The Year So Far For Me and Sunnyville

This is a personal blog entry.  As this post is going live, I have returned to the state of Texas for the weekend.  I’m back in the South Congress district of Austin, the state capital.  But comics aren’t my focus on this trip.  The purpose is a study trip.  I was influenced by my hero, the painter Paul Klee (1879-1940), who took a similar trip to Tunisia in 1914 with two other artists.  For me, this is a solo trip and I have with me a digital camera and my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook.  I’ll be making drawings, quick sketches, and watercolors of what I see down there.  It’s meant to help me practice my draftsmanship, brush up on practical applications of color, and to gain reference material for Sunnyville Stories and any other works I produce.

On that note, I’ve been reflecting upon how this year has turned out for me.  To be honest, it has been a mixed bag so far.  The year is half finished and I’ve accomplished quite a lot.  I’ve not only become a better artist, but I’ve put out my very first trade paperback and I’ve begun work on the sixth episode of Sunnyville Stories.  Yet, I feel like I haven’t done enough so far.  

The reason I’m saying this is that I visited Strand Books recently and by complete luck, found a copy of the out-of-print book by Cerebus creator Dave Sim titled the Cerebus Guide to Self-Publishing.  Anyone familiar with Dave Sim knows that this is a guy who knows what he’s talking about when it comes to doing your own series and self-publishing it.  While the book was VERY informative, it made me feel guilty too.  Why?  Dave Sim stresses how much discipline and persistence it takes to go anywhere in this field.  He emphasizes how much you need to make yourself work to get your comics out there on time and into stores.

To be honest, while I have accomplished much so far, there’s still so much more I could do and so much more I could have done.  I could have put out more comics this year had I not been so obsessed and stubborn with putting out that book of mine.  There’s also all the travelling I’ve been doing to make connections and find a place that’s more affordable to live and work in.

This year has been mixed for me.  So far it has gone well with my book and my drawing.  But when it comes to comics, I still have far to go.

You should take something from this personal blog post…making comics is NOT easy.  It takes stamina, dedication, and drive to get any work done.  It takes knowledge to get your work out there and to get others to notice it.  If you think comics is a quick way to easy money or fame, then you’d better stop right now.

That’s all for now.  Subscribe via RSS feed or through email if you haven’t already.  Be sure to stop by Indy Planet to buy your copy of my first book, Sunnyville Stories Volume 1, as well as my other comics.  As always, your feedback is appreciated.  What’s your opinion?  We’d like to know.

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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