This begins my first real week as a freelancer writer. After three great years I’ve left my position as an Editor at BOOM! Studios to build upon what I have now as a comics writer. Telling stories is what I enjoy most in life, it’s what I wanted to do since I knew people did it, and now at 28 I’m giving it a proper go. I don’t know what the future holds, but this is starting to be what I want it to look like.
It’s a big scary leap. The comic industry is going through an upheaval. No one knows what this business is going to look like in a few years other than “very different.” The world economy is more fragile and hostile to risk than perhaps it has been at any other point in my life. I’m well aware of all these factors. But I also know that for the priorities and values I have within me, this is the right decision. I’ve been writing scripts for BOOM!’s line of Disney books (Darkwing Duck, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers) for a year and a half now. A year before that I wrote stories for BOOM!’s horror anthology Zombie Tales (those stories are getting reprinted soon in the second Zombie Tales Omnibus). The work has been well received. I am incredibly grateful to the readers who have chosen to spend their time and money with my creativity, especially when there is so much content out there. But even beyond that, there is deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment I get from telling comic book stories. I love it and I know that’s the direction my life must take. If it means I must make a change during a state of unease in industry so be it. This just means I have less competition for gigs. Sane, rational people who would otherwise give comics scripting the full push aren’t in the running. That’s okay, who wants to hear stories from sane, rational people anyway?
It was a tough decision to leave BOOM! Studios. It was a true joy to see people I respect grow, taking on (and conquering) new challenges that bring out their best qualities. I have to thank CEO Ross Richie, who gave a guy barely out of college a full time job overseeing multiple titles. It wasn’t easy but do we ever remember the best things in our lives as starting easy? Through the years the trials of editing everyday bore amazing rewards that I will value for my entire life. Giving Declan Shalvey his first American work in 28 Days Later. Putting out the CBGB anthology, letting amazing creators tell stories they couldn’t tell elsewhere by using the subject matter as a jumping-off point. More recently creating the first Planet of the Apes comics in decades that took place in the original movies’ world, seeing Daryl Gregory, Carlos Magno, Nolan Woodard and Travis Lanham create a whole new era in a classic sci-fi epic. The last projected I developed was Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Sara Bechko’s Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes, another wonderful story that shows Ape City like never before. One of the reasons why it was such a hard decision to leave was because I knew I was closing the door on a job that already gave me, and taught me, so much. I suppose I must make sure this new role in life gives me just as much.
In addition to Ross, I want to thank Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon, Managing Editor Bryce Carlson and previous Editor-in-Chief Mark Waid. They all believed and sanctioned my freelance writing work while I held a staff job. To work with them, in both roles for the company, was an amazing experience that gave me the confidence to find a voice as a creative person, something I don’t know I would have attained at this point in life otherwise. I leave BOOM! Studios excited to see what the smart, wonderful people there will give us. I want give a shout-out to Chris Rosa, lately of Meltdown Comics, who just started the company and is taking over some of my responsibilities there. With that eye for editorial talent I know BOOM!’s going to be just fine without me.
You will see more of my writing. I’m not at privilege to get into specifics but I’m busy enough these days that you will certainly be seeing something. I can’t stop writing, couldn’t if I tried. No matter what (there’s already been a lot of “WHAT” and I expect more) it’s always worth it. How many people get to say they are doing exactly what they know they should be doing with their lives?