Lately my comic, housework and cooking have been suffering. I have started down the rabbit hole of designing T-shirts printed and fulfilled by Spreadshirt. When your boyfriend the cartoonist repeatedly mentions how much profit there is in this market you can only listen idly for so long before you ask him how long it would take him to draw you a cute orange cartoon cat saying “I Heart Mew”.
Once my kiddos have hit the sack for the evening we shift to the office to come up with some new designs and for me to learn about SEO or basic coding or another once completely foreign topic. As the hours wear on I go from fantasizing about paying off all my student loans courtesy of Adorakitty (the orange tabby) to lamenting the hours I am wasting for thus far zero sales. It is never ending and consuming.
The other issue I am running into is a mixed feeling for which I have no name. Somewhere between shame and guilt I think, maybe? As a self conscious person in an over-marketed to society I anxiously await a backlash of some sort. For some reason there seems to be a difference in the perception of promoting a commercial shirt shop and selling handmade wares on Etsy. Were I doing the latter, I would have blogged about this a week ago and flooded the news to everything from Pinterest to Facebook. But, with this I pondered long and hard before attaching our names to it in any way.
As always I think I was over thinking. We spend long hours getting these designs just right, making the shops that will host them and studying the best ways to promote them to the masses. I want you to wear the shirt that we designed and refuse to be hindered by those that would snub their nose at making a profit from art and design. It is just as honest a living as any.
So here it is I design and promote the sale of custom T-shirts on the internet. The designs cute and funny and original. They are produced by Spreadshirt, which is an awesome international company that believes in freedom of expression and treats my boyfriend and the rest of their employees pretty damn awesomely.
Check out our latest shop at iheart.spreadshirt.com. Maybe you will find the shirt you have been looking for.
I believe that on some level everyone wants to be known for something. Maybe just for being a good friend or maybe as extreme as being the best leader of the free world. Me, I’d like to be known as a great writer. Someone that has their works read long after their death.
There is however something I don’t want on a visceral level and that is to be known as a great woman writer. True I am most certainly a woman and a writer but being known as a woman writer seems to me some sort of obscure consolation prize. I see some man with a ridiculous mustache and top hat handing out Newburys and Cauldecotts and Eisners and Pulitzers much like an olympic ceremony. The male honorees are adorned with heavy gleaming golden medals. Whereas, the women writers, artists and journalists are bestowed with light pink plastic barbie-esque tokens about their necks.
I often feel that I am being ridiculous and should just hope that someday someone recognizes my work with a small nod. But, truly thinking about it and analyzing my feelings on the matter I’m okay with being ridiculous in this. I am a writer and happen to be a woman, but there is much more to me than my sex.
It seems universally agreed upon that criticizing or threatening anyone based on the fundamental characteristics of their being is wrong. So, why do people feel that they should be recognized in the same vein? The very people that plead for acceptance into the hierarchy of the white male archetype of society post all over the place defining themselves as their gender or sexual orientation. Maybe I’m naive to think that I could make an attempt at success without latching onto some sort of subculture of feminism or sisterhood or minority. Maybe openly rejecting it is the kiss of death, but truly I don’t want the consolation prize. I want to be a great writer and a good woman, but those things are mutually exclusive to me.
In 5 days literally the world will be able to see what we’ve been up to. Less than 120 hours until the moment I’ve been waiting for and all at once it is forever away and way too soon. We will be dropping the first 8 pages of The God Child on Monday morning and there will be no turning back. I have to say that the premise was not mine, that was entirely DJ, but I took it and ran. I hope you like it or even if you hate it that is stirs a feeling or two. I must warn you it is violent and graphic. If I didn’t know where it was going some of what we have written may seem over the top or senseless to me. However, I think if you hang in there and learn the story and get to know the characters you will thoroughly enjoy the ride.
I have always been a writer. I think that being one is just a basic part of who I am. Even after I put away the pen the words still bounced around inside of me. I’ll never know why I stopped pursuing writing as a career… Probably some garbage about it not being a practical a means of making a living. Honestly though I’m certain it was the fear of rejection.
2013 was the year that I realized my marriage had unraveled. People that like to talk usually say that what you need tends to find you when you need it the most. For me I guess that thing was comics.
It still seems ridiculous but somehow last December I agreed to co-write a comeback title for DJ Coffman. I did some blogging with YIRMUMAH a short time back and he has been trying to coax the writer out of hiding ever since. I’m still in disbelief that I’m writing and suffer from creative amnesia, crediting DJ with most of what ends up on the page.
What we are doing is something… I can feel it. It makes me want to immerse myself in this and little else. I’m learning about comic press outlets, publishers, writers, artists, icons and anything else I can grasp. With issue 1 in the can the disbelief is fading. This is my new beginning. I write comics.