As I've grown older I’ve had to face up to a fact of life: not all of my dreams and aspirations have come true.
When I was a young man I dreamed of becoming a comic book artist. I had a natural talent for drawing and the ability to pick up and use various art techniques.
I loved drawing superheroes and my real-life heroes were the artists who drew such comic books. Neal Adams, Jack Kirby, Curt Swan, John Buscema, Steve Ditko, Gene Colan, Wally Wood, Gil Kane, Barry Smith, Joe Kubert, Jim Steranko and a list of other classic comic books artists topped my list.
As time passed John Byrne, George Perez, Frank Miller and other Bronze and Copper Age artists became my favorites.
I kept up with comic books and many more artists were added to my growing list. I was fortunate enough to meet a few.
My drawing talent allowed me to make a living as a commercial artist and occasionally I got to draw cartoons. But something was missing.
Try as I might I just couldn’t turn out comic book pages. Oh, I could draw respectable action scenes and characters but somehow laying out pages and telling stories always eluded me.
I watched as new and up-and-coming artists soon passed my drawing abilities and I felt a little dismayed as to how quickly they improved and progressed.
And then it dawned on me. I did not have what it took to be a comic book artist. It was a hard pill to swallow.
Visual story-telling was just not in my blood. I did not have the dogged determination and stick-to-itness required to be a successful comic book artist. I suppose fear had a lot to do with it.
The decades passed and my art never seemed to improve. I grew frustrated and mad with myself. It was difficult.
Finally after years of fruitless attempts I hung up my pencil and brush.
I’ve come to realize that sometimes dreams do not come true. And that’s OK. In the large scale of things my simple dream is just that—simple.
I’m at peace. I now can enjoy looking at other artists’ work and appreciate the tremendous talent, dedication and hard work that went into each piece.
I marvel at the imagination, story-telling talent and vision possessed by each artist.
My Man-Cave at home is filled with comic books and comic book related literature. Although I may not be a part of that exclusive comic book artist community I feel privileged to have the opportunity to peek in once and awhile and get a glimpse of what might have been.
Sometimes dreams die hard. Other times they just fade away as dreams often do.