Sure, I'm a couple days late, but come on, most of you are still digesting Thursday's meal, finishing off leftover turkey sandwiches, and snacking on that last piece of pumpkin pie. So, I've still got time to address the subject of giving thanks.
Now, I've made a conscious effort to make this blog as non-bloggy as possible, leaving the personal stuff to others. (So if you're coming here just for the pretty pictures or updates on comic projects, check back Monday...I've got some cool ICE stuff to show.) But in honor of this holiday, I'd like to make public an account of the things I'm thankful for.
We'll start with the comics stuff:
- I'm thankful for awesome collaborators. Several months ago, I made a conscious decision to expand my comic ambitions beyond the scope of Super Seed. While I love writing and drawing Super Seed, my comics time is limited. I decided to make a go at working with some great artists to produce a greater number of quality comics. I couldn't be happier with all the artists and creators I've chosen to work with. Stefano Cardoselli, Damian Couceiro, Koko Amboro, Paul Little, and Steven Forbes have all been consumate professionals and I've learned a ton working with them in just a short time. I look forward to a strong future relationship with them and others in the coming years.
- I'm thankful for Zuda. It was a blast getting Super Seed into a Zuda competion this past April. Though I came up short and didn't win an ongoing contract, a $500 check from DC Comics has officially made me a professional comic book creator. (Yup, passed the background check and got my free professionals pass to New York Comic Con. Sweet!)
- I'm thankful for teaching. I missed teaching. Not enough to want to get back into the classroom full time, but certainly enough to be thrilled at the opportunity to teach once a week. The fact that the subject I've been able to teach is comics just makes it all the better.
And now for the personal:
- I'm thankful for my family. It's been a rough year for my entire family and it's likely to still be rocky for some time to come. But we have each other, and I'm optimistic that overcoming the obstacles in front of us will draw us more closely together.
- I'm thankful for my friends. I have been blessed to know some of the funniest, smartest, most engaging, capable and compassionate people on the planet. I've been miserable at keeping in touch with them at times, which is something that I've been taking strong steps to remedy. Having people in your life you can lean on is one of the most important things there is, and truly a blessing.
- I'm thankful for discovering new highs. In the nearly 30 years I've been on this planet, I can honestly say that the happiest I've ever been has been during this past year. That I'm not in that same place at present is difficult, sure. But the fact that a peak of happiness greater than I knew possible exists, gives some hope that I might get back to that place someday, or even surpass it.
- And finally, I'm thankful for pain. This is a tough one to explain, and depending on the minute of the day, my attitude toward pain could be very different. But it's very true that pain let's you feel you're alive. It's very easy in this fast-paced world to float in and out from one scene to another, to coast, to go into auto-pilot. But when you're in pain...when you hurt to the very bottom of your soul...there's no coasting. You're faced with the stark reality that YES, DAMNIT, YOU DO EXIST! And while it is certainly awful...the truth is, pain is also...good. When you're in pain, you're entire body is on high alert. If you can channel that pain into something positive, redirect your anguish into something productive, good will come from it. This past month, hands down, has been the worst in my entire life. I found the bottom, or at least a new bottom that I didn't know existed. But I've also been more productive creatively this month than I've ever been. I've made major breakthroughs in all of my projects. Things are clicking for me in a way they haven't ever before, and it's something I'm going to hang on to. Yup, the pain is still there, and it is a b-word, but it's brought me a creative clarity that feels like a turning point for me. And for that, I am thankful.
Back with the funny books next time.