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Akira
02-26-2009, 05:03 AM
Someone tell me it's possible. Someone please point out someone who's done it. Cause I'm getting pretty pessimistic here.

Yeah I know there's been a bunch of similar threads here recently, and trust me, I've lurked in them all. But I just can't see how one can start a career in comics and support a new family at the same time. Maybe I just have blinders on, but I don't know how it can work.

RickLM
02-26-2009, 05:06 AM
Most famous writers were lousy fathers, so that tells you something.

TheTravis!
02-26-2009, 05:10 AM
Well, if it's a new baby, you won't be sleeping much anyway. Put that waking time to good use and write some comics, sir!

Cactusakic
02-26-2009, 05:14 AM
Joe Eisma seems to be balancing the two pretty well.

JeremyDale
02-26-2009, 05:14 AM
It's not easy, but it can happen. I have a good friend who is just breaking in who, right after getting his first pro assignment, found out his wife was pregnant. The kid is now almost 2, and despite all the hard work and sacrifices he's had to make, his career is still moving along at a nice pace as well.

So yeah-- it's possible, but don't expect an easy ride of it. Best of luck!

- jeremy

Supajoe
02-26-2009, 05:16 AM
Joe Eisma seems to be balancing the two pretty well.

:lol: it's difficult, but it can be done.

(of course, i'm an artist, not a writer.)

costello
02-26-2009, 05:17 AM
You have other work besides comics, right?

Wow man, I wish you the best of luck, and if you have any comics to sell (ones you've made, not your collection) let me know. I'd love to read them.

AndrewG
02-26-2009, 05:27 AM
Someone tell me it's possible. Someone please point out someone who's done it. Cause I'm getting pretty pessimistic here.

Yeah I know there's been a bunch of similar threads here recently, and trust me, I've lurked in them all. But I just can't see how one can start a career in comics and support a new family at the same time. Maybe I just have blinders on, but I don't know how it can work.

It's neither easy nor likely...at the beginning.

Family has to come first. You could have the #1 book in the market and get critical acclaim but if your family has to suffer for your craft it ain't worth it.

At the end of 2007 I was unemployed and deciding whether to look for work or focus on writing. I decided to give it a go after a few lackluster job searches in the real world. I literally spent most of my day 7-6 trying to make contacts with publishers, editors and anyone who could possibly get me a break.

By late Spring/early Summer I had gotten a big freelance assignment that put me at ease a bit and that opportunity lead to another opportunity which led to another opportunity. Now I'm at the point almost two years later where I have a steady flux of freelance jobs coming it but to be honest it's not enough to support a family on...not at this point.

Adding up the amount of money spent on sending out copies of the work, travelling to cons, travelling to potential job locations and long distance calls it's quite possible that I could have taken a loss for the year haha.

But the thing is it's worth it for me. I loved every moment of it. I loved taking the time to build relationships with people in the business and work on my craft. There was a thrill with every possible pitch and every potential assignment that can't be matched by any desk job. I was fortunate to have some money saved and a wife with a decent income that allowed me to basically not earn a salary for over a year while I attacked my dream. You might not be in the same situation.

The best thing would to at least get a temp job somewhere. If you write in the mornings, get a 2nd or 3rd shift job. If you're a nite owl, swap those hours around. You need a steady income of some sort to surivive, to get out of the house a bit and away from the screaming kiddies and generally feel like your contributing. I found a lot of crap jobs that I felt were 'beneath me' but I took em and did the best I could at them because having some money coming in helped contribute to my investment in my writing.

Don't give up on your dream but realize that it could take a long time and it's better to have some back up plans in place before giving up a job you're at or giving up the hunt for a new one. Make a schedule, get some income coming in somehow that works around your writing and family schedule and realize that it's going to take (usually) a very long time before you see any positive results. Though it always helps, too, to set up little goals for yourself like: I'll have a personalized critique by July or I'll have 250 queries sent out by May, etc. While you wait for the accolades and Brinks trucks to start rolling in, you have to take whatever rewards you design for yourself.

Good luck

Jim T.
02-26-2009, 05:34 AM
I think it's do-able if your significant other has a source of income to support you making the effort. If not, that balance of you working and trying to write/break in will be awfully tough (financially and emotionally) if you're not (a) crazy talented and (b) crazy driven.

