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How I Quit Comics

I need to clarify my Quitting:

I haven't quit making comics. I've got two books under contract for print: Ironclad Petal and Rumble Girls: RLO. Those will both been seen on the web first. I'm still writing and drawing them. I will write and draw more after them.

What I've quit doing is looking for work in comics, to make money doing production work, or servicing trademarks. Not that either of those is bad, mind, I'm just tired of doing it. I'm sick of the business, not the form. I'm tired of the chase. I'm disgusted with the state of the art. I'm thoroughly disgusted (and have been for some time) with some of my peers: their lack of hygiene, their lack of scruples, their surfeit of slander, their unwillingness to confront bad behavior, their lack of memory of even the last ten or twenty years of the history of this business.
There are scars from wounds from being in comics I might as well call self-inflicted because I let someone else cut me and said nothing because no one else did. Except, of course, it's not right to be a horrible shit because you're embarassed that you laid out all your stories and now must discredit me so I look crazy if I repeat what you've said, or I stopped being impressed with Your Fabulous Life.

I find my own children much more interesting, moral, and fun to spend time with. I spend my time advocating for my son, and learning to speak his language. I am enjoying my daughter's growing up as an artist. I spend time fighting with her school so she can get what she needs to learn. I'm learning about myself, and what it means for me to have two kids on the Autism Spectrum.

That is a LOT more fun and more interesting that fucking about following comics and finding work in them.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
jodi_davis
Jan. 2nd, 2006 08:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah You!
I just found you through the Engine! Congrats on taking the side step.

JD
divalea
Jan. 2nd, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Yeah You!
Hey, thanks!
laylalawlor
Jan. 2nd, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC)
You know what? GO YOU! I have always found it silly that the definition of "making it" in comics is working on somebody else's properties rather than your own. Apply the same thing to book publishing and it's completely bass-ackwards. If you aspire to be an author, you want to write and publish your own novels, not edit somebody else's, write Star Trek tie-in books or translate Russian novels for an American audience. In books, that's either the shit work that you do if you want to be in the biz but have no talent, or it's a sideline that you do to make some extra money while you work on your next novel. Either way, you may as well be working at Starbucks.

And so I say, GO LEA. Why worry about the business? You're an author, you're not Joe Quesada. Worrying about the business *his* job. Yours is to make nice books for people to read. The idea that doing manga touchup work is equivalent to making manga, or drawing Superman's umpteenth adventure is equivalent to drawing your own comics, is a stupid lie that companies use to sucker in talented people. And 'tis a free country, and some very talented people may find fulfilment in drawing X-Men, lettering manga or writing Dragonlance tie-in novels, and that's their prerogative to do so. Let them, then. There are lots of people who want to do that. Stop wasting YOUR wonderful talent on propping up other people's careers. There are many ways to make money that don't suck down creative energy you can better use on your own work. Lettering manga is not "making comics" and if the industry says so, then it is lying. So let it lie to someone else. Go make comics. You haven't quit. You've just stopped listening to the lies and gone back to the heart and soul of what the business *should* be about.
divalea
Jan. 2nd, 2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Layla.
asim
Jan. 2nd, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
I'm learning about myself, and what it means for me to have two kids on the Autism Spectrum.

That is a LOT more fun and more interesting that fucking about following comics and finding work in them.
I just spent the weekend with two of my friends who own belly dance troupes/companies, and are also Moms. Your frustration with comics echos a LOT of their -- and my -- frustration with the biz of belly dance, where you spend way too much time explaining that you're not a stripper, or getting undercut for a resturant gig by someone with half you age and one-tenth your moral fiber.

I can't totally understand, no matter how much time I've spent on the WEF, what you've gone through. But I have much respect for what you've done for the industry, and for what you're doing now for your life.

Thanks, Lea.
divalea
Jan. 2nd, 2006 11:13 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
(Deleted comment)
divalea
Jan. 3rd, 2006 02:28 am (UTC)
The irony is that I believe a lot of American comickers are Aspie as shit and not getting help. Hell, I know the fans are.
People are boggled at how I can be polite to some of the people that come to my table, but I'm harsh with people who are dumbasses*, not people who remind me of my brother and my son.

*The guy at Katsucon who stood at my table, read the last of Rumble Girls, and set it down with a happy sigh, "Now I know how it ends." Even Girl Child, eleven at the time, was boggled by this. The girl, at the same con, who set her OPEN BOTTLE OF PEPSI on a stack of books and looked at me incredulously when I asked her to, no, not move it off the pile, but to cap it and set it on a clear part of the table.

weds
Jan. 3rd, 2006 12:22 am (UTC)
That makes all kinds of sense. Piles thereof.
divalea
Jan. 3rd, 2006 02:23 am (UTC)
Tenks. I figured it did.
the_kiggy
Jan. 3rd, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
I haven't quit making comics.

I am relieved.
divalea
Jan. 3rd, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
Man, so am I!
mark_argent
Jan. 3rd, 2006 04:52 am (UTC)
seconded.
divalea
Jan. 5th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
Aww.
spiderfarmer
Jan. 3rd, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
I gave up on comics when the entire distribution channel consolidated into Diamond owning the entire channel. It just made it impossible for small publishers. Sigh.
divalea
Jan. 5th, 2006 09:35 pm (UTC)
And now FM distro is gone. Fuuuuucked uuuuuuup.
spiderfarmer
Jan. 6th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
I'm convinced that the only reason there weren't monopoly investigations is because no congress critter wants to stand up and talk about the evils of conglomeration in comic books. It's just too open for ridicule from every side. The media would have a field day.

It would have to be someone, like one of us, who has experienced it, and can explain that comics is a serious business and not all of it is chicks in bathing suits and barbarians from space. (Although...Barbarian Bathing Space Chicks might have a pretty good market...)

Point being, nobody takes the comics industry seriously...outside of people in the comics industry.

Well, and prudes. Prudes seem to have a lot of time for snooping through comics in case a nipple pops up.
merlodge
Jan. 3rd, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
MMmmmmm.. I did not know your kids (2 of them? were autistic) im me, would ya? eredmyth on yahoo and aim.
divalea
Jan. 5th, 2006 09:35 pm (UTC)
I don't IM, SM. Sorry.
sclerotic_rings
Jan. 3rd, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
Once again, Lea, you could be the little sister that I never had. You've hit again why I quit writing: why should I continue to kill myself to work for people that can't be bothered to pay on time, if ever, solely so they don't have to write 5000 words on the revival of Lexx? I guess I haven't quit writing, considering the insane output in my silly-ass LJ, but I'm writing on my own terms, and on the subjects that I care about, and I'm not waiting for months or years for some passive-aggressive editor to make up his damn mind as to whether he's going to chop the 2500 words he asked for down to 250 and then deign to tell me about it after the magazine hits the stands and I'm threatened by the subject because the editor threw in something that was potentially libelous. I'm free of the assholes, and so are you: if you feel so inclined, you never have to associate with them again, and you're only now realizing how liberating that can be.
divalea
Jan. 5th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, god, speciality magazine editors. GRRR!

On your own terms is the thing. Absolutely.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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