• Laura Hudson's Myriad Issues
  • Brill Building
  • The Comics Reporter
  • The Newsarama Blog
  • The Beat
  • Comics Should be Good
  • Comic Feed
  • Chris Arrant
  • Comics Waiting Room
  • Dave's Long Box
  • Neilalien
  • Love Manga
  • Progressive Ruin
  • Comics Worth Reading
  • BeaucoupKevin
  • Riot
  • LeftyBrown's Corner
  • Comics Ate My Brain
  • Mark Evanier's News From Me
  • So So Silver Age
  • A David Lewis

  • Meta:

    I’m an Aspiring Comic Book Writer

    ONE NIGHT ON THE JOHN, I made a decision that has had a profound impact upon my life. It was the spring of my 17th year, and like many a high school junior across this great nation of ours, I’d been charged with the task of reading “The Grapes of Wrath” by my English teacher. And, like many a young man with a Nintendo 64 and a belief that Smash Bros. is the finest game ever created, I’d fallen behind in my reading.

    And so, on a beautiful April afternoon, it fell to me to plow through the last 300 pages of Steinbeck’s magnum opus before a test on the text on the following day. During a crucial potty break, it occurred to me that I had a choice to make, and when I stepped out of that bathroom, rather than returning to one of the seminal works of American literature, I opted to spend the rest of the night scribbling a cracked-out, 16-page narrative that I illustrated with stick figures. I entitled it “Clarky Clarkington III vs. the Bunny-Bun-Bunnies” and claimed it was a children’s story.

    And that was the day I became The Weird Guy Who Does Stick-Figure Graphic Novels. I’ve completed 11 such self-indulgent and crudely rendered volumes, totaling 2500-plus pages in the five years since that strange night, and I’ve made one thing abundantly clear to myself:

    I’m an aspiring comic book writer.

    It looks so uncomplicated typed out like that. Six simple words that are dirt-dumb easy to spell, strung together in a sentence even the paste-guzzling kid at the back of the class could have diagramed with relative ease. But despite how straightforward that tiny declaration might seem on a page, I believe that the reality of those six words stands at the heart of every frustration I’ve faced over the past half-decade.

    Why don’t I have any money? Because I’m an aspiring comic book writer.

    Why can’t I sleep at night? Because I’m an aspiring comic book writer.

    Why am I a 22-year-old virgin? Well, that’s a complicated and disturbingly personal question, but I tell you, a good chunk of the answer has something to do with me being an aspiring comic book writer.

    Now, you’d think that all of this would beg the question of just why am I an aspiring comic book writer, but apparently it doesn’t because I hadn’t given it much thought — not until the day I finally decided to send that query letter to Marvel Comics in which you’re supposed to answer the central question of just why you want to work for them in the first place. If memory serves, I wrote some long-winded and rambling response about my desire to “work in a medium that’s still yet to tap the vastness of its own potential,” which may or may not have included an odd personal aside about my belief that strong parallels can be drawn between Joe Kelly’s work on Deadpool and the Sermon on the Mount (I went to Catholic school for 12 years; I’m still working through some things) but I’ve had several months to reflect on this, and I now realize the truth.

    I’m an aspiring comic book writer because in my heart of hearts, I believe that there needs to be a company-wide crossover event in which the Carnage symbiote bonds with Wolverine and he goes on a kill-crazy rampage through the Marvel Universe. In the end, he’d kill Reed Richards, and Dazzler could finally take her rightful place as the new leader of the Fantastic Four. I believe this needs to happen to save the comic book industry, and it’s obvious to me that I’m the only guy with the guts and chutzpa to see this done.

    Of course, I’m joking. I’m sorry if you don’t find any of that nearly as funny as I do. I’ve got a pretty warped sense of humor. Why? That’s simple.

    Because I’m an aspiring comic book writer.

    Want to break Clark’s fall? E-mail him at or catch him in the message boards

    Posted by Tim Leong on February 18th, 2005 filed in Story Archive |

    Comments are closed.