I’m not as famous as I used to be, and I’m fine with that. Truth be told, I was never really famous anyway. People who were aware of me, whether they liked or disliked me, had strong feelings about me and my work on both ends of the spectrum. But in comparison to other webcomickers back in the 2000s and 2010s, I was a hidden gem at best, and I was fine with that.
It sure came with some perks, though. Back in those days I used to get invited to a lot of conventions as a guest, and sometimes that included getting my travel and hotel costs covered. Given the skyrocketing price of, well, everything these days that is something I could definitely go for again.
But that, like everything else in life, changed with the passage of time.
It’s been over twenty years. Not many artists in either the visual or performing arts can stay relevant or even productive for that long, and those that do will see their notoriety rise and fall with the passage of so much time. There are some who seem to do nothing but climb the ranks of popularity and productivity, while there are others whose renown and output will ebb and flow. After twenty years and switching genres from fantasy to sci-fi and back again, I would say I’m securely in that hidden gem category, but now with a hint of nostalgia.
Would I like to see convention invitations again? Absolutely. Would I like to have all my travel and table costs covered for me again? Absolutely. Am I still happy making comics now that the height of my notoriety may be behind me after twenty years? Absolutely.
Everything in life changes with the passage of time. If it didn’t, it would become stagnant, and I’m more afraid of that than anything else. So am I as famous as I used to be? No. Am I okay with that? Yes. Will that change again if I remain in this game for another decade or two? Probably.