Who’s Kochalka, you ask? Well maybe you should find out! He is a huge inspiration behind this comic, so he’s pretty important to me. :)
AAAHHH OKAY So SPX 2013: WOW.
I’ll try to make this as brief as possible but I can’t make any promises that I won’t go on and on about how it went.
First off, a huge shout out and thank you to my SPX posse this year: Jeremy and Jeff (of Ouro Bros), Lee (of Little Guardians), Samantha (of Random Assembly), Monica (of Phuzzy Comics), Perry (of Tales of Tamarind), Joe and Phil (of Digital Pimp), and Lynn (of 6 Color Stories). You all made it quite the fun experience and I won’t ever forget it :)
So uh I guess how do I make this short? Perhaps I’ll just go with the biggest and most meaningful thing to me: Sometime on Saturday, I think it was toward the end of the day, I was personally asked to donate my minicomic “Wishing for the Impossible” to the Library of Congress by a representative named Megan Halsband.
That sentence still looks like crazy talk, but it’s true. I have a dang mini comic in the Library of Congress now, and it’s NUTS. I had to sign official paperwork and everything and OH GOSH. I literally almost cried right there, and many thanks go to my table mates for all the hugs and pats on the back for helping me keep it together. It was so incredibly overwhelming to me, and I’m still floored by that.
Just all the response I was getting from my minicomic in general was nothing short of amazing. I might not have sold a whole lot, but that’s okay. The sales, at the end of the day, mattered none. Jamie Noguchi (of the Jamie Noguchi System, Yellow Peril, and founder of Super Art Fight) and his wife both came up to me at separate times, and just that they had heard of me and even had read my stuff at all was amazing to me. And to top it off, Jamie even gave me a wristband right there on the spot, with the powerful statement of just “FUCKIN’ DO IT!” That alone meant so much to me. There’s been several times during the past few months where I wondered if I should just quit making comics and making art. I just always feel like I don’t have the time or energy to ever really sit down and do it.
But at the end of the day, what is that? Simply nothing but excuses.
It’s so damn cheesy, but I feel like I truly need the Jamie Noguchi System. I feel like I truly need to wear this wristband all the time just as a constant reminder to just get off my ass and just do this thing. It’s why I’m even typing this out now, and trying to post this short little comic. I made it over the course of two days in what little time I could find, and just that I did it at all feels good as hell.
I want this so badly, and I’ve been so close so many times to just letting me defeat myself and just give up on this dream of mine. This is a constant reminder to me that I am appreciated and wanted in the world of comics, and Jamie, if you read this at some point, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You might not have realized what you really did to me that day just by giving me a bracelet as a sign of friendship, but what you really did was give me a gigantic kick in the ass to just do this damn thing already and stop my complaining. Thank you so damn much, I appreciate it more than you can imagine.
Connecting with other people at SPX in regards to my story in Wishing for the Impossible was also just so incredible. To really connect on a deeply personal level with others in person was an amazing feeling. The whole experience was just so so good to me. And then toward the end of the last day of the con, I rushed over to Jeff Smith’s (legendary cartoonist of Bone fame) table where he was just finishing up with a signing session, and handed him a copy of my mini. He started to thumb through it, and then, once realizing what it was about, closed it, looked at me, and said “I’ll have to read this later, I can tell that this is very personal and powerful stuff. Have you signed it?” And then he looked inside, and of course I hadn’t. Then, he insisted that I do. He handed me his Sharpie marker, which was worn and starting to run out of ink from a solid two days of signing mania, and asked me to sign it for him. To which I obliged, trying not to cry while I did so.
Jeff Smith asked me to sign my mini comic for him.
I just had to type that again because it doesn’t seem real. Just holy crap.
In the end, the whole thing almost seemed surreal, and here we are almost a full week later and I’m still riding such a high from that show. Normally I should be sinking into some sort of Con Depression as I start to miss my friends and the experience, but I am still flying so high. I have been so damn motivated and inspired to keep doing this comic and chasing my dreams by this SPX that I don’t know how to truly put my feelings down into words.
Oh yeah I also decided it would be a brilliant idea to pitch my minicomic to Chris Staros of Top Shelf Productions but I forgot to include a business card with the mini because I’m an excitable idiot. Ah well. At least I did it, though, instead of wimping out! I just… should have planned it out better. Haha.
I also want to thank Dern Gendron, Ross Nover and Kristen Wolfe, Phil Kahn, Jamie Bentley, Nean Burkholder, Jasmine Pinales, Gibson Twist and Rori, Elle Skinner, Adriana Blake, Kathy Catlin, Peet Sketches, Barb Fischer, FT and BT, and Jim (I don’t know your last name, all I know is you went to elementary school with Jamie and you’re awesome)! Crap I might be forgetting someone but if I am just tell me and I’ll be sure to update this to thank you as well. You all helped make this such a memorable experience and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
One last thing before I wrap this up: my buddy MadMup over at Zwolanerd.com mentioned me and fellow awesome artist buddy Brandon J. Carr in a post of his, with links to a couple of our creative process videos in his post! If that’s your thing, then go check it out!
So anyway, yeah. I’m back, and I’m gonna do this thing. More than just doing it, I’m going to FUCKIN’ DO IT. I believe in myself more than I ever have, and it’s an amazing feeling. If you’d like to buy your own copy of Wishing for the Impossible, then you can do so right here, and I will be much appreciative. And to those with outstanding orders, they will be going out very soon! Like, today.
And if you’re wondering why this comic isn’t colored, well, that’s just going to be how it is for a while. Not sure how long, but I’m pretty sure I will be coloring them all before I print my next collection of strips in a book at least. It’s just easier, quicker, and gives me more free time to work on other things. I have one or two things cooking in the oven, and I can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on with all of you.
I’ll see you very soon, and thank you as always for reading. You all rock.
Haha, I have a book in the Library of Congress. Goddamn. :’)