Supajoe
02-26-2009, 05:49 AM
all right, to elaborate on my post..

yes, it can be done, but like i and others have said, it can be difficult balancing a new family and a comics career. it definitely helps to have a significant other who works so you can count on that income, and a day job for yourself. my day job is freelance game development, and i work in comic work around that.

since i work from home, i'm the primary baby duty person. we have a nanny for a few hours of the day, but for the most part, it's me watching the kid until my wife gets home. i have a lot of late nights!

you just have to be dedicated--it won't come easily. when you have breaks, write! or keep a tape recorder nearby to record story ideas or notes as they come.

SMACK!
02-26-2009, 05:50 AM
Someone tell me it's possible. Someone please point out someone who's done it. Cause I'm getting pretty pessimistic here.

Yeah I know there's been a bunch of similar threads here recently, and trust me, I've lurked in them all. But I just can't see how one can start a career in comics and support a new family at the same time. Maybe I just have blinders on, but I don't know how it can work.
Alan Motherfucking Moore. He was married with a baby on the way, and unemployed when he started trying to get a job writing comics. So yeah, it's possible.

peeplesart
02-26-2009, 06:11 AM
I know what you mean. Trust me, it can be tough. But like Joe, I am an artist not a writer.

When I decided to start this crazy journey in September a year ago, I Had a two year old daughter and my wife at that time was due any day. So I was trying to do samples and midnight feeding duty and pull a full time job. Sleep. Yeah that wasn't happening.

Then came actual work. So then it was full time work, family and deadlines. I was working on the book from 4.30 am to 7.30 5 days a week. full time job from 7.30am to 4.30pm. then daddy/husband from 5pm till 4.30 the next morning.

I totally know where you are coming from, but it can be done. But it won't be easy. Don't expect much sleep. But hey anything worth doing isnt going to be easy. This will just add a bit more anxiety. But if you have a good support system, you will be fine.

mario
02-26-2009, 06:23 AM
no, nowadays as a writer it's not possible to live of your work with a family to support.

As an artist it's easier because we get paid 3 times as much as the writer. And even then it's hard.
If you want to make a living from writing, become a journalist, a copywriter, blogger... and write comics in your free time. Do short stories for free, a mini series, etc. Build your name and if you're good, they'll come calling for you.
You need a 5 year plan to achieve this.

costello
02-26-2009, 06:24 AM
I don't know why I feel the need to add this, but don't let people shit on your passion. Don't let anyone demean it or you and call it a "hobby" or "childish." It's what you want to do, so keep your chin up and keep plugging away.

mario
02-26-2009, 06:25 AM
Alan Motherfucking Moore. He was married with a baby on the way, and unemployed when he started trying to get a job writing comics. So yeah, it's possible.

He wrote other stuff too.
and this was in an era where there were in Britain a couple of weekly comic magazines who needed short stories.

AndrewG
02-26-2009, 06:29 AM
I don't know why I feel the need to add this, but don't let people shit on your passion. Don't let anyone demean it or you and call it a "hobby" or "childish." It's what you want to do, so keep your chin up and keep plugging away.

This is important, too. The whole time while I was working at trying to get gigs and people would ask, with judgement in their eyes, what I did, I told them I was a writer. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else can

peeplesart
02-26-2009, 06:45 AM
This is important, too. The whole time while I was working at trying to get gigs and people would ask, with judgement in their eyes, what I did, I told them I was a writer. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else can

I totally agree.

I think what got to me was the fact that I had always had this aspiration of working in comics as a child. And i finally realized that I was 28, with almost two kids and a job that,no matter how good of a job it is, was not what i wanted to do.

I decided I had to give it a shot. I didn't ever want to wonder what if. I wanted to be able to be 75 and look back and know that i made it doing what i really wanted, or that i at least gave it my best shot.

And that's what you have to do. Follow it. Don't neglect you family by any means. Take care of them first. But follow what you want to do. So you can tell your children that, even if nothing else, you gave your dream a shot.

costello
02-26-2009, 06:49 AM
This is important, too. The whole time while I was working at trying to get gigs and people would ask, with judgement in their eyes, what I did, I told them I was a writer. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else can

Exactly. Let me be a cautionary tale for you Akira. I always enjoyed writing and I dreamed of writing comics, but I got verbally beat up all the time about "needing to get a real job." My wife even viewed my writing as a silly endeavor.

I've actually written some pretty good pieces. I created quite a bit of stuff while obtaining my Masters Degree, but I grew self conscious and I now have absolutely no ambition in trying to get it published.

