Comixtalk Aftertalk

Ah. l’esprit d’escalier… Yesterday, after my last post as a Comixtalk guest blogger, I considered an additional farewell post, but I couldn’t think of a topic that would make it interesting to Comixtalk readers (as opposed to, y’know, Vaehling readers).

After a good night’s sleep, it seems obvious. Remember what I said when I announced the guest blog?

I like a challenge.

Challenging yourself is something you do constantly when you’re working creatively. If you don’t, you’re not really working creatively – you’re just repeating the stuff you’ve done before. Draw something you’ve never drawn before, draw something old from a new perspective, or write to a new genre; exploring the fringes of your skill set forces you to make new creative decisions.

Then there’s challenging yourself into a new work situation. A couple of years ago, I participated in a group exhibition about superheroes in Basel. I didn’t have anything to exhibit when I signed up, so I ended up drawing six superhero splash pages within one week. I still think they’re among my best artwork. Around the same time, I wrote a lecture about comics for a sociological conference I had submitted a synopsis to about half a year before – figuring I could always make up the actual talk once it was greenlighted. Had I thought, “I need to write an actual lecture to sign up for one” – I never would have.

When Comixtalk’s Xaviar Xerexes asked me to guest blog, I wasn’t sure if I could do that – write a post that’s interesting to more than my core readers, every day. Or even find the time to do it. I knew I was capable of doing it – I’ve got years of blogging experience, in different venues – but I still didn’t know if I could pull off this heavy dose of blogging. Of course, I immediately said yes. Only one way to find out, right?

At the beginning of the week, I had two ideas laid out. (Actually three, but co-blogger Alexander Danner beat me to one.) The rest came up during the week. Every day (except for Thursday, when I had to finish Friday’s Conny page), I wrote about whatever comic-related thing I had on my mind that day. It’s a mixture of reacting to current news and general advisory posts that I could have just as well posted here.

So here’s a list of my posts for your convenience, sorted by how relevant they are for this blog’s themes. (ETA 2018: Actually, some of these links seem broken by now. I should probably salvage these texts at some point.)

Flattred yet?
In Europe, especially in Germany, a new community tool has become quite topical: Flattr, a mixture of thumbs-up button and tip jar. It’s an interesting concept, but there’s a good chance it won’t work for everybody.

Work! A Rant
It’s good advice to treat your creative work like a job, even if it’s just a hobby. The shift in attitude makes you take it more seriously. On the other hand, be careful which attitudes from the professional world you want to adopt.

Webcomics in Germany
I’m a German, I’m posting to an International site – a little write-up of the German(-speaking) scene seemed like a good place to start. If only to get that out of the way…

Dylan Dog: Movie Announcement, Sneakily Turned into Comic Review
This one’s a little bit about the inofficial movie trailer that hit the nets last week and a little bit about the challenge of adapting a comics series to film. But mostly, it’s about how awesome the Dylan Dog comics are.

All New ComicSpace
First impressions of the new, allegedly improved ComicSpace. Since that platform has by now been put to sleep, this post is very obsolete now.

So, that was fun. What can I challenge myself with next?