One recent event, in particular, reminded me of how to keep going. To keep enjoying art, enjoying storytelling, enjoying my friends and the people around us.
My Seattle friends Dev and Justin flew in for a quick weekend trip, to contribute to the Aurora Rises fundraiser, being held at All C's Comics in Aurora, Colorado. They had been signed up to sell prints and sketches for fans, with proceeds going to the victims families and medical expenses. I had just planned to have breakfast with them, then drop them off behind the table and then do some shopping for the good charity. Instead, Justin invited me to sit at their table and sketch with them. I was a little nervous. There I was, sitting and drawing not only with Dev and Justin, but with other such notable comics creators such as Mike Mignola, Matt Fraction, and Steve Niles.
After I got over my initial jitters, I got to sketching. It was fun to be reminded that, hey, yeah-- sitting in a comic store drawing superheroes IS fun. I remember how to do this. I spent my whole young life doing this.
We got to talking with the many great guys and gals who attended the show and who made it happen. They were just the greatest bunch of people. Everyone was happy, joking, drawing, donating to the cause, and just enjoying the day.
We talked for a while with a couple who were in the Aurora theater and survived the shooting, Denise and Brandon. They were just the sweetest people. They'd both been wounded, having had the bullets extracted only recently. But they were both up, walking (Brandon with a cane, for now), and even driving. And just very sweet. Denise made us all peanut butter cookies. (they were quite good). Talk about a sweetheart. We talked to them a while, gave them a couple drawings and thanked them.
Thanks to Justin and Dev for being here for the event, and for roping me in to draw with them. It was an event to remember. Thankas to Mignola, Fraction, Niles, and the other creators who showed up to contribute, and much thanks to the amazing people at All C's Comics in Aurora who put it all on.
You can see photos of the event on the Aurora Rises Facebook page here.
Here is the Aurora Rises webpage, where you can find out about more great fundraising events and how you can help.
I was told that All C's was the largest comic store in Aurora, and that many of the Aurora shooting victims were regular shoppers there. Some of those people don't get to shop there anymore. That's just tragic. That just sucks. But it's great to remember that others, still recovering and moving on with life, will still get to.
Later this week I'll pick up where I left off after my Grandpa passed. I'll get back to documenting the process of creating my own story and world. But I just felt that it was worth writing, that...
...I feel inspired. I feel shocked out of my apathy. I remember, a little bit, what it was like to be 12 years old, drawing these characters in my room for hours on hours, and loving every second of it. Drawing these little funnybook characters... while it's not curing cancer, it CAN matter. Or at least be a lot of fun. It's that spirit that is motivating me to try to draw at least a Sketch-A-Day, which some of you may have seen on this blog or on facebook or deviantart. It's been fun and I aim to keep the momentum.
Best to all,