I grew up wanting to be a creator. I wasn’t as interested in why or how, as long as I could be the godly master of a world of my own design. One equipped with rules and metaphors that made sense to me, that clearly presented those ideals and interests I held so dearly. For a while, I thought that role would belong to me as an illustrator, coming from that background, but in the end, writing became my art. I took up the writer’s mantle as the clearest path to making my intentions and desires reality, having creative control on the most primal level.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, growing up and day dreaming about the potential life ahead of me, I never thought I would end up here. And by here, I mean entering year five of working on Unlife, a coming of age drama about zombies.
I’ll be honest: not a single one of those things interested me growing up. I loved He-Man and Ninja Turtles. Cartoons and video games. As a budding writer, the shows that influenced me the most were the extreme action of Dragonball Z and the insane comedy of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. And though the pacing of DBZ has made its way into Unlife, the rest of the comic has little to nothing in common with those original desires and dreams I once held dear.
Not that Unlife isn’t dear to me. It’s just so different from what I imagined my focus would be. Back then, if I’d had to guess what kind of series would be the first I wrote to completion, a concept like Unlife would never even enter into my mind. I guess part of the shift is that I don’t really watch shows like that anymore, instead opting for Louie and Bojack Horseman, which… seems about right with the tone I hit now.
Should I be trying to get back in touch with those original flights of fancy? The things that originally inspired me are now suspiciously absent from my writing. I wish I could say I didn’t know why, but I can’t feign such ignorance. It’s because I grew up and my tastes have changed. I have changed. And the world around me has changed with it. And that’s okay…
… but I would be remiss if I didn’t say I missed it. Fenix Gear was originally a send up of those two shows, DBZ, and ATHF. And yet, as I wrote, the story evolved a tone not dissimilar to Unlife’s (if somewhat wackier). It used to be humor front and center, but it became an ever unfolding drama.
The thing is, when you’re an artist, there’s a certain sacrifice of control. A good tale requires planning, structure, a good support network, and patience. But so many things lie out of your control, defying even the most anal retentive planning. The audience, the reimagining of ideas, the fact that these fully formed characters don’t give a shit about the carefully outlined plot and are just going to be themselves, with me at their mercy.
But this is what I wanted, right? I wanted to grow up and have my own artistic adventures. I was so full of hope about how great it would be, and yet…
Why do I miss my old naïveté?
What do you think, Jenners?