A Marathon of Meaningful Conversations

Anime Boston was exhausting and beautiful at once. The marathon hours of Friday and Saturday were an immense strain on my energy, but I put my whole self out there for everyone and anyone who came to my table. By Sunday I was thankful for the shorter hours of operation because I was running on fumes.

Part of what made me so tired was not only the lengthy hours of the Artist Alley, ten and eleven hours on Friday and Saturday respectively, but the amount of meaningful conversations I had with attendees about the creative process and making comics.

They all started the same way: someone would come up to my table and begin flipping through the Dominic Deegan books or the Star Power books, ask me if I’d made them, and when I answered their reply would be some variation of, “I really want to make my own original comic, but…”

And then I would start my passionate and energetic encouragement to get them to work on their own comics.

I am very passionate about getting people to make their own comics. I want people to take that important and scary first step of making that first strip or that first page and just putting it out there. My whole life changed after I put that first Dominic Deegan comic out onto the internet. It didn’t happen overnight, of course, but if I hadn’t taken that first step I never would have found myself in the right place at the right time to begin promoting my work at burgeoning conventions that would come to become behemoths, like Anime Boston. I met many lifelong friends and my wife because I was out there doing the work on my comic, and I want everyone who has that dream to get on that path, even if their journey will look much different these days.

When I get passionate about something, I put my whole self into talking about it. I get animated and enthusiastic, like I’m putting on a performance or a monologue. It’s a more draining endeavor than I realized after doing it over and over during the course of Anime Boston’s marathon hours. By Sunday I was more physically fatigued than I’ve ever been after a convention, but it was worth it because my little speeches had the desired effect.

Everyone who came away from my table after having me encourage them to make comics and be creative had a look in their eyes that said, “Yeah. Yeah! Maybe I really can make comics, too! Maybe I can do this!” Many of them said that aloud, or thanked me for giving them the push they didn’t know they needed to hear.

If I’m coming away with anything from Anime Boston this year it’s that I hopefully helped some aspiring comics creators take that first, scary, and vital step into the wider world of the creative process.