SUPERSTAR TRADESMAN, part II
I forgot a short anecdote I was going to put in this morning's post. I'll chalk it up to the weirdness of writing about something you can't really write about in specific terms, and how that makes specifics of all kinds turn into a gray fog in your brain.
My dad turned some ungodly age yesterday, and I called him a couple of days ago to wish him an early happy birthday. I knew his card was going to be late, so I felt like I could split the difference. My dad is a pretty cool guy, and I should stress that he has never once discouraged me from doing what I want to do. Still, what I do is an odd thing for a guy who builds houses for a living to wrap his head around*. This intellectual property thing baffles whole nations, so it's hard for a guy not to worry about his socially awkward son who doesn't have a real job.
So, naturally, I tell him I've gotten a gig, and that it's pretty good. I explain to him about how I got it, etc., and what it will entail.
DAD: That's great. So, basically they want you to edit the comic?
ME: No, dad, they want me to write it.
DAD: Really? You mean it will be your story?
ME: Yeah, top to bottom. It's just their characters.
I could tell he was impressed. Then I told him what it paid, and he was even more impressed. This is a guy who I know tells people that I write and have published books, so I know he is proud of me and gets that I am an author, but I think this is a more tangible validation in his eyes. The fact that I work independently and own my material I don't think registers with him (though, as a guy who just built the house he is going to live in and is selling his current house, which he also built, he should understand the difference of his selling that house for the full profit than working for someone else to take and sell it for their own profit--but I've never put it in those terms for him). This is a big company that he's heard of, and it's willing to let me do stuff with its characters and even pay me for it.
Which, yeah, is pretty cool. So he's right to say, "Wow."
Still, it makes me wonder, back in the '90s when Frank Miller was doing Sin City, did his mom ever say, "That's nice, dear, but won't they let you draw Batman anymore?" I imagine she changed her tune when the Sin City movie came out!
* Odd for most people, actually. Ask any freelancer what people in their life think about their job, and you'll find that most of us have to deal with the belief that just because we work at home, we goof around a lot and are having fun, not really "working."
Current Soundtrack: mix of the 4600 and some odd songs on the new iPod, including Depeche Mode, Ennio Morricone with Joan Baez, ACO, Sandie Shaw, & Brett Anderson
Current Mood: curious