From the Blog

Fantasy Careers, Part I

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Looking for jobs while unemployed can be anything from exciting to disheartening to outright depressing. Particularly if you have a sneaking suspicion that you may want to pursue new career paths, but must stick to your current skill set because you’re, um, broke. I need to buy extravagant items, like a microwave. So no sudden career changes just yet.

I’ve been looking at a lot of jobs that look really dull and pay like crap. Fun! This intense period of looking for employment has inspired me to develop a list of things I would rather be doing. Fantasy careers. Not things I’m qualified for necessarily, or that might not even be considered a job or career. Wild, impractical, far-out things that I would be happy to do all day. Things that sound fun to me.

Could I maybe actually do one of these things one day? Maybe. But in order to really think about what I would really love to do, I’m removing the “practicality factor.” I’m a creative person and I would like to do something creative. And as we all know, that shit don’t pay.

So, this is the first in a recurring series. Falling squarely into the “Highly Improbable” category:

Fantasy Career: Graphic Novel Writer/Designer

I’m a girl, and I kinda like comic books. I can’t say I know much about them. I’m not “comic book educated.” I know there’s a whole world out there with conventions, fanboyz, and languages. I don’t live and breathe the lifestyle. I don’t have any furry costumes. I’m a geek, but not that flavor of geek, I guess.

I used to be able to sort of draw. Or rather, I used to draw in high school, and could have gone to art school. But I didn’t. Instead, I got a useful degree in literature. Thankfully, I retained the ability to make cute homemade cards at a skill level of a 3rd grader.

Anyway, I find a lot of art in graphic novels inspiring. And not just superheros in tights, but breakthrough, highly conceptualized, abstract, emotional art. It says something. I’m amazed at artists who have such command of visual tools, new media, old media, whatever they may be. And to have such a developed connection between eye and hand.

I know that I am sadly disconnected from art when I have lost touch with the process. I appreciate the finished product, but I worry when I wonder “How did their brain THINK of that”? I worry that I lost my art brain.

I’m looking forward to reconnecting. But even so, on my best day, I couldn’t illustrate a graphic novel myself. But I bet I could write one. I could write the shit out of a graphic novel. Having spent time in LA, I did a little screen writing. It’s a requirement, by the way. You get kicked out of LA if you’re not working on a screenplay.

Writing a bunch of half-finished screenplays obviously gives me deep insight into writing graphic novels. So I’d like to write an epic story. I’d like to guide the design and the visual atmosphere of the book, but let illustrator(s) do their thing. There are a lot of people who self publish or use the web. I know very little about how it all works. A publishing company signs you on? Can you actually make money? I know people do it for a living.

I could maybe attribute my interest in graphic novels to the fact that I grew up in the era of Underoos. Bat Girl was my favorite. I also grew up in the era of the Halloween-costume-in-a-box. With a plastic jumpsuit and a thin, stiff face mask with an elastic. They were lame and there was a limited supply, so invariably at Halloween, many kids would have the same costume. But when you’re a kid, you want more to be the same than to be different. So everyone had Superman or George Jetson or Princess Leia or Papa Smurf or whatever.

When I was some young age, 6 or 7, I had a red plastic cape left over from just such a Halloween costume. I used that natural drawing talent to draw a shield with the letters “SH.” Which naturally stands for “Super Heather.” I wore the shield on my shirt and was flying around the house. Unwisely, I paused to ask my mother if she knew what “SH” stood for. The answer from my mother: “Shit Head?”

Anyway. You have a fantasy career?


  1. Dude. Have the temping leads born any fruit yet?

  2. Yeah but I bet no one had that weird alien, blow up head thing that strapped under your chin that had that “Halloween” smell from being in the attic for a year, going through the summer stewing in it’s own plastic fumes. I loved that smell, it meant it was Halloween. And no one had that costume, or Strawberry shortcake underwear! Yeah!

  3. The temp agencies seem to be sucking the hardest, actually. I have gotten all the good, significant leads myself. I’m hoping to wrap up an offer on an actual, interesting position in the next couple of days! No worries! Or I’ll be asking for donations soon!

  4. Hmmm… What else could S-H stand for???

    Oh…I dunno…STINKY HEATHER?

    You know I mean it in the most endearing way though, RIGHT?

  5. Great, Keiko. Now the internet is going to think I’m stinky. Just great.

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