There’s a saying: “Great art, comes from great suffering”, and while Kris desired to become an artist, there seemed little hope that he would suffer enough to become even a novice finger-painter, because his life was inherently pleasant. He was born to a lovingly-married, middle-class couple in the mid-eighties, and his life was recognized as charmed by both friends and strangers alike. This only added to Kris’s fear that he would never become an artist and he felt his prayers for suffering had fallen on deaf ears.
But the Lord smiled upon Kris’s prayers to become an artist, and at the age of 9, Kris began his suffering by crashing his bike and colliding with an oncoming pickup truck. He was blessed with third degree burns all along his left arm and second degree burns on his left leg, which prevented him from engaging in his usual summer activities and forcing him to find ways to entertain himself inside.
A few years passed, and as his arm regained its strength the rest of his body saw fit to enter puberty early and humble him in his newly regained confidence with a series of red pustules that constantly irritated him and pushed him deeper into his artistry. Kris found that writing and drawing were not enough and so he picked up the guitar as well.
After graduating high school, Kris had regained control of his body. His oily skin had begun to dry out and his scar had faded so much that people rarely even noticed he had been injured before. Kris became worried that the Lord had forgotten his prayers to become an artist, and decided to go to college as a backup plan. Little did he know that this step would be crucial in supplying him an unending cycle of both the greatest joy and the greatest suffering that he would ever come to know. Because it was there, that he met his wife.
Life continued, and in time Kris realized he had been blessed with everything he desired; a great wife, a great family, unique artistic expression, and a body that seemed to neither gain nor lose mass. And each blessing supplied Kris with equal suffering to the joy that it brought him. And he understood that becoming an artist was not achieved by suffering alone, but instead by working through the pain and pressing onward to the joy that lay ahead.
Press on, because the good stuff is just beyond.
Favorite Gear Live Site
Top Five Interests:
1. Writing: working on my second novel, but who isn’t?
2. Reading: Anything by Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Hemingway, Salinger, Bukowski, and Hunter S. Thompson.
3. Art: Drawing, sketching, and digital art
4. Music: playing guitar and keys, recording, and listening to my records
5. Film: Kurosawa, Scorsese, Tarantino, Sergio Leone… and the list goes on
Albums On Rotation:
1. Sun Kil Moon - “April”
2. Helio Sequence - “Keep Your Eyes Ahead”
3. R.E.M. - Out of Time
4. Bon Iver - “For Emma, Forever Ago”
5. Bruce Springsteen - “Darkness on the Edge of Town”
Top Five Films:
1. It’s A Wonderful Life
2. The Great Escape
3. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
4. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
5. Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!!
Shows I’m watching:
1. Intervention (New Season Monday 12/15)
2. House M.D.
Great Question! Answer to your question: Yes, the actual comic book will show the number. You can usually find it within the first few pages of the comic book, and sometimes on the cover for short limited run storyarcs. A good place to find out which book starts the arc in the publishers website, that's what I do.
For example Marvel:
"INCREDIBLE HERCULES # 132
The Story: Beginning a storyarc so earth-shattering, so momentous, so, well, incredible, we just had to give it to you TWICE A MONTH! (Well, for the three months, anyway)."
I know that this is going to be the first issue to pickup and I'll see a new issue on the racks every two weeks for the next three months. Most comic book publishers provide this information on their websites, but if not, you can always ask your local comic shop.
Also, if you fall behind in a series, or run, you can usually catch up by finding a digital copy of the comic online in .cbr or .cbz format. The other thing you can do is wait for the trade paperback to be released if it's a popular run, but sometimes it doesn't happen for quite sometime, so wait at your own risk.
Thanks for the comment. If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
No problem, I'm glad I could help out. If you find another way to get your friends interested in comics, feel free to post it. I remember going through blogs just like this one, looking for suggestions in the comment section. And your methods may work better than my own for other people.
I like the "simpler" webcomics as well. They seem to have almost an indie film quality to them because their so creative with whatever they have at their disposal. But I think they demonstrate the fact that you don't have to be an artist to be comic creator, you just need be creative and tell a good story.
Which is one of the reasons why I liked "Circle Versus Square", cause its got these two characters going up against each other, simply because they're different shapes. What makes it great is that it's not much different from our own squirmishes.
Have either of you checked out Shiga's FLEEP? about the man trapped in a phone encased in concrete.
Awesome post. I think the decline of the newspaper has brought an influx of great art to the web and mobile platform. And if the newspaper becomes digital, then it won't be long before cartoonist are drawing for their local newspaper so their strips can be read on the latest Kindle or Sony Reader, or whatever.