There’s plenty of perfectly lovely ordinary people in this world. So if you’re extraordinary, your company isn't doing them any great charity.
My collaborator, one Joshua Dillon Smith of the Pacific Northwest, is that rarest of animals -- the self-motivating aspiring comic book creator. (Savage tribes of graphic novelists have hunted his kind near to extinction, believing they could absorb a young creator’s talent by grinding his/her teeth and fingerbones into a fine powder and then snorting it through a rolled-up page from Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics.)
I ran some numbers. I’ll cite my sources first:
*August, 2006 -- not yet fifteen years old, JD posts the first page of his online comic, Acrobat.
*January, 2011 -- JD finishes inking the twenty-ninth issue of Acrobat.
*An average issue of Acrobat is twenty-two pages long, plus a cover and usually some kind of pinup.
So, my numbers:
JD Smith has produced, at minimum, 640 complete comic pages over the past four years. That’s an average of seven full-length comic books every year, scripts and all.
In high school.
But it’s that Carnegie Hall joint again. It’s Discipline, all three nails-on-the-chalkboard syllables of it. It’s a constant drive to be better. And think of that phrase, the way English works: be better. To become better, to have “better” be that which you are, to encapsulate it utterly. It’s a leap of faith, in a sense. JD is forever trying -- and invariably succeeding -- to improve himself in this bold way. And that’s him all over; Total commitment. Take inspiration from this man, whatever you do in the world. His work ethic is a blueprint that can be applied to any task and taskmaster.
Calling him an “aspiring” comic creator is really just a formality at this point. He’s a triple threat and his time is at hand. Watch for him, follow him, say you knew him when, for he will be one of the architects of the future. The second coming of Kirby. The Kwisatz Haderach of a new age of comics.
When he asked if I wanted to work together, what else could I say?
I mean, he’s a fellow extraordinary.
Next time: The Shadow is my Santa Klaus