January 18th, 2023
As far as I know, this ad was the first time I made the big bucks with my art.
According to the date my mom so diligently wrote in the corner of this piece (and on the corner or backs of most of my pieces), I was the ripe old age of 11, and why I didn’t just take that money and run I’ll never know.
(If I remember correctly, my prize was $50, which was a small fortune for a child in the 1990’s.)
Faribault’s Met-Con was my big break, and clearly it didn’t go to my head; I am just as insecure about my art now as I was then, which is to actually say I am more insecure about my art now than I ever was as a kid.
Ignorance is bliss and taste is what you know; when you get older, you know that you know both too much and so little.
This ad is a very fond memory for me, though, and it lives among finding fan art in professional comic books as one of the earliest inspirations I had to continue being creative and sharing those parts of me.
I hadn’t seen the ad in literal decades. It wasn’t until I got the last of my junk on Christmas Day did I discover it in a box with my name on it.
You can definitely see the Sunday funnies style here; as I’ve said before, I was heavily influenced by comic strips like Peanuts, Calvin & Hobbes, and Garfield.
What’s really fun about having boxes of my old art is seeing how many styles and trends I tried before finding my own voice; The Weirdos and Brushfire, rough and emotional and, yes, weird in their own way, are very much what I would consider my personal style.
It’s a choir and a fight club of comic strips, comic books, American and Japanese animation, commercials, and video games.
I wish I could say that I invested that cash prize and I am very close to retirement now, but that isn’t the case. I’m still hard at work, chasing that dream and that Met-Con newspaper ad high.
This is a paragon of design; somebody definitely called them when they saw this, right?