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: This last year of my little life I will give to you
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Nov 22nd 2009
Hello Whitechapel. My name is Cameron :3
For all of 2008 I worked at a big Borders store. I got to borrow books for free, get a discount on the ones I bought, and worked with a number of really fantastic people. In March of 08 I was awarded Employee of the Month and over the course of my employment there I was awarded multiple customer service awards and was next in line to be promoted to a supervisor. It was a retail and, therefore, sure, a shit job most of the time, but my rent was low and so the money was good enough for me. My grandmother passed away December 20th of 2008. Two days later I was fired from my job, along with a handful of others.
January first I moved in with my father who lived about 20 minutes away. 20 minutes away if you have a car, which I didn't. Of my friends that werent away at college only three ever visited me in my town. I lived with him from January to May of 2009. I couldn't find a job out there and wasn't close enough to a college to go back to school. I had always doodled off and on and my older brother and I (When we were VERY very young) made comics together (As well as 'radio shows' that consisted of us talking into a tape recorder and also us recording the audio of cartoons and stuff as, like, different segments or whatever :P ) and for the last few years I had always wanted to make my own comics. I had been writing (poorly) since I was fifteen but I drew horribly. When I was fired the first thing I did was start drawing (horribly) my own comics. One of the most inspiring comics I've ever read (With an equally inspiring author) was American Splendor. So I bought some inking pens and began to try and learn how to not only draw but also tell a story visually and learn about the production type stuff to making a simple minicomic (reproducing the artwork decently, page setup, whatever).
My mother and her husband lived out in the middle of the desert with my grandfather. Eventually I got this call from her asking me if I would move out there with them to help take care of my grandfather who had become sick. She had been going over to his place during the day and making him lunch and talking with him and making sure he takes his pills and things like that. She said it was just too much to do and she needed help but would rather pay me then a stranger to watch after him. How could I say no?
May 2nd I moved in to my new home in the desert, a 2 hour drive from everyone I knew and cared about and me, still, without a car. My grandfather was really happy to see me. He bought the home I live in now. It was nice to see him, too. He was up and walking around and looking really good. That night he was hospitalized because he was having trouble breathing. I got a phone call from my mothers husband and told it happens every so often but it's nothing to worry about. He passed away May 7th. I was there when it happened. I had been there five days. I was told he had 6 months to a year left.
It's almost December. I can't find a job out here. My mother and her husband have money, they support me almost entirely and it makes me feel guilty beyond my means to verbalize it. Eventually I'll get some financial aid from the college I'm attending. Apparently the unemployment rate for the county I now live in is 15%. I live off of baloney and cheese sandwiches and mtndew, very much literally. In August I had finished about a dozen of short comics stories and took the nine of them I liked and made a minicomic. Once it looked like the end goal was reachable I stayed up for two days straight inking the last story, coming up with a cover, laying the book out in Photoshop (Which I had to do twice because, well, the first set of master copies came out fuzzy because Im an idiot and forgot to adjust the DPI of the template I moved the finished pages onto so they went down from their 300DPI.. >< ) and then I walked 40 minutes to Staples and made a bunch of copies. The end result is a 36 page, awkwardly stapled, crudely drawn, black and white comic. I was so happy. Through my own site and through Etsy I have sold about 30 copies, a handful leaving the U.S. for placing like Australia and Israel and Scotland.
Recently I reformatted the pages so Ka-Blam could print them. I also went through and touched up some things and did some minor design work on the inside cover and title page. There was a nextra page in the back, as well, so I added a short little prose piece there. I'm very happy with the end result and am just waiting on ka-blam to ok the files and stuff. Then it will be available through them or, still, through me. I figure considering the shipping I'd pay for Ka-blam to ship copies to me to sell I'd probably make no actual profit from those but I want to be able to draw on the envelopes and write a little thank you note to those that buy it.
I'm in the middle of the second minicomic. Next semester I hope to get into an art class and that with that and practice I improve my patience and consistency when it comes to the art aspect of these. And that with not only reading comics and prose but studying them and figuring out why I like those I do and dislike the ones I do I can improve the story telling aspect of these, also.
I mentioned it over on the open mic night thread briefly but here it is again: If you want to read a digital copy of my minicomic you can do so
. There are PDF and CBZ versions. (I have little experience with these so if there is a way I could improve those versions, let me know and I will.)
I have five copies of the crudely put together minicomic left. Ka-blam should have the POD version set up soon enough. If you want a physical copy of it email me or DM me on twitter(sgrsickness at gmail OR @sgrsickness) or comment or something and I will mail you a copy of it for free. I only have five copies, though, and while I can afford to ship these out to you I don't know if I can print off more just now. If I run out and you do want one, though, I'll try and do what i can to print more and send them free.
Nov 22nd 2009
Sounds like an eventful year. Good luck with the minicomic, American Splendor makes for some fascinating inspiration for sure.
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