Returning to work after a week off is pretty tough for those of us with too many plans and not enough hours or motivation. It makes me reflect on what it means to go back to a 9-5 office versus being an independent contractor or owning my own business. I can’t imagine having a 24/7 responsibility to a client or an install base of users.
Or having fans.
Imagine you’re Terry Moore. What, you don’t know Terry Moore? Well here’s a wiki link to get started. Try to keep up:
Terry is the creator, artist, and writer of one of the best comic serials of the past 30 years, Strangers In Paradise. So he’s got a website for SiP (that’s the common abbreviation form used by us fans) and if you check out the store, you’ll see a LOT of merchandise including lots of really cool things like original artwork pages for sale, books, t-shirts, and other comic related stuff. I bought a signed picture from there a few years back, and it’s one of my favorite pieces.
Oh, did I mention that during the majority of the comic’s run, it was self published? That’s running your own business times a hundred. Did I mention he started it in 1996 which was not a time when you could just Google your way to self publishing resources, distributors, and convention appearances?
Did I mention that the series is heavily interjected with music, including transcribed sheet music and Terry’s own lyrics?
Did I mention the comic ended in 2007? It’s still drawing tons of attention as people discover and rediscover a story that runs across friendship, love, and some occasional mob dealings. Come for the drama, stay for the action, and vice versa. I remembering feeling embarrassed to buy it at first since it was a bit of a soap opera, but it was far beyond any kind of storytelling being done by Marvel, DC, or half the New York Times best sellers. This kind of fervor still makes Terry Moore a celebrity in the comics world, and oh, he’s got a new title called Echo which is another fantastic tale; it’s like a science fiction meets HBO drama series… or something you pray is never ruined by a Hollywood adaptation from Michael Bay.
Now throw in a blog, which has some great features on the upcoming product and project pipeline, and you have to wonder, “HOW DOES SOMEONE NOT DIE OF A HEART ATTACK WHILE WORKING NONSTOP?” I have enough trouble committing to 2-4 blog entries a week.
But it makes me think about MOMENTUM. In a story, on the job, in a serialized comic, you need momentum to keep the fans/boss/yourself happy. I guess Terry Moore must be the happiest person in the world. And if not…. Terry: I think us fans owe you a vacation now and then. Stop being the best.
(Out of respect to Mr. Moore, I am using the Wikipedia image of cover art from Strangers in Paradise, volume 3 no. 1. Please read more here about the fair use, and go to http://www.strangersinparadise.com/ to see Terry’s art and take a test drive…)