A couple weeks ago my grandma unearthed a very old piece of newsprint that held significant historic value to me. Given to her by a cousin of mine, it was the very first article ever written about me, dated May of 1987. Almost twenty-effin'-years ago. Back then, I was an introverted sixth grader at Shields Elementary with a noticable passion for drawing cartoons. A very kind and supportive librarian (love ya, Mrs. S.) brought wind of my artistic abilities to our local newspaper, The Township Times, and they did the following story on me:
Despite a couple misquotes (I never said I wanted to work for Marvel more than the Muppets. At age twelve I wanted nothing more than to work for the Muppets. And I can promise you I never told the reporter I liked the superhero "X-Man." X-Men, sure. But who the heck is X-Man?) and a woulda-been-better-off-left-out quote that while intended to make me look cute made me feel stupid (If 40 is old, then I'm eligible for retirement in the next eight years), this article was a real thrill for me back then. I especially like that they took my picture with my first drawing of Banzai Beaver, a character that I still use today.
Jump ahead roughly twenty years (a couple weeks ago, to be specific), and The Midland Daily News calls me up and says they want to do an article on me as their featured artist of the month for an entertainment magazine insert they produce for their paper. Let it never be said that networking and old college connections haven't yielded positive results in the life of the Foz. Anyway, I was interviewed the following week, and the end result ran in the news on early December of this year:
It was actually a very nice article; concise and with accurate quotes. And the photo of me has become one of my favorites, since it really wasn't posed and showed me in my natural environment, hunkered down behind my faithful old drawing board of the past seventeen years while scrawling out some inky monstrosity.
Looking at these two articles side by side, almost twenty years apart, I'm inclined to reflect on my life and career, and to consider my aspirations from 1987 and their status in my life in imminent 2007. I take note of the fact that, despite the addition of facial hair, glasses and college loans, I'm still that insecure introvert who hides behind his drawings. And I like that I'm still him. It means I still have hope and still have dreams. That I'm not through learning, exploring, and finding new things to fascinate and inspire me. I also take note of my accomplishments, the friends and allies I've brought into my fold (and whose fold I have been brought into), the love I've experienced, the life I've experienced, and all the fun, horror and excitement that adulthood has given me. Together, these two articles tell a very interesting and personal story. And now, onto the next chapter....