Friends With Boys - Page 174

Kurt Vonnegut, Logan’s Run and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, what more do teenage boys need? Also Lloyd is playing a Phoenix Wright game (“Objection!”). The twins share a room, it seems (which doesn’t really make sense, considering the size of the house), but their stuff is sort of at war with the other’s stuff. Zander is trying very hard to be Serious and Literary and Grown Up and Lloyd (passive aggressively, probably) still likes his toys.

So lots of good questions in the comments yesterday! A couple people hit on what I was already planning to write about, which is The Job of Comics. Y’know, what it’s literally like to have comics as a full-time job, how you make your money, how you don’t make your money, how you spend your time, make your deadlines, that kind of thing. Some booger on Twitter recently boogered at me that for A REAL ARTIST art was NEVER work. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Get out of my internets, kid, and come back when you’ve drawn 2,000 pages of comics in a 10 year span. Then we’ll see what kind of REAL ARTIST you are. (I’m sure he meant the comment with hugs, as do all people on the internets.)

Anyway, point is, comics are my job and I love my job, but it involves many things like budgeting and long hours and research and lifedrawing and striving to improve your skills and it is always hard work. But when you love your job, even though it is hard work, you cannot imagine doing any other work, and that is a joy. So I thought I’d talk a bit about that …. tomorrow. ;)

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16 Responses

  1. battharqa says:

    I wish I was friends with them when I was a teen

  2. protocoach says:

    I had an education prof who liked to say that if you loved the job you had, you never worked a day in you life. She said she’d worked about a month all told, and that that was pretty damn good for a woman in her 70s. I’m inclined to agree with her and you.

  3. SeraphL says:

    YES!! *air fist* Go Team McKay :) Although I must say that for the room of two messy twins, those books are all remarkably perpendicular!

    I was channel hopping about a week ago and ended up watching the 70s film version of Logan’s Run without realising what it was. I’d never heard of it before, but it was pretty awesome in that special retro way that 70s films usually are. I may have to hunt down the book.

  4. Korikian says:

    Aww that comment was a little insensitive Zander! I guess we all can’t be as understanding as Daniel

  5. Emily says:

    Goodness what is it with people and this “real artist” bullpoopie? Like honestly, if anything a “real” artist is one who does it for pay. Because being an artist is and always has been a profession, not a way of life where you spurt your feelings onto a canvas. Yeah, there are hobby artists who probably do this, but they’re like hobby mechanics who do it for fun.
    But yeah, for a real artist, it’s only not work if they take a break and do it purely for themselves.
    It’s like saying I’m not a real scientist because I do it for a job.

  6. winton says:

    I sometimes need to put myself in place by remembering the saying, “No matter what line of work you’re in, you’re always a salesman and a bill collector.” It’s simultaneously inspiring and fatiguing.

  7. Gemma says:

    What’s wrong with him??? So cruel! Poor Maggie. Would Daniel understand she can see ghosts? Maybe is genetical!

    • Emily says:

      Genetical. It’s entirely unscientific and this is the first time I’ve heard it (I don’t think it’s a real word…firefox agrees XD)
      It’s awesome!
      I’m going to use it in my bio class tomorrow, just because I want to see my prof glare. It’s funny when he glares

  8. Warren says:

    SeraphL – Logan’s Run the movie – eh. Logan’s Run the book – meh.

    The film is most definitely early 70s dystopian kitsch, part of the ‘bright white future’ trend that began with 2001 (which, BTW, is a fantastic film) and ran as a thread through movies and series such as Space: 1999, mocked rather soundly by Woody Allen in Sleeper.

    LR is great to watch for the camp aspects alone, and precious little else. The book was a movie tie-in and really nothing special. Brave New World did it far, far better, and is a much better read.

    Emily – ‘a way of life where you spurt your feelings onto a canvas’ – now there’s an image.

    Faith – ‘what more do teenage boys need?’ – Things you can’t include in a family comic?

    +1 for the Phoenix Wright ref. Strangest premise for a video game ever.

    As for boogers boogering about ‘real’ artists – I think what you responded with here is much closer to the mark, and to the intent. Perhaps the boogery booger simply misunderstands the nature of what artists do.

    It’s work, yes, but it’s something you love enough to keep doing it. I’m reasonably sure every professional artist in all of time, ever, would agree with you on that. What’s interesting, though, is that any particular profession that anyone throws themselves into – provided they do it with that mix of dedication, effort, and love – turns out to be art, even if it’s something as prosaic as auto repair or cement pouring.

    The difference, I suppose, is that ‘real’ artists such as Picasso get to choose what they work on (and often die penniless), while those of us who do it for a living don’t always have that option, and must produce on a schedule, even if the product isn’t always brilliant. Sometimes learning to accept that non-brilliant work – to say, ‘well, it’s workmanlike, at least’ and pick up and move on to the next project – is the hardest part.

