Were I a somebody, I probably wouldn’t be writing this. Wouldn’t have to. Not that I’d be Hef-ing it up and lounging in silk PJs next to any one of my stripper soon-to-be-ex-wives, but I know, at least from a professional standpoint, there certainly wouldn’t be any uncertainty. I’d have it made: traveling the Cons, writing modern masterpieces, basking in the glory of the loved masses—y’know, like Warren Ellis.
Yet here I am, trooping onward toward 40, grayer around the muzzle but possessor of this little gem of comics writing knowledge that was, when realized, an eye-opener: it’s a damn slow animal, that’s for sure. Other guys here on the site already have a few projects under their belts. Me, I’m still climbing the ladder, networking, honing the craft, spit-shining the scripts I have in hopes that one day I can slouch toward Bethlehem to be born and proudly call myself PUBLISHED. Do I have a shot? Do any of us? I dunno, but that’s the grail I’m after, and I’m not alone: there are plenty of us out there, whatever the creative talent, be it penciling, inking, letters, or (God help ya) writing, and there’s plenty of wreckage along the road to prove pursuing a dream isn’t without casualties. Add to that, industry insiders that keep tolling comics’ death bell and it’s enough to make even hardened vets scrap any future project plans and toil away the days in a “real” job. Makes you wonder if it’s all worth it.
Thing is, it is. Comics aren’t going anywhere, it’s just that the decades-long industry is going through some growing pains as it reluctantly begins to recognize that online, web, digital comics—whatever you want to call them, you pick—are the future. Physical copies still are the now, and will forever be cherished by collectors but in today’s gadget-rabid society, Web is the way. And it’s the exact place for you for to display your own stories.
See, the more we create, the more we breathe life into the industry. We’re the cogs, we hopefuls—without us, there’s no industry. We’re the base of the pyramid. The more you create, the more I create, the more that great wheel turns and ups the chances of catching the attention of new fans that in turn may be led to create on their own. It’s success though perpetuation. Eventually some manage to make it through the filter and hit the big leagues, but they did so starting out like you will. Like I am. Maybe I’ll never make it, never score that contract with Marvel, DC, IDW, Image, etc. But with the freedom from constraints web comics allow, maybe someone will one day read some of my work and be inspired enough to give it the ol’ college try and maybe they’ll score bigger than I ever did or will. Maybe that person is you.
Got a story? The online world is waiting.
Brian Cee is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics