Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why do I do what I do and why I am nice when I do it

I get this question a lot...

Why do you create comics?

The answer isn't as easy to answer as you would think. I've been creating comics in one way or another since before I can remember. I love to create, I love to write, I love to draw. I love the idea of leaving something that I created after I am gone. A legacy.

Sadly, I have little time for it.

I work a full time job doing IT. I love what I do. It is challenging and I am always learning new things. I work with great people and we have a great culture of mutual respect. But, it isn't my dream. It isn't what I planned for myself when I was young. The 10 year old me wanted to draw for a living. He wanted to create and share and be a comic book artist. But, alas, kids have to eat. Rent needs to be paid and my passion for creating has to take a second seat. Since, no joke, I still to this day haven't made any real money doing comics.

In my "real" life, I have a great family. I have 2 kids, a girlfriend named Jasmin, a new bundle on the way. People would call them responsibilities.

Scream - By Joe Martino and Rusty Gilligan
I call them life. They are also my legacy. They are the reason I wake up every day.

Now, I am not a comic book professional, nor do I claim to be. I am just a guy who loves creating comics so much that I decided to make some of my own. I wrote that 17 years ago for the letters page of my first Shadowflame self-published comic. I've met a lot of great people through the years. I've also met a lot of assholes. Fortunately, they all know who they are so I don't need to list them here. I have been told I suck so bad that I should quit. And in the same week, been told by a fan that I was one of their favorite writers.

Life is about bringing new things to the world, even if they are a bit derivative. Life is about helping others to do things for themselves. That is why Twitter and Facebook and Google+ are so good for people like me. We can share our knowledge, learn new things, help people grow and promote their work and in return you hope they will do the same. At no time would I EVER tell someone that they were so bad that they should quit. Never quit! Never give up what you love because someone else can't appreciate what you do.

A change is coming. The clique is eroding and you can't even see it. Remember, the buggy whip maker had no idea his career was over when Ford started mass producing Model T's. The guy you blow off now may just well be the ass you need to kiss later. Be nice. Be respectful.

Watch the heads that you step on when you rise up, they will be attached to the asses that you need to kiss on the way down.

Today, try and help one of your fellow creators. Share or retweet their work, buy his digital comic, help fund or share her Kickstarter campaign, help out a struggling Indy band. But, do it because you want to do good for your fellow creators. Not because they did it for you. We are all in this together, even if we are doing it alone.

Thanks for reading this rant. I know I went off the reservation a bit but it all ties together if you really read what I am saying.

Stay strong and always follow your dreams, even if people can't understand them.



If you have the time and the want to support some good people, check out the following links. And yes... some of them point to stuff I've worked on some of them are people I've met that do great work.

And join this group on Facebook if you are looking for a really supportive group of guys and gals who are working on a RESURGENCE!!!


  1. Thanks, Joe!
    I'm sitting in my cubicle right now wondering why I'm not doing something more creative other than a comic on the side.
    But...a comic on the side is better than nothing, yes?
    Unless...(eyes the window)....

  2. This is how I do it. Work during the day and comics at night in between everything else! But it is a passion and we need to keep ourselves motivated. :)

  3. Thanks much for your honesty and I will continue to support you.

  4. Ya know several people told me about Shia Lebeouf (sp?) setting up a table at a con with his self made comics. He can't draw. He LOVES comics. He wanted to do it so he did. He has millions. He could have afforded an artist and bought his way into a decent publishing house but he chose the grassroots way so that his comic is his baby. I think that's a pretty cool story.