Currently I love my job, and I'm fine with that, but there's a part of me that'll probably always wonder what things would've been like if I shut out the nay-sayers and did what I loved.

Make it happen.

Brad N.
02-26-2009, 07:19 AM
It's not easy my friend. I was just on the verge of putting myself back out there when my family got started and today I have like 10 finished scripts, 30 unfinished, and a crapload of ideas and outlines just laying around. I blame that more on my laziness and ADD than anything but what you're talking about is difficult - but it's not impossible. Just bust your ass, write ANYTIME you have free time, get little sleep and get your stuff out there. Best of luck to you man!

schizorabbit
02-26-2009, 07:19 AM
I totally agree.

I think what got to me was the fact that I had always had this aspiration of working in comics as a child. And i finally realized that I was 28, with almost two kids and a job that,no matter how good of a job it is, was not what i wanted to do.


"almost two kids"?

Did you have a kid with a second head sticking out of its side?

That shit's fuck'd up, yo'.

Alan(OW)Barnes
02-26-2009, 07:20 AM
We haven't started a family yet, but I see it coming (my wife has 'the look' when she plays with our friend's babies). My solution for acquiring time was to reduce my 'regular work hours', but still work 50 hour weeks.

I got a job teaching at the Art Institute in Atlanta...it requires 18 hours a week, but pays full time teacher wages (still not a lot, but better than a lot of my artist/musician friends), and I work an addition 4 hours a week as a staff musician at a church...put it together and I'm making almost as much as my friend who is a first year lawyer at a big firm (and I've got a better health benefit plan...not as good of a retirement plan), and I have 28ish hours a week to work on creative projects with plenty of time left over for the wife...Even if I have to back that off a bit when we start our family I'm certain I can keep 23ish hours for creative projects because that's still just a 'normal' work week...I do have to keep a studio outside of the home to avoid interruption, and to get the wife to treat work hours like work hours.

I also have the advantage that my wife is a violinist, so she also works a very small number of hours (20ish) for 'full time' wages...so when the kid comes, we won't have a lot to deal with as far as child care.

I've been utilizing this plan for 9 months and so far I have finished a 20 minute motion comic (http://revisionisthistory.vsaentertainment.com/?page_id=4), 2 CDs (http://cdbaby.com/cd/aowbarnes2) of instrumental material (http://cdbaby.com/cd/aowbarnes), and a 32 minute short film (to be released mid March).

I've also co-written 3 feature length scripts, a script for a 98 page graphic novel, drawn 7 pages of that graphic novel (http://basilica.vsaentertainment.com/), drawn most the material for the first 8 minutes of a feature length motion comic (http://damnationgirls.3sidedcirclemedia.com/), and tracked 5 tunes for a vocal CD (http://ashbylane.vsaentertainment.com/) I'm doing with a buddy from Nashville.

I'm trying to finish all this in the next few months so I can release it slowly over the next 2 years while I go back to school for an MFA in sequential art (I've finished an MM in music composition 9 months ago).

So far I'm totally on schedule (a month ahead of my written plan...the second 5 year plan I've set in motion to eventually become a creative content creator...the first one had to do with acquiring the MM to get the college level teaching job with limited hours)

Here's the funny part: before the teaching job I was a freelance creative professional, and though I did pretty well, I spent all my time either doing work for hire or trying to find the next gig...I never got to do ANYTHING of my own. Now I make slightly more money than I used to and everything creative I'm doing is going toward developing my career.

I get that this plan doesn't work for everyone, and it takes a LOT of self discipline, but it was my solution.

AndrewG
02-26-2009, 07:22 AM
Exactly. Let me be a cautionary tale for you Akira. I always enjoyed writing and I dreamed of writing comics, but I got verbally beat up all the time about "needing to get a real job." My wife even viewed my writing as a silly endeavor.

I've actually written some pretty good pieces. I created quite a bit of stuff while obtaining my Masters Degree, but I grew self conscious and I now have absolutely no ambition in trying to get it published.

Currently I love my job, and I'm fine with that, but there's a part of me that'll probably always wonder what things would've been like if I shut out the nay-sayers and did what I loved.

Make it happen.

That was me around 2001. I was getting projects off the ground and making some money in freelancing though not neary enough to support a family (baby #1 was on the way). There was a lot of the whole, 'can't support a family on your writing hobby' and 'even if you get jobs writing you won't make more than you do now' so I effectively gave up.

Had a great life and 2 more babies and made more money than I had in my life but I feel like I accomplished nothing professionally. So when I had a chance to try one more time in 07 I went for it.

I may end up in the same place a year from now, giving it up to concentrate on more concrete and stable work but I feel if I don't put 100% into it this time I'll regret it forever

peeplesart
02-26-2009, 07:22 AM
"almost two kids"?

Did you have a kid with a second head sticking out of its side?

That shit's fuck'd up, yo'.

you really must read.....the post before said that i had one 2 year old and a baby due any day. so that makes almost two kids.

i know its morning time. but let's pay attention shall we?:)

Ben
02-26-2009, 07:24 AM
They're called condoms, dude.

Donal DeLay
02-26-2009, 07:27 AM
Someone tell me it's possible. Someone please point out someone who's done it. Cause I'm getting pretty pessimistic here.

Yeah I know there's been a bunch of similar threads here recently, and trust me, I've lurked in them all. But I just can't see how one can start a career in comics and support a new family at the same time. Maybe I just have blinders on, but I don't know how it can work. This:


Alan Motherfucking Moore. He was married with a baby on the way, and unemployed when he started trying to get a job writing comics. So yeah, it's possible.


He wrote other stuff too.
and this was in an era where there were in Britain a couple of weekly comic magazines who needed short stories.

And this is an era where there are even MORE magazines who might need short stories.

Taxman
02-26-2009, 07:37 AM
Someone tell me it's possible. Someone please point out someone who's done it. Cause I'm getting pretty pessimistic here.

Yeah I know there's been a bunch of similar threads here recently, and trust me, I've lurked in them all. But I just can't see how one can start a career in comics and support a new family at the same time. Maybe I just have blinders on, but I don't know how it can work.You have to to have an income source. Most new business endeavors, you have to have a separate income source.

schizorabbit
02-26-2009, 07:43 AM
you really must read.....the post before said that i had one 2 year old and a baby due any day. so that makes almost two kids.

i know its morning time. but let's pay attention shall we?:)


Oh, okay. :thumb: Then what the hell are you doing on the web? Shouldn't you be helping your wife in changing the diapers or something?

Patch
02-26-2009, 07:43 AM
Wait till you're working at home with little kids in the house.


I love 'em but, if they don't learn to chill in the afternoons, I may have to nail them to a sheet of plywood.

peeplesart
02-26-2009, 07:44 AM
This:





And this is an era where there are even MORE magazines who might need short stories.

This is actually a really good deal. I have a friend who has some books published, but he and his artist also do on page stories from time to time for D Magazine here in Dallas. And from what i understand the page rate is not too shabby.

Not saying that all page rated will be great, or that you will even get paid, but its another idea.

peeplesart
02-26-2009, 07:45 AM
Wait till you're working at home with little kids in the house.


I love 'em but, if they don't learn to chill in the afternoons, I may have to nail them to a sheet of plywood.

I just hang mine from their feet in a dark closet for a couple of hours. That usually works.

AndrewG
02-26-2009, 07:55 AM
Wait till you're working at home with little kids in the house.


I love 'em but, if they don't learn to chill in the afternoons, I may have to nail them to a sheet of plywood.

That's why they invented televisons and video games: a work from home parent's greatest tool.

Both my wife and I work from home (though I have a regular 9-5 now) and one of the hardest parts was trying to take/make phone calls when a little one would be yelling in the background that they needed to 'go poop'.

Donal DeLay
02-26-2009, 08:24 AM
This is actually a really good deal. I have a friend who has some books published, but he and his artist also do on page stories from time to time for D Magazine here in Dallas. And from what i understand the page rate is not too shabby.

Not saying that all page rated will be great, or that you will even get paid, but its another idea.

I tell my wife to submit to magazines all the time. I don't see the hurt. You'll either get paid, or be exactly where you are now. But at least submissions are going out. Names are getting implanted in heads, etc. Even a rejection is progress for a writer.

Captain Sensation
02-26-2009, 08:28 AM
Someone tell me it's possible. Someone please point out someone who's done it. Cause I'm getting pretty pessimistic here.

Yeah I know there's been a bunch of similar threads here recently, and trust me, I've lurked in them all. But I just can't see how one can start a career in comics and support a new family at the same time. Maybe I just have blinders on, but I don't know how it can work.

Like everything else in life, you should probably priortize these three. It can be done, but chances are you won't put your all into one as you do the others. You should progressively attempt all three. You know, get the career going first. Have enough money ready to even think about a family. Honestly, i wouldnt even think about a family until i was a successful writer first.

Comics>Wife>Kids $$$$

or the economic way to do it

Comics>Hookers>Booze $$$$$

peeplesart
02-26-2009, 08:29 AM
I tell my wife to submit to magazines all the time. I don't see the hurt. You'll either get paid, or be exactly where you are now. But at least submissions are going out. Names are getting implanted in heads, etc. Even a rejection is progress for a writer.

exactly. And even if you don't get paid but still get published, then you are one step ahead of where you were before.

I am quickly learning that you have to get past that fear of rejection. Get it out there. you never know who might 'dig you chili.'

AndrewG
02-26-2009, 08:32 AM
I tell my wife to submit to magazines all the time. I don't see the hurt. You'll either get paid, or be exactly where you are now. But at least submissions are going out. Names are getting implanted in heads, etc. Even a rejection is progress for a writer.

Absolutely. It never hurts to send out submissions and it's probably the most inexpensive way to get your work out there. And like Donal said, it's a great way to get your name implanted in someone's head if you're submitting to companies more than once.

It's basically how I got the gig on the Star Wars Encyclopedia. I had pitched things the exact wrong way before. I had a few lucky breaks in that I was able to talk to some editors outside of work and get to be on friendly terms with them...even though I had to tone down the geekiness a bit.. but when the time came where they were looking for extra help at the last minute it was easy for them to say, 'let's see if that guy Andrew is interested'.

peeplesart
02-26-2009, 08:41 AM
Absolutely. It never hurts to send out submissions and it's probably the most inexpensive way to get your work out there. And like Donal said, it's a great way to get your name implanted in someone's head if you're submitting to companies more than once.

It's basically how I got the gig on the Star Wars Encyclopedia. I had pitched things the exact wrong way before. I had a few lucky breaks in that I was able to talk to some editors outside of work and get to be on friendly terms with them...even though I had to tone down the geekiness a bit.. but when the time came where they were looking for extra help at the last minute it was easy for them to say, 'let's see if that guy Andrew is interested'.

Another good point. It is really about networking too. Go to book signings and conventions. Don't be pushy. Meet the people. Shake their hands. Tell them who you are and briefly what you are about.

Then follow up. each year they will get to know you more and more and recognize your face and remember your name.

I know its different with artist than writers, but the politics are all the same.

Genius J
02-26-2009, 09:46 AM
It's rough. Granted, I started my comics writing "career" before I had my kids, but now that the kids are here they definitely take a front seat. It's affected the amount of work I can produce and certainly the speed at which I produce it.

Akira
02-26-2009, 05:48 PM
you guys are awesome. had a rough day, but all this advice is making me feel better. and for clarification, my gf is not pregnant, but we're planning on it, and she has two amazing boys I'd be honored to help raise.

LenNWallace
02-26-2009, 05:51 PM
Someone tell me it's possible. Someone please point out someone who's done it. Cause I'm getting pretty pessimistic here.

Yeah I know there's been a bunch of similar threads here recently, and trust me, I've lurked in them all. But I just can't see how one can start a career in comics and support a new family at the same time. Maybe I just have blinders on, but I don't know how it can work.

I almost had to do it, but that was a long, fucked up story I'd rather not go into.

But if (and hopefully you do) you have a partner who will support your dreams, and you can both be realistic about them, you should be able to do whatever you want. Just be ready to fight for it, because it can be a pretty uphill struggle at times.

Rantz
02-26-2009, 11:43 PM
Someone tell me it's possible. Someone please point out someone who's done it. Cause I'm getting pretty pessimistic here.

Yeah I know there's been a bunch of similar threads here recently, and trust me, I've lurked in them all. But I just can't see how one can start a career in comics and support a new family at the same time. Maybe I just have blinders on, but I don't know how it can work.

It CAN be done, speaking as the father of four daughters, and the sole 'breadwinner' of the family, but it is a FUCKLOAD of work, and takes a willingness to give up everything in your life other than work and family for a few years.

Also, do not give up your day job. Sleep less, but keep the paycheck until you reach critical amss.

Good luck with it!

costello
02-27-2009, 04:57 AM
This will come across as selfish and arrogant, but I don't think I want to play Warhawk with you anymore. I'd rather you use that time honing your craft than wasting it with me.