Archives for : January2016

Do you want to know when you’ll die?

Would you like to know when you’ll die?
Seems every week someone I knew from my youth, be it David Bowie or whomever, dies. My uncle Jack died a few months ago and he knew he was going to die. Bowie clearly knew he was going to die to. That farewell video Lazarus he recorded is both haunting and beautiful. A great send-off to fans who’ve listened and watched him for 5 decades. Shocked me to see Major Tom was a 1969 release, the year of my birth. I was playing his songs for Jenni this morning to see if she knew any of them and I told her I thought Major Tom was an early 80’s hit.
Having a doctor tell me they want to scan my head to rule out brain cancer was also an eye-opening experience. Fortunately, I do not, but it made me consider my mortality.
Do I want to know when I’m going to die? Not knowing (accident, whatever) would have a certain appeal as there’s no time to dwell on it, more likely less pain. But I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and the Bowie thing kind of pushed me to the knowing side.
I would like to know when I’m going to die. It would allow me to say good bye to the people that mattered to me in a manner I choose. I’d be able to have long conversations with my sons and I think they’d listen more intently knowing I wouldn’t be able to share wisdom much longer. I’d be able to properly dispose of anything (bookmarked links heh) I wouldn’t want people to know about (hey we all have our secrets).
I realize this may not be an option, but it’s an interesting thought exercise. I’m 46 years old, I’ve had a good life. If I found out I was going to die of cancer I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I think I’d quickly come to terms and focus on the things that will matter after I’m gone. The people I love and the living.

How hard is it to be a comic writer?

How many working comic book writers are there in English? By “working” I mean being PAID to write comics regularly…300? 500?
There were 62,000 English novel writers published in print in 2015 who received some kind of advance.
Some interesting statistics on TV and film writers here:
Basically says there are roughly 3,000 regularly paid TV writers. I couldn’t find the stat for film writers, but there are also a LOT of films written and paid for that never come out (we’ve had many).
800 films released theatrically a year on average, most by unique writers or combination of writers. Plus what at least that many made and not released theatrically. I’d guess another multiple of 2 of films paid to be written that don’t ever get made. Let’s say 3,000, but I bet it’s closer to 5,000.
Let all this sink in for a minute.
Summary for paid writers (in English):
Comic writers 300 (500)
Novel writers 62,000
TV writers 3,000
Film writers 3,000
These numbers aren’t exact, I’m just trying to make a point. There are also 1,696 players in the NFL. Two things amaze me:
1) That some people think it should be easy to be a writer in comics and
2) I can’t believe I’m 1 of 300 (or whatever it is).
One way to be guaranteed to NEVER write a comic for someone you’re talking to is telling them that “I can do a better job than the hack you have on it.”
It’s not impossible, but it is hard. You can read my free pitching advice here:
One thing NOT in there I said in a recent interview that I stick by is be prepared to NOT make money for 5 years before you do. If you can’t commit to that, you might want to rethink it. Yes there are people that get in and get work immediately, but the vast majority (and I’ve been doing this for 23 years now) I’ve seen are in it for awhile before they get paid to write. And being a writer in another field first and transitioning over isn’t the same.
Food for thought eh?