When I’m 64…
Two events this week caused me to muse on the future; in particular, a future in comics and about the realities of being committed to the medium in the long term.
The first was a meeting with a group of people about pension plans, and how I needed to start saving now, so that I can eventually enjoy “the longest holiday of my life”, aka: retirement.
The financial consultant used a Power Point slide to show a young man with blonde hair and a full set of teeth parachuting over an exotic location like the Bahamas as an illustration of how my “longest holiday” might go.
Fearing that I might flat-line before he reached the 28th slide, let alone the age of 60, my ears pricked up when he told us that people are now living longer, post retirement. There’s at least a good 20 years of mileage left in me after I retire and someone, namely, me, has to pay for that.
Now, being a comics creator, I’m disposed to thinking I’ll remain forever young. The only time I’d ever consider the future is if I was plotting a mini-series where the chief plot concerned time travel and preventing a future that should have never happened.
My gut reaction to the word ‘pension’ fills me with revulsion. Why save for a future I may not arrive at when I can spend that money now on making comics in the very real present?
The question might sound idiotic, even senseless, but the finances of making comics presents me with a very real need for an answer.
Why not save for any number of ‘things’ that are sensible?
A HD TV, a holiday in the sun, a pension, a family, a house, a car – a veritable shopping list of things that underscore a good life, a life well-lived, by some people in society.
The truth is that making comics is something that I cannot switch off. It is, to coin a hip-hop phrase, what I am about. I’m like fucking Wile E. Coyote and the next issue is always my Road Runner; there are a hundred ways to fill my stomach, but catching that bird is what will settle my hunger.
As a young (ish) man writing this now, in a fully heated apartment, with the Saturday run of grocery shopping done, I’d like to think that if I reach 64 with my pockets not overflowing with wads of cash, that I will be content having made my comics.
The knowledge that I stayed committed to something I believed in and made my life a testimony to it might buy me some peace within the universe – something that a HD TV really couldn’t do.
That could be a lie I’m simply selling myself to ignore the future and to carry on making comics.
But if you’re going to live your life by a lie you might as well die peacefully by one, more of which I will be discussing in my next post.
In the meantime, roll on issue #999! : )