So, I said my break was over a few weeks ago on Facebook, and still haven’t produced any new pages…Oops. A bit premature I suppose.
Oh, I am writing this blog once again from a hospital room, though this time it is a happy occasion. My wife is in labor! This is our 2nd child, a girl this time. Julianna! In case you were wondering, my son’s name is Bennett and he is 4 years old. Bennett like Black Snow? Yes. Classy, right? How’d I get my wife to go for that? She had no idea my character’s was Black Snow, because she does not pay attention to my comics! She did not realize it until a fan asks her sometime after Bennett was born. So too late to change it. I win!
Why am I sharing this personal info with you? I don’t know. I guess it relates to why I took my break in the first place. You want to know why? I assume you just enthusiastically said “YES!” while nodding emphatically at your computer screen in your dimly lit bedroom, where you sit alone…as usual. Because you are reading this…that’s why!
Well, many reasons. Mostly because I’ve been a bit stressed and depressed. I already mentioned the birth of my daughter, which while a true blessing is also a cause of stress for a guy like me, who tends to worry about the future.
This comic is sadly relevant. Regular readers will likely recall my complaints about money woes. They haven’t gotten any easier. In fact they’ve gotten worse. Money is a real struggle in the Balistreri household, and adding another kid certainly isn’t going to help that.
I worry about my cash flow pretty much all the time. As a result I work a lot. My full time job, my side job, my son and whatever else I have going on make it hard to find time for the comics sometimes. Oh, and my son has started requiring a lot of attention, constantly wanting to play. It ain’t always easy.
When I do get some spare time I tend to feel guilty spending it on drawing comics, instead of somehow making more money or generally improving my station in life to better support my family. As my debt grows this feelings tend to intensify.
I though getting A’s in school and going to a prestigious college were supposed to set you up for the working world, unfortunately I graduated in this recession that has greatly impacted my livelihood.
Degrees aren’t worth the paper their printed on these days. As you can see, I did not really organize these thoughts. More of a stream of consciousness thing, as are most my posts. Anyway, back to my reasons. So yeah, money problems suck.
Beyond that, and it is hard for me to ever get beyond that, I was sad that Alex moved. It is true that I wanted to be a cartoonist as a child, but it wasn’t until working with Alex that I really felt the drive to give it a go. A large part of the appeal was it gave me something to do with my best friend and kept us close. Now he’s gone. Really far. And we don’t really talk all that much. So that sucks too.
So I had to decide if I really want to do this without him. And if I do do I really want to continue to do it in the current projects we started together? Well, I decided that yeah, I do. And he is still around via the old internets to work with. Though it is obviously not the same. But I really do want to keep going on Black Snow. We’ve got an excellent story to tell, and I want to finish it. Hell, I’d like to keep doing all the comics and start new ones.
So money issues, a lack of Alex, a life changing 2nd child, a demanding 1st child and some other stuff has kind of kept me in a paralyzed funk where I find it hard to work. I’m trying to get out of it and get back to work. Some more fan support would definitely go a long way in helping bolster my dour outlook. It really would mean a lot to know that people cared if I keep doing this. So would some cash! Feel free to offer donations, advertise on the site or buy a damn book.
Hopefully the impending birth of my daughter in the coming hours will spur me on and alleviate some of my concerns. Maybe it will even cause me to gain back some childish whimsy, which is always helpful when pursuing childish dreams like being a comic artist.
So what the hell am I really saying? I don’t know. I’m a somewhat sad, confused man lately. I’m scattered and don’t really know what to do. Hopefully I’ll get my shit together and just draw some damn comics. It shouldn’t be so hard, right?
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