If there's one thing I can never be accused of, it's being social. Oh, it's not like I don't like talking to people, I do. But I am one of those awkward people that has trouble starting a conversation. Therefore, I tend not to start one. Always feel like I'm gibbering or mumbling, so I get self conscious. It's not that I'm being rude, I'm just shy I guess. That is, until you get me talking then you can't shut me up. Especially, if it's about comics.
This blog has been helpful for me to get the word out about the production and workings of this project. I love to share inspirations and backgrounds on this book. It means so much to me, even if you think it's an alright effort, that you've read the book and visit this site to watch me ramble.
One aspect of this whole process is the back and forth I continue to have about how social I need to be for this book, meaning, social media like Facebook and Twitter.
I'm in my early 40s and being a shy guy to begin with, social media is a very weird thing for me. I don't use it personally or for my graphic design business. I still talk and meet with clients personally. It just works for me. I see what a commitment social media can be and with my current schedule, just can't fit it in. Is that a crazy mentality in 2015?
Don't get me wrong, I go to company and artist Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. I know how they work. I get how they work. It makes sense like any form of advertising does. For myself though, I just don't know.
If there's been one major sticking point, and it exists to this very moment, is the feeling of "WHO AM I?" By that comment, I mean I'm a nobody creating a masked character book. Why would anyone outside of myself, care? At cons, when readers come up and actually want to buy a book, it floors me. When they want the book signed, even moreso.
I go up to someone like Chris Samnee or Mark Waid for their signatures because there are reasons for that. Years and years of amazing work and effort has demanded I show them respect. But behind the table now myself, I can't equate myself. Both cons I was selling at, I thought about doing sketches for a certain dollar amount. I didn't because I thought to myself, "who wants to see my Superman enough to pay for it?"
Call it an inferiority complex if you will. But with that mentality, I don't think I'm important enough to Facebook my book or Tweet what's coming up. For those of you that have bought the book and are visiting because there was something about it you liked and want to see more, THANK YOU!!! That's why I really write this blog. This is a very personal project for me. Not just the familial parts of it. I'm creating a comic book I've wanted to do for so long, and inferiority always kept me from doing it. I had to get to a point in my life that the thought of never doing it was scarier than the thought I wasn't good enough to do it.
If there's an aspect of being social I never will pass up, is the shared love of comics obviously we all have. For now, until I can decide about the social media thing, please continue to visit. And please feel to share it with someone else. I'm posting the cover to # 3 next week. I'm proud of #3 in a way that's as different as I was from #2 from #1 (for you Special Edition readers, color from b&w). At the end of the day, what I'm building to is accomplishing a goal I first set in front of myself at 12. If I impart half the fun I'm having to some other reader, or inspire them to do their own story, that is a very unexpected side effect I will take any day. That's how to really be social.
A lifelong comics fan, Mike W. Belcher is the writer/artist of MAN IN THE MASK. A story he's had with him for over 20 years.