So yeah, the girl. She came along just as I was making the decision to seriously get my life in order and boy was she a big help in that. She helped me walk the line, fly right, etc, etc. She was an artist pursuing a dream and she really helped me realize that it wasn't unrealistic (especially not at the ripe young age of 25) to be doing such a thing. I'd (mis)spent all those years telling myself that it was just a pipe dream, not even knowing where to begin. She wouldn't give me the door into the industry that I'd need, but she did give me will to get off my ass and make something happen.
It was slow going of course. Life had its ups and downs, as did we, but storms were weathered and lessons were learned. Through it all, comics remained a constant. Unfortunately I was broke (and into record collecting in a bad way), so most of what I read was stuff I already owned or stuff I got from the library, but I was always reading. The thing about making comics is, reading them is half the work. You can have the most unproductive day ever, and if you read at least two graphic novels that day, it wasn't a total loss.
Comics is a language and, regardless of what more "serious artists" might believe, it's not a language easily learned. It requires you to be artist, writer, art director and editor all at once, even if you only know how to do one or two of those things well. It requires collaboration (something very few people excel at, according to the sorry state of the world), imagination, dedication and other words that end in -ation. But most of all, beyond anything else, it requires support. You don't choose comics because you want to be famous or rich. It offers very little in the way of fame or riches. You choose comics (at times over being a designer, a novelist, a journalist) because you can't do anything else, because you love the medium so damn much that the thought of telling your stories anywhere else rings a little hollow. Or maybe you're just a failed novelist. Regardless, it takes support. Support from family, friends, lovers, and strangers alike. Luckily I have support in spades.
There was another cat that came along a little later, some of you know him some of you don't. Most of you will know him soon though, as his is a star that's rising fast. We don't speak as often now as I'd like, but he was the ignitor. She got me on the road and he got me focused. This friend, who I met quite by chance, showed me that comics wasn't this big, scary world way off in the distant lands of NY and LA. He showed me that comics was everywhere, an organic and supportive community that was so concerned about the omnipresent fear of industry death that they welcomed new creators with (relatively *cough, Marvel, cough*) open arms. He showed me how to get started, gave me feedback and introduced me to just enough people to prove to me that, while I assumed I was about fifty steps away from breaking in, it was actually more like fifteen. Regardless of how our friendship waxes and wanes from here on out, I will always be grateful to him for that.
So that catches you up, relatively, and gives you an idea of who I am and what I'm trying to do. I promise more "breaking in" content in the future.
GB Williams out.