Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Thanksgiving Post by Michael Townsend

 A few months ago my newest book called ‘Where Do Presidents Come From? And Other Presidential Stuff of Super Great Importance’ came out. It was one of the most difficult projects I have ever undertaken. As a guy who loves American History I was super excited when I landed the deal with Dial but I was also very scared. There were two major reasons for this:
1. I am not a trained historian.
2. I had very little time to finish the project. The time frame was about 12 months or so to  finish a 160-page comic book for middle grade readers.
There were several times I believed the project was going to die (a rejected chapter submission, my constant realization of how much work was left to do, self doubt, etc.) I was working 12-14 hours a day, every day. In the past, I’ve had the luxury of putting a project down for a few days or even a few weeks when I got stuck. For this project that was not the case. I was stressed, stressed, stressed. I was constantly whining and complaining to my family and close friends. Whining about the stress and my doubts that I could make a clear and silly book about such an important topic in the time frame I had.
I did actually finish the book but the whining didn’t end there. I had another project with a fast approaching deadline. So, for several more months proceeding the President Book, I was working on the final draft and final art of another project, a picture book with Knopf (A book called ‘Cute and Cuter’ due out this Spring!) When I finally finished that book I was Super Exhausted and so ready for a chance to rest!
Lucky for me, this current moment of rest (that I really needed) coincided with a certain holiday that forces one to be reflective on all the things they have to be thankful for! So, here goes a rested artist/writers list of things I am thankful for this year!
1. I am thankful for my friends and family for putting up with all my whining and complaining that I produced while working on the last few projects. They were not only exceedingly patient and understanding but they were also very encouraging!
2. I am thankful for my editors and my agent who also put up with me while still encouraging me and professing an abundance of confidence in my abilities!
3. I am thankful that my ‘President Book’ was well received by readers and reviewers!!!!!
4. I am thankful that I now have a little down time.
5. I am thankful that after a very difficult year and a half of hard working and a very nomadic lifestyle that I’ve been blessed to be able to buy a wonderful crappy house in Philadelphia in a wonderful neighborhood full of friends!
6. I am thankful that I have some new paying gigs to start working on!
7. I am thankful that (even with some new gigs) I finally have some spare time to work on some personal comic projects!
8. I am thankful for the funny letters and e-mails I get from little fans! (Seriously, the letters and e-mails I get are hilarious!)
9. I am thankful that I get to make what I get to make for a living!           
10. I am thankful that I get to be thankful for rest!
11. I am thankful that I have so much to be thankful for....
The End.
Michael Townsend