I’ve wanted to draw comics all my life, really. The first comics I can remember drawing where more like magazines than comics, though. Put together using carbon paper (remember that? no? you’re too young – here’s a wikipedia article on it) when I was about 8 or 9, usually featuring puzzles and drawings.
When I was 15/16, and wanted to draw comics, information was so scarce on the ground, I had no real idea of how to do it. So I assumed (incorrectly) that comic artists drew everything in a panel, and then cut them out of paper and overlapped them, one on top of the other, to build a scene (it didn’t occur to me that you pencilled and inked and drew through things if needed). It was an intensely laborious process.
Age 18/19 I had met John McCrea and started drawing again, and drew my first proper comic strip.
The whole while though, from age 14 I was working in computers.
People who knew me from my life away from comics know / knew I wanted to draw comics, but I never appeared to pursue it. (Well, pre-interenet, it wasn’t immediately obvious how you pursued it – leading to many many wrong turns).
So now, I’ve been drawing comics professionally for 3 years and I’m into the happily ever after part of the ‘dream job’ gig.
And it’s bloody hard. No-one really prepares you for that.
Your focus is so concentrated on that magical moment of breaking in, that you’re ill prepared for the idea that, now you’ve broken in, you’ve got to a) find work, b) find time to do the work, c) make sure you can eat, etc. In the job that doesn’t pay particularly well.
I will occasionally talk to people who say “oh wow, you’ve always wanted to do this, you’re living the dream man!”.
And, it’s true, to an extent I am.
But it’s a job, and, to be honest, it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.