I’m very pleased to announce that Fear of Flying is now an award-winning graphic novel!
I got the news about a month ago that Fear of Flying had won a SPACE Prize for best graphic novel. I was going to hold off on writing this article until SPACE in April but, SPACE got moved back to July due to a necessary change in venue (the old venue shut down) and I truthfully can’t wait that long. Words can’t begin to explain the excitement and honor I feel toward winning this award. I’m really grateful for Bob Corby and SPACE (easily the greatest indie comic convention around). I’d also like to give a big thank you to everyone who made Fear of Flying possible and an award-winner!
Fear of Flying was a huge part of my life.
I started making the journal comics that would eventually become Fear of Flying about a week after SPACE 2012. It was a big year at SPACE, I had finally finished the Drunken Cat Comics Anniversary comic which marked the first comic book I had published since I had gone back to school (the last being Ruffians #7 about five years earlier for those of you counting) and Derek had just published his first comic book (The Life and Death of Mr. Burger). But the bigger event that year was happening in the booth next to ours where our friend and bitter rival, Chris Monday, had just published his collection of journal comics, Drink More Water. Both Derek and I had supported Chris by donating to his Kickstarter campaign, so we both got our copies of the book during SPACE. Little did I know at the time but, this book would change my course in comics.
After reading part of Chris’ book on the plane ride back to San Diego, California I decided to give journal comics a try for myself. I set out to do a years worth and see where it took me. I really don’t know how to explain it but, something happened when I started drawing my journal comic… I felt free. I started experimenting with different styles and art supplies. I spent the year writing about whatever I felt like which was a huge change for me since I had spent the previous ten years in self-publishing working from scripts. Like life some days were better than others but it felt great to just produce comics for myself. The themes varied, some days it was nonsense, others it was about what happened to me that day, and others I just wrote about what was on my mind. Point being, for the first time in a long time, comics felt fun again.
One thing that I think is wonderful about journal comics is there ability to document life. A big part of Fear of Flying ended up chronicling my long distance relationship with Amy, a relationship that would force me to get over my fear of flying on planes and take me from sunny San Diego, California all the way back to Columbus, Ohio. The journal comics produced about these experiences I don’t know that I’d ever be able to reproduce, they all belonged to the moment. For those of you wondering, I’m happy to report that Amy and I are still doing great, we just bought a house and are getting married this year.
At the end of the day, Fear of Flying captured an important year in my life and looking through it I’m always amazed at how much stuff I did. It’s truly amazing what can happen over the course of a year.