Creator Confessions: Goals Vs. Aspirations
by Frank Martin
Like anything else in life, making comics is about setting goals. It’s a long journey from conception, to writing, to production, to release. That process can be tiring and discouraging. It helps to visualize what you want out of your comics making career — something to strive for or a destination at the end of the road. Because there are so many stops along the way, it helps to know what the difference is between a goal and your ultimate aspirations.
Many young comic fans are first introduced to the industry through the Big Two. And young boys and girls picking up comics for the first time dream of one day writing stories for Superman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, etc. In fact, most young writers start off by writing fanfiction — envisioning the stories they will tell with their favorite heroes. But even if that is where their journey starts, it is a long path to the companies that put out these comics. In that regard, writing or illustrating for the Big Two is an aspiration. Something that you hope will happen, but that might not be obtainable in the short term.
That’s where goals come in. A goal is just one step. A destination that can be seen along the horizon and that could be worked towards in a reasonable amount of time; another step you must take to bring that aspiration closer and closer. This could be making contacts within the industry, attending workshops to hone your craft, and of course, putting out smaller comics to build your notoriety and fanbase. That doesn’t mean an aspiration can’t become a goal at some point, but it’s important to understand the differences between the two to curb one’s expectations to what’s realistic in the short term. Only then can creators make a plan to see their careers flourish.