As you can see, I'm still alive. I want to thank you all for the notes, emails, and comments. It's been terrible for me the past few weeks and I can't say I'm completely up to my old self. The past few days have been like walking in hell with no exit except one. I've been wanting to kill myself, bad. I suppose I still haven't ruled it out, entirely. Pain's a terrible thing and even worse when you feel there's no hope of escape.
Nonetheless, I've thought hard about what brought me to this point and keeps bringing me to this point. Each time it's worse, of course, because I've never really taken myself seriously and take the steps to find me the happiness I've been looking for. I look down on myself all the time and view the success of others with enormous jealousy. Being envious is a natural human inclination but I took it to the depths and have been using it to destroy myself. I've always figured I'll never make it, I'm not good enough, and it's hard to maintain hope and morale like that.
As I stated in my previous journal, I watched a bunch of episodes of "The Walking Dead" and that's what precipitated my depression. I used it to firebomb myself. The show, in my opinion, is great. I enjoyed the stories, the characters, the beautiful women, the flesh-eating zombies and looked at the success of the show with enormous envy. I've been comparing myself and my own works to the show and the people who make it and it's been brutal. For the longest time, I've wanted to be part of something great and leave my mark.
You see, I'm at the start of my comic career. It's not a pleasant place to be because you have these nagging fears. Am I good enough? Is it a hopeless cause? Will I ever make it? Pursuing a career in anything is a battle against yourself and doubly so for an industry that, due to economic reasons and an enormous supply of talent, is hard to get into to begin with. "The Walking Dead" struck me as the pinnacle of where I wanted to be. Having little confidence in myself and always feeling like I'll never make it, I cried for a miracle. I even emailed Robert Kirkland from "The Walking Dead", asking him to let me take part in the show or comic. I was even willing to work for free. I haven't gotten a response and I thought it was a longshot anyway. Assuming he ever saw the email to begin with, I figured that maybe he didn't care or thought I was cuckoo for cocoa puffs. That and, I understand, he's probably got a million things on his plate.
I've been waiting for a miracle, something, anything, but I'm guessing I'm not that lucky. So, I've been down to two decisions. Kill myself and end the pain or say, to hell with it, what have I got to lose and do things that terrify me and move my life forward. I wish I could say I've completely ruled out the first choice. The thought of dying brings me comfort because I'm hurting, bad. But I've decided to go with the second choice. What do I have to lose?
I've decided tomorrow that I'm going to make the changes I've been afraid of. It won't be pleasant. I still feel terrible and I wish I could say I have a lot to look forward to. It will probably bring me more pain. But I will.
On my professional side, I'm going to work towards finishing some commissions and, once I have, bring on some more to support me and my family. But I'm also going to finish that "Heavy Metal" submission. After that, I'm going to work on some stories of my own that I've been putting off forever. I'm going to shop them around. Odds are against me but I'm no longer going to let that be my excuse not to try.
But here's another goal that I'm working on that I've overlooked time and again. I'm going to develop a social life outside my family and the internet. Both have been a considerable source of comfort for me but I think everyone needs fresh air and seeing the outside world, too. I'm going to contact a few of my college professors and see what art-related activities they have in my town or, at the very least, hook up with some old friends.
Up to this point, there are a few achievements I've made that I'm proud of. "Opey the Warhead" was published in Italy with a foreword by . It got a largely positive review in the Culture section of "Panorama", one of Italy's biggest magazines. I got to supply artwork and contribute to an indy film, "Paradox Alice", with . I finished "Anyone but Virginia" with my friend, Josh Eiserike. And I'm fortunate to have you all here watching my work.
My dream? To see more of my work published. I'd love to work for Image, Dark Horse, Marvel or DC. I'd be insanely happy if I got to contribute to the "Walking Dead" in some way. I'd love for Ms. Cohan, the actress who plays Maggie Green on "The Walking Dead", to own some of my work. If anyone's got any ideas for publishers to submit to or who are looking for work, great forums for comics, or anything that can help me, I'm most grateful.
I'm not sure any of this is ever going to happen. I haven't got many leads or possibilities to hang onto. I still feel like shit and I'm not sure if I'll ever get that time when I jump out of bed with excitement and looking forward to the day. But, as Josh once told me, one day I'll look back at this time and laugh. It's something to hope for.
P.S. I'm going to continue to draw my own depictions of "The Walking Dead" characters, like the one below:
Also, here's which of the comics I'll be working on: