Image from my contribution to Solipsistic Pop #4
This post is probably going to make the most sense to the artists out there, but does anyone experience soul crushing fear when drawing their comic for an anthology? I do. God, always. Pretty much every time I get invited to submit work for an anthology it leaves me confused, grumpy, and self aware of all my faults.
Why? Well, with anthologies your strip is only as good as the one it follows or precedes. That’s a terrifying and perhaps an unfair prospect, especially when more often than not the work is so varied within anthologies. Your work is being judged against other people’s, literally from page to page. It’s unsettling to think that work that is good, funny and enjoyable in its own context can be torn down and dismissed because someone “liked the other dude’s work better” or “that person draws better houses” or whatever.
(I know that’s a little unfair; you read an anthology because you like the subject or the people behind it, not because you enjoy ripping into people’s work in some Simon Cowell-esque judgemental nightmare - but that’s how it feels to me as a creator.)
(oh god, you know I’ve just worked it out, I’m terrified that this guy…
…is reading everything I do.)
I bring this up as the past few days I’ve been working on my entry for the fourth issue of Solipsistic Pop, a brilliant comic anthology that I’ve appeared in twice already and still for the life of me can’t spell the title correctly on the first go. The line up is stupid good and full of young bright eyed talented types, it’s the sort of line up that makes you want to do your best work, y’know. You don’t want to be “the shit one” in a line up like that. So, naturally this week I’ve had a bit of a crisis of faith with my artistic abilities, second guessing my contribution to the anthology and having such a bad time drawing it I started over…twice. It’s only a one page strip, I’m sure if it was two pages I would have had a complete breakdown. I know deep down that this a good thing; that this fear is actually a desire to do good work and produce a strong strip and I am pleased with my comic, I just have no idea how it’ll fit within the context of the anthology. But I have faith in Editor Humbers that he wouldn’t let my strip get past the gate if it wasn’t good enough.