Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"He gave up a job...": Chapter 3

From middle school through high school I read -- and bought -- more comics. I drew copies of my favorite covers; I designed characters and costumes and took a cartooning/comics class here and there.
But it was all on the periphery, off in the background. I was being steered to "serious writing" now. My dad gave me "Blame Me on History," the scathing anti-apartheid autobiography of a South-African writer/journalist named Bloke Modisane. See any message in that?

My journalistic tendencies were coming to the front. I nagged our neighbor Mark to let me be an intern at the Pittsburgh Courier. I wrote for a couple of school newspapers. I also voraciously kept a journal, chronicling the events of the day and my feelings about them. And now, I wrote short stories, not comics, about my crew's adventures -- going to parties, hanging in Oakland, fights/near fights, various episodes with the police, etc.

When it was time to go to college, I applied to the journalism schools at Ohio State and Northwestern. Didn't get in, but got accepted at Oberlin, go figure... For grad school, however, I majored in print journalism at Boston University. With my French degree from O.C., it seemed I was moving along on my path as an international journalist/correspondent.

Eventually even my drawing fell into the margins of my notebooks. Comics and art became a hobby, not a serious venture. A word processor crash in 1993 that wiped out my drafts/outlines for my Universe Comics characters seemed to be a sign to finally end my comics creating dreams.


Senbei said...

Jeez, losing all the work on your word processor! That's awful!

modik said...

Yea, it was killer. But after I let it set in, I remember saying 'oh, well. I'll just start it over." My wife was blown away by such a positive reponse from me. It was a rough period for me...