One of my favorite parts of the (as always, wonderful to read and impressive-as-all-hell) annual Robot 6 birthday takeover at CBR this year was Brian Wood and Matt Kindt being interviewed by Brigid Alverson, who eventually stepped back and let the two creators interview each other as the conversation progressed. It’s fascinating to see not only what they say, but what they choose to talk about. Here’s Wood talking sense:
Matt, you need to break that habit of reading reviews … no good will come of it. It took me FOREVER to learn that and to break the habit — a habit forged as a small-press guy who often had to go out and do my own PR, as maybe you did, Matt. It’s just pointless — we’re writing for ourselves first and foremost, and literally every single one of my elder peers has warned me never to read reviews. It’s taken me most of my career to learn that, but the feeling of not doing it has had a noticeable affect in my overall mood.
Lastly, and this is something that comes from my wife, who is not only a business owner but also someone who knows nothing about comics except what she sees from me: This is a job. This is a business, not a hobby or a social activity. That may sound a little cold, and it doesn’t mean I don’t get immense creative satisfaction from doing what I do (if I didn’t, I’d go be a stockbroker or something) but it’s about finding the right balance. Not making business decisions based on being a fan, or social pressure, or making too many allowances for the quirks of this industry. I’m 41 years old, this is my life, this is what I’ve committed to and made the promise to feed my babies by doing, so to say I take it all drop-dead serious is actually an understatement. So I keep a sharp eye on the business, find great friends within the industry and plenty others outside of it, and write the hell out of the comics I write. The right balance and perspective allows me to find the fulfillment in this career and keep the B.S. to a minimum.
Go, read. Alverson’s conversation with Mark Waid about Thrillbent is also something worth checking out, too.