Liberated by insignificance

Comics are hard to make. Any cartoonist who is worth their salt will tell you that. Even the cartoonists who make it look easy, effortless, fluid — they struggle and wrestle over every panel. If they don’t, they’re either a certified genius or they’re operating at only a quarter of their abilities. What makes a comic so hard to make? It’s probably the fact that a panel, a page, a strip, an issue — none of them exist in a vacuum. Each piece of a comic is in constant dialogue with every other piece, every errant pen line or spot of black influences the way a reader will interpret the next errant line or spot of black. Good comics take time.

Or maybe that’s all in my head and it gives me an excuse to put out the second issue of Rodeo more than a year after the first issue. And it’s not like I was consistently drawing it for a year and four months — no, I spent a few months gathering ideas, a few more months refining those ideas, then a month or so writing it all, and then a lot of months painstakingly drawing everything. Sometimes a page would come together in a day. Other times it would take me weeks to put a whole page together. It was an undulating experience, rising and falling with the demands of my day job, personal life, and my own motivation and focus.

I don’t need to tell you about how 2020 has been a catastrophic year, so I won’t, but it did afford me more time than ever before to devote to drawing. Before this year, there was a part of me that wondered if I’d ever complete the second issue. Drawing, to me, can feel a lot like Zeno’s dichotomy paradox. But, at the onset of quarantine, I told myself that if I don’t finish this comics this year then I have no right to call myself a cartoonist. All a cartoonist really needs is time (and pen and paper, I suppose), and I had plenty of it now, so there was no excuse.

All of this is to say that Rodeo #2 is out today and I’m very proud of it. I hope you enjoy it.

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