A few drops of paint from the above mentioned home improvement projects sparked a few days of in-house arguments and tension recently that was really not about a few drops of paint. Fortunately, things are better now—or are on the road to being better in some cases—and I think points, counter-points and viewpoints are better understood by all. Plus, the bathroom is shaping up nicely.
One of the more surprising developments was my return to writing for BLAM! Ventures. As I noted here previously I had decided to leave the company. For a variety of reasons my timing was horrible and my exit was not how I had hoped it would be. I had intended to finish out several projects I was working on, but I was for better or worse being shut out during the conversation with my partner and could not make this point (and that is not his fault at all). However, I felt I could not stay any longer as I would just be stringing them along and make things worse down the line.
The happy news is relationships on that front have been patched up as well. I also find myself able to finish off the one project that I had left mid-stream I was personally upset to leave, which is co-writing the first story arc for the SF comic book series The Gilded Life, to be published sometime in the not-overly-distant-future by Archaia. I should have the remaining scripts done by the end of 2009 (three scripts in a little over 40 days is not quite on par with Bill Willingham’s recent announcement of 30 scripts in 30 days, but I’ll take it).
My contributions to the other major project I was working on, the Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes illustrated novel, will still be there, though I am not writing anything beyond what I have already. Frankly, I’m good with that. I enjoyed delving into the world more than I thought I would, but at this point in my life licensed projects are not what I am interested in writing. I’ve too many worlds crowding the real estate in my mind already, time for them to come out and be seen.
One interesting thing that came from my separation from BLAM! Ventures was the notion that I had somehow sold out in leaving. It had struck me as odd at the time though I didn’t pursue it, but further consideration has brought me to the conclusion that it’s an incorrect thought.
The way it was presented to me—at least what I got from it—was the reason I had sold out was more or less that I chose to pursue a life with my future wife and not make my career as a writer/creator my defining identity.
Here’s how Selling Out is defined on Wikipedia:
"Selling out" refers to the compromising of one's integrity, morality and principles in exchange for money, success or other personal gain. It especially refers to the attempt to increase social appeal or acceptability through this compromising.
The Urban Dictionary also has multiple definitions for Selling Out. The few I read say much the same thing as above, just cite real world examples (and those not always correct in my mind).
By the above definition, I think the opposite is closer to the truth: staying with BLAM! would have been like selling out. Had I done that, it would have been purely for any payday or notoriety as a writer I might receive. Staying with BLAM! in the long run would have compromised who I am today, and wouldn’t have been very helpful to their cause, either.
This is not to say BLAM! Ventures is an unworthy endeavor. I am proud of the books I was (and for a while yet, still am) involved in. I think the company and the projects they are pursuing are pretty awesome all around and will enjoy reading/watching them when they arrive at my local comic store, bookshop, television set, theater, etc.
Of course, Catherine (the future wife I talked about earlier) is a big part of where I’m at today and headed in the future, but the shift in my direction as a person began long before that. Indeed, those prior changes are what allowed me to be ready for Catherine when she came into my life a few years ago. They’re also what finally prodded me to make the major decision to leave BLAM! Ventures in the first place. Once I would have defined myself solely as a writer, now I’m more interested in defining myself as a person—someone who is complex and at times unfathomable to himself and others (hence some of the household stress sparked by the renovations), and who is learning to live his life in a way he never did before.
As far as I am concerned, I’m not selling out. I’m anteing up.