Comic Creators Respond To… The End Of 2013

The end of a year and the beginning of another, is not just a number. For many, it's a chance to look back, take stock, look forward and make changes. And also, to help others.

The time seems to have inspired some comic book creators to look deep within themselves and share the results with their readers.

Hawkeye and Satellite Sam writer Matt Fraction wrote "I'm an alcoholic and a drug addict",

AA and NA helped me. I am an atheist introvert with anger issues and deep suspicions towards groups, groupthink, and a bad fucking history with organized religion and I am telling you AA and NA helped me. Who I was was embraced and welcomed and accepted. For the first time in my life i realized i wasn't so goddamn alone after all.

And little by little the pain went away. I learned how to live.

It worked for me. And it continues to work for me even though I don't go to meetings nearly as much as I'd like or need. If you want what I have found

find an AA meeting near you or find an NA meeting near you

This time of year is brutal — fucking brutal — if you share my disposition. Add in a birthday and, ho ho, a sobriety day i and the crush of months and years cannot be avoided. At the same time though… maybe, in some ways, it's appropriate. It's the longest, darkest, time of the year. Maybe it's silly to expect some of that darkness not to spill over onto everything.

Red Hood And The Outlaws writer James Tynion IV took the opportunity to come out to the comics industry, posting,

I'm Bisexual.

My story in short – First came out as Bi in middle school. It didn't go well. Like really not well (Middle Schoolers are mostly evil, by the way). I changed schools for High School to an All-Guys Catholic school, where I started identifying as Gay. Found some amazing friends and fell a little bit in love with all of them at one point or another. I helped start our school's first support group for Gay Students, and battled our small-minded principal to try and make it public. Graduated, and went to a super LGBT friendly college, Sarah Lawrence, which has a predominantly female population. Fell in love with a lady for the first time since middle school. Had a massive identity crisis when I realized that I wasn't actually gay, and that the original prognosis of "Bi" was still the accurate one. Fast forward about 6 years, and here I am.

And Becky Cloonan talks about her experience publishing mini-comics, the realities, the inspiration and the possibilities…


The time it started taking out of my schedule was almost too much as well. One full day a week was spent filling orders, putting envelopes together, and mailing them out. I'd enlist my friends' help carrying boxes to the post office. It got to be a bit much, and honestly I remember almost giving up a few times. Plus 500 sketch editions to draw in, ack! It got to the point where it was too big for me to handle alone, but not big enough to be able to hire someone to help.

However, this is when my books started making money. Not like, money I could see; everything immediately went back into envelopes, or postage, or another print run, or conventions… I sent out about 200 copies to friends, reviewers, other professionals just to get it into peoples hands. The time and money I was putting in was finally beginning to pay off, literally and figuratively. THE MIRE had a really positive response, and that was really encouraging.

And Charles Soule talks through how he can write seven monthly titles, plus other projects and run a law firm…

Sit Down and Don't Stand Up. When it's time to script, sit down and don't stand up until it's done. I usually write a full script in a day, most often in 3-5 hours. I often go somewhere that isn't my usual environment, like one of several local coffee shops or bars (bars, I find, are better for pre-writing, while coffee shops are better for scripting, but each to their own), but your mileage may vary.  The point is that I try to put myself in a situation where I can just do that – turn off phone, turn off internet, etc. (see (3).) This one might not work for everyone – some people write in chunks and it works just fine – but this post isn't about how they do it, it's about how I do it.

And everyone takes notes, Charles…


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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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