I’ve been traveling this week! I was in Portland, then I was in Western Massachusetts inside the sinister obelisk that is TopatoCo World Headquarters, and now I’m in Boston. I am a California boy, and I am freezing here.
I have this feeling like I’ll look back at this point in my life and think, “Wow, I sure used to travel a lot.” I read about authors and musicians and athletes and other people who tour a lot, who have to stay in a lot of crappy hotels and ride on buses and fly coach and how they eventually get fed up with the hardship and the physical toll it takes on the body and just decide to start staying home. I hope that doesn’t happen to me; I hope our travel infrastructure makes improvements in comfort at at least the same rate that I get more decrepit and intolerant of the inconvenience.
And I cannot wait for the day when people in white coats come into my room at night, drug me and put me into a tube, and I wake up completely refreshed in New York a day later. If they will do that for me, I will even let them take embarrassing pictures of me while I am knocked out. I do not even care. I want it that bad.
I hope I get to keep traveling, because I love going to shows and events and meeting people and selling books and laughing and having a great time. I even love days like today, sitting in a café or hotel room with my laptop, connected to the world and putting in a satisfying full day’s work that I got to design.
I’m really excited about what’s happening at TopatoCo, and I’ve never been more sure that I made a smart move retiring from my “real” job at the beginning of this year. I’ve been self-employed for several years, taking odd freelance jobs here and there (usually editing movie trailers), but back in the spring I said “I don’t got time for this noise no more” and since then I’ve never looked back.
I get to develop comics and books and posters and cool stuff for myself, and I’ve also been working very closely with TopatoCo handling promotions and helping design books and other products for other artists. Today we launched a store for one of my favorite podcasters and a remarkable internet person in his own right, Jesse Thorn.
I’ve always been adamant that there’s no real difference between “webcomics” and “cool things on the internet in general”, and maybe the fact that I’m kind of an outlier in the “comics” world per se has helped me develop that perspective in a different way than some of my friends and colleagues who’ve got cartooning deep in their blood.
I forsee a future where a business model that we’ve sort of hammered out for webcomics can help bloggers, musicians, podcasters, writers, comedians etc. all develop sustainable careers by doing ridiculous things with computers.
CHARLES BABBAGE LOOK WHAT YOU DID