Col. Noah Van Sciver speaks!
February 23, 2010
On a wall of building today I saw the words “What is a city, but the people in it?”
Denver is a frozen city this afternoon. I went for a walk after work to get a few things done before night falls and the vampires come out of the dumpsters. I picked up some cardstock at an Officemax, and then headed for the Tattered Cover bookstore to soak up the atmosphere and some coffee.
I am beginning to dread the “Graphic Novel” section of bookstores.
There isn’t enough of me in it. Jeez, I wonder how that reads to people? I just want to see me in there. I’m interesting, that’s all. I like my comics. I’m full of myself. I guess it doesn’t matter if that sounds bad to you.I respect you too much to lie to you. I prefer to see my comics than most others. Probably more than yours.
Listen, if you are a comic artist, and you are reading this, don’t try to lie to me. I know that you feel the same way. You’d rather see your comics in the store than mine. It’s okay, man. We are friends. I will buy your comics. And if by some insane luck you see any of mine, you can return the favor and buy mine.
I don’t know… I wonder if I’ll ever have a book of my comics. I was talking to my buddy about this once. When I first started drawing comics, my goal was to draw a mini-comic. I thought it’d be so cool to have a mini-comic with my name on it. Then, by the time I figured out how to put one together I learned that many people think of mini-comics as “outdated” or “Slight.” So, I thought “maybe I should have my own comic book series! Everybody has a comic book!” So, I agonized about not having a comic book of my own. I felt like a cartoonist with nothing to show. Then, I figured out how to start a comic series. Now, I see that not many cartoonists draw comic books anymore. They all have their own books in bookstores now. And now my agony comes from not having a book.
Also, I agonize about this city. I often feel like I’m in a hole with dirt being piled on top of me. Or I feel chained up, bogged down and I feel alone. I don’t want to stay here forever. But, what if I get stuck here with all of these people?
“What is a city, but the people in it?”
“What is a city when you don’t like the people in it?”
What can you do when nothing is appealing? When the one thing that you want to do is being done by people with a better foot-up than you’ve got? People who are professionally trained or have parents that are basically a safety-net. When will a publisher come knockin’ on my door?
I wonder if Heaven is real. I wonder if what I was raised to believe as a child really did happen. All of us spirits hanging around on a cloud waiting to be born. An angel comes to me and says “Hey I got just the life for you, kiddo! You’re gonna be Noah Van Sciver! The Van Scivers got more kids than they can afford right now, but we figure what the hell? Let’s give ‘em a couple more!” My fog-like spirit agrees,and as It’s being pushed down the “Life Slide” the angel says to me out of the side of his mouth “say hello to cold poverty and Denver for me! Ha ha ha!”
I can’t really complain.
I want to entertain people, and I want people to really like my comics. That’s why I do it. When I was a painter, I was constantly trying to figure out how people would ever find me. With comics I know how to get them to you. I know how to connect with people. That’s something you can’t do enough when you paint pictures. I really, really want the 5 issues of Blammo collected into a book. Even if it’s a cheap paperback with newsprint pages. I’ll take it! Anything to get these things that I’ve done into other people’s lives!
I don’t know how to approach publishers about it. Maybe I’m just impatient… I guess I’ll finish this post with this: The hardest part about putting things out into the world will be the uncertainty you will feel about if what you are doing is any good at all. When nobody comes to you, you will think of it as a sign that what you are putting out there is not great work. But, if this “sign” doesn’t stop you, than from that point on you will be tortured and conflicted over the merit of what you are putting out.