This comic, like the Robin comic before (#284) is very personal. I used to hang out with a bunch of artists back when I lived in Canada and because of that I was incredibly focused and productive. When I moved to Japan I lost that group and I started becoming more and more isolated and unmotivated. I was doing a comic back then that was becoming more and more popular and the art was getting better and better then wham — depression hit like a ton of rocks. It became harder to draw, it became harder to communicate, and I ended up being more and more isolated as time went on.
Some of those artists I worked with continued their hard work, and I remember clearly when I heard that one of them not only wrote a hit series of graphic novels but one that actually was going to become a movie. That artist deserved it 100% — as I knew him he was kind, generous, hard-working and incredibly talented. But it reminded me heavily of my own disappointment, and how it felt like I was slowly fading away from existence. There’s enough of a hint in the comic to tell who this person was.
It’s never a good idea to compare yourself to others. But with depression everything gets put on hold while you’re just trying to survive day by day. Soon years have passed and you’re either exactly where you were or somehow slipped farther behind. It makes it much harder to motivate yourself and even allow yourself to think about picking up that dream again, even though you have to modify it so it’s a lot less ambitious.
But, I did pick myself off and now I’m doing this. Recently I got a contract to do some illustration work for the University of Texas. This is a huge step for me. I’d like to think that Robin picks up that guitar at some point and plays songs on YouTube or something like that – a modification of her big dream that actually makes it doable. We all deserve as much.