Monday, March 29, 2010

Life Online

Someone once voiced concern to me that I told too much about my life on the Internet. Well, there have been a few hiccups along the way, but I came to the conclusion that as a cartoonist, and now almost primarily an online cartoonist, a lot of my life is out there. Not to mention that a great deal of my personal life goes into my comics, even if they're not autobiographical.

A good cartoonist puts themselves into their work. I did it in Factor of 01 on August 4, 2010 when Tom Winchester says "I've lost my family." Yeah, that panel was all me. I'm currently starting a new autobiographical comic, and the stories I've done in the past that were autobiographical have put me in a position where I have to be completely honest in my personal life. Do I share everything? No, but the stuff that I share I need to be honest about. I still stand by the opinion that I formed ten years ago. If I'm not being honest with my readers, then why in the world would they want to read more from me?

With other people, it's different. I wouldn't include anyone in a story without at least their knowledge. In the case of the current autobiographical project, someone else will probably have a very large role in it. In this case, approval is paramount, but would I compromise the story if they were to veto? I wouldn't compromise, but I would change the structure enough to meet their concerns.

That being said, I follow the rule of behaving as if you were were already at where you wanted to be. I am a cartoonist. Eventually, I would like Jet-Pack Jenny to be better known, and people coming here to read new content to feel included in the discussion around new comics and posts that have to do with the relationship between art and science, skepticism, atheism, and politics. I want people coming here to feel like part of the process, and just like what I did on August 4, 2010, I want people to know that part of me goes into these stories and I want to feel that from time to time, they'll be part of these stories. If things go as planned, the ending to Factor of 01 will actually incorporate an idea from someone else, who made a suggestion for incorporating themes from a sonata. I'm incorporating it not because of who they were, but because it was a great idea.

That's why I life my life online.

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