§ Matt Fraction talks about being in recovery and offers some words of advice for those seeking help with an addiction:

And I heard something so true that once again a meeting made me cry and I stood up and said my name and took my first chip and began the process of adding real and actual sobriety to my life. Before that I was clean and I was on fire. I was clean and I was killing myself. I was clean and I was going to kill myself. I was clean and waiting to kill myself. Now I finally found myself out of moves, out places to run, out of excuses, out of energy.

If I was going to save my own life, it was time.

And I did. AA did. NA did.

§ In case you missed any of the Comics Reporter Holiday Interview series, here’s the list thus far:
Colleen Doran
Jeff Lemire
Sam Alden
Gary Tyrell
Dean Mullaney

Kate Deneveu And David Murray

Dave Kellett

Brian Cremins

Genevieve Castrée

Joe McCulloch And Sean T. Collins

Paul Pope


§ It was an exciting year in Canadian graphic novels, such as Diana Tamblyn’s new one, above.

§ Here’s a report on the support industry springing up around crowdfunding and how it differs from publishers, even though it offers many of the same services:

Every crowdfunding campaign is essentially an act of marketing, with all the connotations of media blitz, customer acquisition and market validation that implies. And that’s why marketing makes up much of the Kickstarter industry’s infrastructure. There are at least three marketing and PR firms — CommandPartners, Agency 2.0 and Shmedia — that focus on crowdfunding, and countless filmmakers who make the famous Kickstarter videos at the top of every project page. The Steven Spielberg of startup filmmaking, Adam Lisagor, did the Coin crowdfunding video that hit no. 1 on YouTube. One reason Kickstarter companies require a new industry of service providers is because crowdfunding has turned e-commerce on its head. Everything that Amazon figured out in the late 1990s assumed you were starting with a product and searching for customers to close a sale. With crowdfunding, you start with hundreds of sales and go in search of a product. It’s a sophisticated form of market testing.

§ Vice’s Nick Gazin picks 10
§ Timothy Callahan has a bunch
§ Abhay Khosla picks many bests and worsts in many categories and lays a smackdown on Zen Pencils, the website that illustrates famous sayings about self-confidnce. Yesyes we all linked to the Bill Watterson one, but it seems to have gotten a bit Love Is…BUT — SEE NEXT POST.
§ Salon picks The 10 best superhero comics of 2013
§And finally, Lauren David has The Best New Webcomics of 2013 and I urge you to check out a few of these, as the ones I know are excellent, so I’m guessing the ones I don’t may be as well.

§ Two by Jim Zub, one the much quoted Jealousy Is Creative Poison which is good common sense for everyone everywhere. Seriously, make this one of your new year’s resolutions. And this one, about the roller coasted year he had, which started with him being removed from a new 52 writing gig before it even began.

I haven’t spoken publicly about it before but, honestly, the whole thing shook my self confidence to the core. January and February were a slog of frustration and nervousness. I dreaded convention season and people asking questions about it or wondering if I’d screwed the whole thing up. I didn’t want to dwell on it, but I couldn’t stop thinking – What if I’d somehow missed my shot and that was it? I wanted to burrow and hide. I felt like the year was going to waste as I watched friends and colleagues kick ass and take names on new projects. I’ve had setbacks before, but this one pushed a bunch of unexpected emotional buttons and brought me low in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. A lot of those feelings of frustration informed the post I wrote last month about jealousy. Stacy was my rock through all of this. She listened, she advised, she kept me going. She knew other opportunities would present themselves and helped me look towards those instead of beating myself up over things I had no control over.

Zub’s takeaway? Don’t give up. Make that a news year’s resolution, too.

§ On the other hand, a lot of people thought this guy SHOULD give up. On tumblr, someone asked Brian Michael Bendis how to getover writer’s block which lasted 6 or 7 years. Bendis gently suggested maybe he wasn’t a writer.

this will sound harsh but you’re probably not a writer.
writer’s writer every day. it’s ok, not everyone is.
but if you consider yourself one, get off your ass and get back to work!! write about why you haven’t been writing . anything. just write.

…and apparently people on Tumblr who are too busy to be able to write were not too busy to write on tumblr, and the term “ableist” was thrown around and so on. I stopped reading when I got to the guy who has stories “written in his head.”

Admittedly, I’m the wrong person to ask about writer’s block. I don’t always write the thing I’m supposed to write right at the moment I’m supposed to, but when I sit at the computer, I start typing. Sometimes I start at 2 in the morning after I’ve already taken a nap, but I get up and start typing. Force of habit. Sometimes I hear people talking about “writers block” and I think, “What the hell is that?”

Of course it is hard to face the “first blank sheet of paper ” or the first flashing cursor. It takes discipline to be successful at anything, including writing. But if you really want to do it, you have to start pushing the keys, or moving the pen or doing something. And then you are writing and you are a writer. Brigid Alverson has some more practical advice on all this, better phrased and more sympathetic than anything I could offer.

§ While I was away, Image publisher Eric Stephenson had a good rabble rousing interview, which he does quite well.


  1. I agree 100% with Bendis. Writers write, artists draw or paint or whatever, and that’s all there is to it. Maybe you burn yourself out and just need to watch TV for a few days and that’s cool, but then you get back on the saddle and go. I started working on my own comics and cartoons a year and a half ago and I’ve not had any blocks yet. I’ve had days where I just didn’t want to do it, whether that was burn out or laziness, but I’ve never had a day where I sat down ready to go and had nothing to work on. Whether you’re a writer or an artist, you can always work on revising past projects or do the grunt work on current projects.

    Jim Zub had a hard year professionally. I really like how he’s trying to share all of it so others can not feel so alone.

    I guess the same can be said of Fraction. I have alcoholics in my family. The amount of shame they feel when finally going to AA is extraordinary. So, he deserves a ton of respect for putting that all out there. It’s going to help someone, that’s certain.

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