Calvin and Hobbes Inspired Me

I didn’t always want to be a freelance writer, but I’ve always had an interest in the written word. Growing up, I also enjoyed doodling and sketching things, even if I wasn’t very good at it. Based on this fascination with artistic expression and unique designs, I thought that I wanted to be an architect, but that never came to pass.

As I started to think more about what I wanted to do with my life, I thought about how I could combine my interests in drawing and writing into a viable career… and then it dawned on me. I could be in the funnies.

You have to remember that the Internet didn’t really exist (or at least it wasn’t nearly as widespread) back then, so I couldn’t even fathom what I would be doing today. There was no possibility for me to consider writing reviews and blog posts for the Internet, because that just wasn’t a possible reality for me at the time. There was no such thing as unplugging from the matrix. Instead, I thought that I could parlay my interest in comics and writing into a viable career in the comic strip. It seemed like a natural fit, based on my interests.

I thought that I could make an attempt to join the ranks of Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), Gary Larson (The Far Side), and Jim Davis (Garfield). In this way, you could almost say that I was always interested in a freelance writing career, because these artists really do work for themselves. It’s their concept, their characters, and their contracts. They negotiate distribution rights with newspapers, but they are not working for the man in the traditional sense.

Heading to the public library almost every weekend, I’d park myself at the table and start reading through Non Sequitur, For Better or For Worse, and more. In fact, I think I thumbed through every published book featuring Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes, partly out of entertainment, but also in hopes that I could be one of these comic strip guys one day. Some day.

And then it never happened. It didn’t take very long, but I quickly discovered that fiction writing, as is the case with comic books and comic strips, is not really my cup of tea. I’m not good at it. Maybe I just have too much common sense to be creative enough to write a fictional tale. As such, my career is 100% in non-fiction, discussing the real world and reviewing real products. That said, I think I would have had a great time as a comic strip author and artist.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll embark on that path at some point in the future. I think I can do it.