Self Inflicted Wounds by Mike Baron


I have known and worked with many amazing artists, but there are a handful with whom I’ve never worked. I have wanted to work with them, and I have offered work to them. Although they say they want to succeed, I wonder if that’s true. When I moved to Colorado I met Jerry. Jerry lived in the Boulder area and had published two copies of his own comic, Obelisks. Jerry’s work was highly stylized in the manner of Mike Ploog, and fantastic. For the next several years I presented Jerry with proposal after proposal which we would co-create and co-own and while he continuously professed his desire to get back into comics, he never drew anything.

An artist friend of mine lives in small town Wisconsin. He has always been a fantastic artist with an ability to blend Drew Friedman-accurate portraits with bizarre graphics. Self-taught, his sketch technique resembles that of Ivan Albright and he has done several stunning album covers for local blues artists. Sherman has often expressed interest in collaborating with me but has never followed up on a single proposal. He doesn’t return phone calls or e-mail. He works hard at his art, but doesn’t push it beyond his web and Facebook pages. This guy has huge crossover potential. He’s just not interested enough to work at it.

I have talked about Neil Spyder/Bannen Hanson here before. Neil made a conscious decision to stop drawing and concentrate on his writing. It’s not the same as saying you want to be an artist but you can’t get breaks. The breaks are out there. Some people make their own breaks. But if you don’t push your art and produce, nothing’s going to happen.

The single best way to attract industry attention is to produce your own comic. Editors will read them.

One thought on “Self Inflicted Wounds by Mike Baron

  1. All I can tell you is, that “never picks up the phone, never answers emails” routine you mention? Don’t know these fine gentlemen, but that kind of behavior sounds like prototypical, textbook-case ADHD. Not speaking lightly here, by the way, and I don’t mean it in an insulting way, just talking about my own experience: I was diagnosed as a ADHD at the age of 38, three years ago. Which gave an explanation and is contributing to redress 20 years of a career that looked more like a path to the top of the Himalaya than the conventionally steady, occasionally winding normal road that a moderately competent comic book artist tends to follow once he/she’s managed to break in. In other words, that lack of consistence despite the best of intentions and will to commit can be, and often is, the symptom/consequence of an acute, undiagnosed and/or untreated ADHD case. And believe me when I tell you that diagnose and treatment can mean a world of difference in those cases. ADHD artists who don’t know about their condition live a life of frustration hard to depict to non-sufferers; like being on race competing with people who ride cars very much like yours but who run circles around you while you bury your foot on the pedal until it’s numb and still, despite the damn engine’s roars, the damn thing just refuses to go faster and you just don’t understand what the hell’s wrong and how to fix it.

    To be honest, if I were your friends, I’d go see a good doctor. There may be something going on under the hood that may be fixed while there’s still time. That’s something good I’ve gotten out of this deal, and it’s the realization that it’s never to late to set things right.

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