Click on the images to see the full-sized versions.
As this was designed for print, it can be a little difficult to read on a monitor. I've included a transcript below for clarity.
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"The only people crazier than comics artists are animators. You have to be crazy to do this work. It's INSANE."
I say this a lot. I'm not really joking.
I was recently invited to talk to a high school graphic novel class about the process of making comics. For most of them, it's just another English elective, a choice they made between comics, say, and Russian Lit.
Most. Not all, though.
Toward the end of class, I took a small group aside to chat some more about comics. We sat in a huge two-story room, the usual function of which was mysterious to me. The kids were a pretty diverse spread.
I'd come ready to answer questions, but they didn't really have any.
What to say? These were kids who loved comics. I wanted to tell them SOMETHING that might be useful.
All at once, advice and encouragement and minor regrets came pouring out of me.
"Don't let anyone shame you for the kinds of comics you love. Don't let anyone tell you you're wasting your time.
"Who cares if your art isn't very good? Do you have an idea? Can you draw it clearly enough for me to understand what's going on? Then you're fine! You'll get better at the art, but for now just make comics.
"There are lots of people who can draw better than I can. But if I sit down and crank out a graphic novel, I'm still a better COMICS artist than lots of them will ever be.
"It's the discipline of sitting down to work that's hard. That's the most important part. If you draw one panel every day, in a year you'll have a book. It's a slog, but you can do it.
"Make a webcomic, and make it as easy for yourself as possible. Pick a project that's easy and fun to work on. Pick a way to post that you don't have to think about. A hard-to-update site is just one more reason to stop.
"You have access to free prints and photocopies, so use it! Make minis. Go to cons and trade with people. Get a table with a bunch of your friends. People love to see teens making comics! We need new faces!
"Make comics. Make lots of comics. You can do it. I believe in you."