    But as for art in general, if you’re not working, you’re not taking it seriously – and no one else ever will, either.

    • SeraphL says:

      Warren – I’m not saying it was the best example of modern cinema, but it was cheesy and fun and I liked it. There’s something quite nostalgic and endearing abut the whole camp, retrofuturist, utopian ‘Tomorrowland’ genre that seemed to be around then (of which 2001 is certainly a more impressive example) And hey, sometimes it’s nice just to watch endearing crap just for the giggles! It’s why I still like the old Doctor Who episodes, even though every monster is clearly just a man in a plastic suit.

  9. Casey says:

    I’ve always assumed that being a real artist, whether or not you do it as a full time job, means:
    -that you never look at something you’ve made and go “THIS IS AMAZING”, instead you say “well, that little bit right there is crap, and I’ll remember not to do that again.”
    -that if a piece doesn’t pass through a state of total despair and self doubt, it wasn’t ambitious enough
    -and you can simultaneously wonder what made you think making art was a viable idea and cling to it like a barely floating life raft while snarling at anyone who tells you “there’s an easier way” because this is your life raft you love it.

  10. Stephanie says:

    Ah Pheonix Wright! I love that game….and now I love Lloyd. Brilliant, so glad I came across your comic Faith!

    Oh oh, question. Do you find it hard to come up with new character, designs and stories? Whats your inspiration? I’ve had a couple thoughts for some comics, but I’m currently not much of a writer, and I’d love some helpful tips. Thanks.
    Steph x

  11. sprocket says:

    The old chestnut goes along the lines that when your hobby becomes your job, it is no longer a hobby. There’s absolute truth to that. I’ve turned more than a couple interests in to businesses / careers. And though I love doing what I do, one can not escape the fact that it is still work. It is entirely justified to look at the work side of things and note the associated trials and tribulations.

    That said – to make a career out of what you enjoy doing is entirely worthwhile. One will be naturally inclined to excel at pursing what enjoys doing. And the worse day doing what you enjoy beats all but the very, very best day doing what you don’t (and even then, still might tie).

  12. Dieter M. says:

    That is, in fact, the BEST way for reading books: off the edge of the bed, book flat on the floor.

  13. Sporky says:

    Question about your art direction with comics.
    When you said something about how this FwB shows you improved in drawing body proportions compared to War at Ellsmere, it made me wonder:
    Do you develop a certain art direction for the kind of story you’re telling? Like cartoonier proportions for a comedy story like Zombies Calling or realistic proportions for a serious story like Ice. Or was it a matter of improvement over time with FwB and WaE because they have almost the same level of seriousness?
    Sorry if this sounds confusing.

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Friends With Boys, webcomic edition!

Hello readers, new ones just discovering the comic and those who’ve been with it since the beginning. Friends With Boys is now complete online. You may read it in its entirety, all 200+ pages, for free, for the next eight days. Then the image files of the comic (except for a short preview) will be taken down. While the comic was being serialized online, I blogged a lot about my comic making process. I did write ups about how I make comics, what my opinions on what makes a good comic are, and pointed out various Easter eggs throughout Friends With Boys. That stuff will all remain up, so if you buy a hard copy of Friends With Boys, you can still read along with my thought process.

And now (today!), Friends With Boys is a published book! Yay! I hope that if you’ve read the web version and liked it, and want to support me as a creator, you’ll consider buying the book.

I’ve really enjoyed serializing Friends With Boys online. If you’re new to my work, I started out making comics online before moving into print. I posted the very first page of my very first online comic on my very first website back in August, 1999, and wow, was that page ugly. Here it is! Notice a weird similarity to the first page of Friends With Boys? Yeah, that was not deliberate, I promise. But look how much your drawing skills can improve if you draw thousands of pages of comics over a ten year period! Anyway, I’m really thrilled my wonderful publisher First Second Books has allowed me to return to my roots and put Friends With Boys online as a lead up to its publication. As a reader and purchaser of comics, I have bought quite a few hard copy versions of online comics, because I enjoy the reading experience of having the whole thing collected, and I want to support the author. I hope you will too. :)

Otherwise, there are a few upcoming events I hope to see some readers at:
Book signing! At my local comics shop Strange Adventures, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 3rd (Saturday), 2-4pm (EDITING TO ADD: The book launch has been moved to the following Saturday due to the books not shipping to Strange Adventures on time. The launch will now be March 10th from 2-4pm. Go here for info).
Comic convention! I’ll have a table at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, May 6th-7th. There are a few other conventions I am trying to attend, but everything else is up in the air at the moment. For updates, please follow my twitter or join my Facebook fan page.  I’m pretty good about updating those two spots.


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