So that’s that then. Is it ridiculous to feel this way? I realize that I’m a total beginner but this nagging feeling that I should have a better idea of what I’m doing than I do currently just won’t fricking leave me alone.

And in crappier news, Harvey Pekar passed away early this morning and the comics world is much poorer for it. :[

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32 Responses to Adrift?

  1. L. Nichols says:

    ….and then there’s a lot who do both.

    As horribly cliched as it might sound, I have this poem “Desiderata” hanging in my bathroom. I read bits of it when I’m brushing my teeth. This part always helps me out–

    “If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain or bitter,
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.”

    • Joe says:

      …well I feel like a dick now.

      • L. Nichols says:

        Oh no! I wasn’t trying to make you feel like a dick. I just get frustrated at this perceived web/print divide because there are a LOT of people who do both. And more every day. And, besides, they all talk to each other at shows, anyway.

        And I was serious about the Desiderata. It’s actually full of pretty good advice if you think about it. I catch myself being all “but that person is only 23 and look how much they’ve done” and then I’m like, “that’s silly. Why are you comparing yourself to them?” It’s taken me many years to get to the point where I’m interested and contented with my own career more than other people’s. You just gotta do what you do for YOU and not for anyone else. If there were no one watching me make comics, I would still make comics with gusto.

  2. Garrett Perrella says:

    You’re just setting off on your way with comics. Keep looking at those guys who do their small press stuff, or the webcomics, or both. Learn from the systems they have in place, look closely at the things they do that work, then adapt the practices to your own style.

    It’s like when I sit down and watch footage from test rugby. I take parts of different offensive/defensive systems that work and adapt them to myself or my players and add a twist of my own to the mix (like Shyamalan, only less retarded). And if something doesn’t work then I look at it and look at it and look at it and keep studying every part of it until I figure out what I can change/adjust/add/remove to make it work for me.

    You’re going to find what works for you. Personally, I love your style and your journal comics. Your shorts are awesome too (they’re comfy and easy to wear?). You’re growing as a cartoonist/artist, and finding your system. You’ve got this.

    • Garrett Perrella says:

      tl;dr: I take what was meant to be a motivational response, and turn it into rambling

      • Tara says:

        Garrett pretty much said exactly what I was going to say, aside from the rugby part, of course, but you know what I mean.

        Considering you feel you are just starting out you’ve definitely done a lot to help yourself grow as a cartoonist–all I can say without turning this into a novel, is that you just need to keep on going, it’s not easy, but it will be worth it–and the more you do it, the more comfortable you will be with the entire process.

        Think about all the stuff we talked about on AIM–you got this, you can DO this! You just have to have faith in your work, as most of us readers do–at the risk of sounding like an after school special, the only thing standing in your way is you. Kick yourself in the ass and get moving, sir!

      • Joe says:

        I’ve done the same on your blog so many times it’s not funny.

    • Joe says:


      I know I’ve got this, but a firmer grasp would be nice =/

  3. allison says:

    Read on Jeffery Brown.

  4. Dorian says:

    Part of the reason I continue to root for your GN is because I know you can do it. You’ve got the skills, and the world needs more stories and more voices of the people who are passionate and do what they love.

    I love Brandon Graham’s whole take on comics and discipline. He refers to gutters between panels as trenches, he talks about his schedule battles and shooting for four pages a day even if he can only really do one, and he makes kickass comics in spite of the typical model of success in the comic industry.

    He once said this: “I will admit it’s not the job I thought it was when I was a kid, but I ain’t going to act like I was scammed into the industry. The industry sucks but it’s all about the love between you and the page. The industry is your ex who hates you and the page is the girl you have a crush on. So cute…”

    He also said this about making comics: “Be a man, even if you’re a 12 year old girl.”

    So now’s the time, Joe: Get in the trenches, tough it out, and do what you love. Fuck everything else.

    • Joe says:

      1.) I love Brandon Graham.

      2.) You/He are/is right. I should stop being such a pussy and just stop fucking worrying about every minor detail but I can’t turn off the “perfectionist asshat who’se afraid of failure” switch on this and it pisses me off to no end. I hate it.

  5. thenoirguy says:

    Maybe this isn’t on topic for discussion on your alleged comic adtiftedness, but I really like the style of this one. You do a great job of setting the mood for feeling blue (literally) and alone while simultaneously giving each of the other worlds their own feel. I am the jealousness.

  6. TheSovereignRule says:

    Once you realize no one ever really knows what they are doing, that feeling goes away, you do you best that is that

  7. Fenmere says:

    I’ve got 10 years of experience battling these feelings and tackling this problem. I’ve written a lot about it, but I think there’s one piece of advice that trumps everything else.

    Try something different.

    I love your work, and enjoy reading it. Your art is great. In fact, yours is the only comic I read regularly right now. So… You might try doing something completely different, or you might just try adding an extra frame (do it in threes). But change it up, whatever you do.

    • Joe says:

      lol I thought I was changing things up pretty well with five panels.

      But you’re right, maybe I should try doing something differently. I just need to figure out what exactly.

  8. Rembrand says:

    I can totally relate to the feeling. Listen to these people, dude, they know what they’re saying. And then keep on pushing man.
    At the very least, you’ve got readers who care and comment, that’s some nice validation right there.

  9. Hayden says:

    You really shouldn’t be so worried, as I’ve said before your comic is one of my favourite things on the internet and one of the reasons is because your words and your art are trully human. You don’t need to be perfect because nobody is, I know the feeling where you think that it’s not perfect but if you let others see it (in your case us) you’ll find out that what you’ve created is beautiful in it’s own way. In short, you’re awesome and your work is awesome.

  10. Hey for what it’s worth I’m enjoying your work and I think you’re artwork is looking good most days.

  11. Kate Burck says:

    Lots of people already said lovely things so I’m just going to say: ā¤
    And look at the success you already have. You have a large consistent base of fans and friends who keep coming back to see more. To me, that's a huge accomplishment.

    • Joe says:

      I guess so.


      • Kate Burck says:

        Being a filmmaker is fukin lonely. Webcomic peoples have it made.
        Oh, and I’m still grasping straws at the format/main story/everything. I’ma get back to you on this soon.

  12. Anii says:

    keep rawking and you’ll find what you want to do. i dont think people have things as together as it seems.. xD;; you have the talent and the humor– its up to you 2 find out which media suit something you want to do.. or collect it in šŸ˜€ ^__^V you kan do eeeet!

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