013
Let's Do Another Round Of Reader Comics Resolutions
My e-mail got backed up earlier this week and I failed to notice that folks continue to write in with New Year's resolutions related to comics. The later e-mails were building off of the request and example in this column
. I did an earlier readers' post here
I think I'm done at this point; if you sent something in and I didn't run it, I wish everyone luck with whatever they have planned this year for the comics-related parts of their lives.
Comics resolutions! We were gonna do these over at FPI but then nothing happened... Hmm. Anyway here are mine:
1) Do more interviews this year. By more, I actually mean DO interviews this year. I did my first interview with Sonny Liew towards the end of last year (it's not published yet) and he was the most gracious and loveliest guy ever. I now expect everyone to at least meet that standard. I think interviewing's a very specific skill set and one I'd like to have and hone: asking interesting questions and picking up on what people say and instigating riots. Transcribing and editing is hugely time-consuming though.
2) Read more of the comics canon: I really want to start with Love and Rockets
, Ware and all that stuff. I have to be sacrilegiously honest and admit the bits I've dipped into don't appeal to me, but I view it as akin to reading the classics: it's important in that it gives you a larger understanding and grasp of the medium as a whole.
3) Attend and be more outgoing at cons: Between work and university, I don't get the time to go to many cons but I think a renewed effort is due. I'm also pretty awful at introducing myself: 'Oh hey, yeah, so I write for this thing, TALK TO ME.' I would find that person weird. It's pretty rare that you go up to a table and natural conversation ensues- mostly you're uncomfortable, the cartoonist's uncomfortable, everybody moves on and is relieved. This shall be the year of foisting. You have been warned.
4) Try to achieve a balance between writing objectively and having an honest critical voice. I've been thinking about this a lot recently and whilst I'm all for positivity, I think when you take out the other half of that discussion, it beomes dis-honest, or at least disingenuous, by omission. I'm not talking about looking at things solely for the purpose of picking holes in them, but to be able to provide an open dialogue that recognizes subjectivity as a constructive thing. That may all have been rubbish, sorry.
5) Get paid writing work. Hah.
1. Publish a dozen comics by New Zealand and Australian cartoonists, four lined up so far and looking forward to working out the rest.
2. Blog daily, or at least week days. Try and be a bit more diligent in my coverage of New Zealand and Australian comics. Great comics came out locally in the last couple years that I wrote almost nothing about.
3. Take part in a Caravan of Comics, ideally get over to SPX.
4. Make an effort to visit and interview the old-timers I'm aware of, procrastinating does me no favours when folks are in their eighties and nineties.
5. Finish collaborations on various books and articles about the history of New Zealand and Australian comics. Big tasks that require much elbow grease.
My New Year's Resolution is to stay within myself as a creator and publisher. When I totaled up the expenses and revenue for 2012 I found that I was in the hole more or less the same amount that I spent promoting my no-go kickstarter. Basically I was so enamored with what I could do if the dice all fell the right way, that overlooked the possibility of breaking even self publishing... which would've felt pretty darn good.
1. Buy only what I intend to read soon, read what I buy, and catch up on reading what I already own. I have bought worthy comics books at deep discounts in the last few years that are just gathering dust, clogging the shelf. Also newer books at Fanta sales and Amazon discounts. Decades of newspaper reprints. Waste of money, waste of space, unless and until I read them. There's only so much time to read in my life. Planning and prioritizing what I'm going to read should help me be a wiser steward of my limited resources.
2. Encourage my 8-year-old's taste in comics. It's not easy to find good kid's comics at my LCS, but I've found a few that my child enjoys (Adv. Time
) and I'm enjoying seeing her read and reread them. For a former bag-&-boarder, I don't even mind seeing them get destroyed as they travel around the house, the car, and elsewhere. They're getting read with pleasure!
3. Attend at least one comics author/artist event. I live just far enough between Meltdown Comics and SDCC that either one would be a lengthy day trip. Even so, there are events around here that I'd love to attend and just need to plan a little better (with CR
4. Put down the @#%&! tablet. The main obstacle to reading some of these other comics books is reading too much of the daily distractions on this device. I spend several times as many hours per week reading about comics on here as I do actually reading comics. Time to change that habit.
posted 5:10 pm PST
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