When I first delved into writing, primarily as a hobby, I did so with a mind to write in a poorly lit room with a cigarette hanging listlessly from my lips, ethereal wisps of smoke dancing in my face and a pathological desire to be a curmudgeonly recluse. Then I realized that I don’t smoke. And that being curmudgeonly all the time is bad for your heart. And that I don’t like sitting in the dark. So that whole fantasy quickly fell apart. But I still had the idea in my head that all my creative projects would be individual efforts that would live or die based solely on my passion and drive.
When I decided to pursue writing as a career, I realized how detrimental that was. A community of readers and writers and creators is absolutely paramount to success. I sent drafts to friends and family and posted in online forums a midst uncomfortable heart palpitations and delusions of grandeur.
“I have posted a story on the internet! I am now famous!”
“Oh god, this is the worst thing ever. What is that? A TYPO?! I want to vomit on myself!”
The criticism and critique came. And I didn’t die as a result. I grew as a writer. I learned the invaluable importance of the interpersonal aspect of an extremely solitary endeavor like writing.
My mind was further blown when I decided to try my hand at creating comic books. Writing my first script was all it took for me to realize comics was something I would pursue until my hands fall off. But, unlike writing a novel, I couldn’t do it alone. And I didn’t just need critique and criticism. I needed collaborators. I needed partners.
I found one such collaborator in Garrick Dean, who agreed to work with me on bringing The Last Enemy to life. He took my words, characters I’d dreamed up and gave them form. He took creative freedom with my script. No one’s ever taken creative freedom with anything I’ve written! And I loved it! The story was no longer MY story. The characters were no longer MY characters. And they are better off for it.
Check out some of Garrick’s initial character designs and panels for The Last Enemy: