How to keep creating when your hand starts to go gimpy

(Short answer: Illustrator)

One of the bummers of multiple sclerosis was the moment last December when I woke up and realized that my right hand wasn’t really working. I could barely hold a pen. Writing was weird/uncoordinated, using a mouse took effort, and typing? It was a really upsetting time. I had a three-day round of steroids, and then my hand felt a lot better, but it’s never been quite the same since then. I’ve tried to pick up a pencil and draw, but I’m not really satisfied with anything that I make. If it wasn’t for Illustrator, I think I’d be screwed, although even using Illustrator has been a challenge at times.

It was with this knowledge in mind, the knowledge that my dominant hand could get even crappier, that I felt that it was time to do something that I’ve wanted to do for a really, really long time: make a stupid fanbook full of stupid comics about stupid things, like the unlikely close friendship between fictional characters like Solid Snake and Golgo 13, or drawings of Snake playing the role of Carl Weathers in the poster art for the movie Action Jackson. Stupid things, really, and stupid things that I find to be hilarious. I’ve also wanted to make a cookbook for a while, so I’ve decided to throw in an illustrated recipe or two as well. Basically, it’s a complete and utter vanity project and I’m really excited to do this.

The book is going to be 16 pages, 6″ X 6″ when finished, and in color. The title? Solid Snake’s Favorite Band is Cheap Trick.

So, for all my talk about creativity and whatnot, it’s not really creative to make comics about characters that you didn’t create, and if you are planning to take money for this – well, that’s not cool. I’m not looking to get on the bad side of Konami or the dude who writes Golgo 13. I’ve decided to eat the cost of printing and to ask for donations for my MS Auto Rally Team, Golgo 13 and the Solid Snakes in lieu of compensation. I’m going to print about 50 books in total and I’m going to be “selling” them at the Anime Boston 2011 artists’ alley. I’m probably also going to have pins, a couple of prints, and I don’t know what else. I only have four feet of space to work in. Basically, any “money” that I make is all going to go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Greater New England chapter. I can’t accept money for shit that I didn’t make. If I sell recipe cards or something, I may pocket that money for myself because it’s stuff that I actually created.

Anyhow, this is stuff that I’m working on right now. The comics are really terribly-drawn, ha ha ha. I’m going to have to work on those the most. Maybe I’ll post some other teaser pictures here as I work on this.