Donna A. Lewis, friend and creator of the strip Reply Al http://www.replyallcomic.com/l, proposed answering these questions as something to do, a writing exercise if nothing else. The first question is: 1. Think of something (an activity, a job) to which you’re really committed and that takes up a lot of your time. Why do you do it? Do you consider it time well spent? Why or why not? What would make you stop being involved? ……okay, write!
Creating comics and stories is something to which I have devoted much of my life. I write comics and a comic strip, let part of my brain work on plot threads and character details during the day, ink some pages and pictures, and when I’m not doing, I feel guilty for not doing it. I have creative things to do and I try to do them as I can.
Would I give it up? Actually, I did for awhile several years ago. My wife and I had separated and I was still working on things. One day, I thought: What if I took all that energy I expend and thought I devote to creating comics and invest it in my wife and family. And I did just that. I quit. I “retired” from comics. My true friends understood what I needed to do for the sake of my family and marriage, especially one of my best ones, Bob Hickey.
For awhile, it worked. Part of it, that is. I fell back in love with my wife; something I never thought would happen, but in the end, only one of us changed and the marriage still ended. The part of it that stayed was becoming a better father and, you know, anything and everything is worth that. Sometimes things just don’t work out, but in the end, I may be a better man for the experience. I like to think so, anyway.
And perhaps it helped me to not be so/as bitter about the breakup, I don’t know. I think I see that there needs to be more of a balance in my life. I can live and love and still create comics and stories while making memories with my kids, family and friends.
Creating comics is part of who I am and I’ll keep doing it.Writing stories. Inking. And being a good dad (and my kids want me to be me,and do what I do.) (I have great kids.)