Tuesday, 5 June 2007

"I now need to decide what to do with my life"
covers-BACCHUS no. 56

Tpair of images above will be familiar to anyone who followed the old Eddiecampbellcomics.com site. It was close to the end of the run and I was habitually showing the preview version of the covers beside the finished print. The latter is in watercolour with a smear of white pastel on the mirror. It's a fairly accurate depiction of me, age 15, from memory.

I recalled this image of my younger self last night after my pal White, who you will remember is a chartered accountant and co-wrote a couple of Batman books with me, directed me to a Millarworld forum where I was supposed to find something, but I forget what it was, and instead found a young guy who is leaving college and is wondering how his life is going to work out. It's that time of year.
"Here's a crazy situation...I'm due to graduate at the end of this year from a Biological Sciences degree and I'm now faced with the scary prospect of entering the real world. The problem is that I now need to decide what to do with my life. One parent thinks I should go into postgraduate work and the other says I should get a science based job. I've got all these options being thrown at me - research work, scientific surveys abroad, the forestry commision (what the heck?), a Phd, a masters - and yet nothing involved my dream to write comics. My Dad even said to my face the other day that "you can't stay at home your entire life and write comics".
Writing is my life. There's nothing else I want to do."


A discussion ensues, and somebody else chirps in with some solid advice:
“There's a chance that none of us will 'make it' and be rich and famous (hell Eddie Campbell, an Aussie writer an artist who worked on batman still earns his daily wage as an accountant), but if we lead rich lives (and are disciplined about our writing) we will both increase our chances of succeeding and not live a half life if we don't succeed.”
I have decided to introduce a new catch phrase here at campbell blogspot. Whenever somebody steps up to offer a word of inspiring and reassuring truth, but then cocks it up, you must say: "Truth is strangler than fiction." (sic) And you can quote me on that.

After many years of hard slog and inspiration, when it all works out for you, you will have a great big studio like these folk photographed by Greg Preston in The Artist Within: Portraits of cartoonists, comic book artists, animators and others. Each one is depicted in his personal working space, and a few examples from the book are shown at the link.
"how do these cartoonists afford such ENORMOUS EXPENSIVE ROOMS?" commented hayley campbell when she sent the link. As it happens, I think this is the book for which my pubisher Chris Staros was trying to get the author to include me in his photographic collection, but my personal working space was much too far away.
hayley campbell envisions his arrival at castle campbell:
you (campbell) would have sat at the end of the table and he would have looked
around corners expectantly.
'so, ah, mr campbell... where exactly is your room?'
'room?'
'er.'
'i work here. and occasionally a few inches over there... depending on
whether it's dinnertime or not.'
'right right.'
'...'
'um, mr campbell, do you know any amateurs in brisbane with big flashy studios?'
'why many! there's wayne, he's got a good'un, and there's always---'
'good good. do you know if they're in? we won't need the room for long..'
'hurrumph.'

Remember: Truth is strangler than fiction.

Speaking of wee Campbell, she has just described an early screening of the Gaiman movie Stradust.
And here is a review of the Black Diamond Detective Agency at Stagenoise
The two parties quoted above obviously need to read my How to be an Artist while anyone interested in more about 'wee Eddie' will find it in After the Snooter

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6 Comments:

Blogger spacedlaw said...

Funny enough I had the same reaction when I saw the pictures in that book. Cluttered space for sure but LOAD of it, in a way that does not feel absolutely real - despite the pictures (say ! is that a UFO flying outside that window ?)- in the same way that writers spaces is often depicted as huge private libraries and all.
Love that new catch phrase...
Nathalie

5 June 2007 12:49:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger drjon said...

And another headsup: Dundee international comics conference

5 June 2007 1:10:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger drjon said...

(by a strange twist of fate, I am myself living a half-life...)

5 June 2007 1:16:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Hayley said...

Yep, that Stradust sure was fun.

5 June 2007 3:45:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Jack Ruttan said...

Hah ha! Serious Ahtist! I love it.

5 June 2007 10:54:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger HemlockMan said...

The spoiled young fellow should do his best to try to become a writer of comics.

I know many writers, and only two who make their livings completely from writing...wait a second...one of them just phoned and he's now bankrupt and must get a job. So I only know one writer who makes a living writing. And the phone's ringing again...

5 June 2007 9:53:00 pm GMT-5  

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