I like to think of myself as a comic artist. Unlike Chuck, I don’t know if I would use the term “accomplished” to describe myself though. But that’s an interesting question, isn’t it? When is someone “accomplished” anyway? It’s one of those things where you know when someone is it, and you know when someone isn’t, but you have no idea where the line is in between.
Has anyone of you heard of the term “impostor syndrome”? Apparently it’s quite common, especially for successful people, to feel like they could be found out as a “fraud” at any given moment. I sure know I felt like that more than once. If you follow the “fake it till you make it” strategy in whatever area of your life, maybe that feeling is bound to come up eventually.
After 15 years, I have somehow become comfortable calling myself a comic artist. But recently, after becoming a father, I have had that “impostor” feeling again. It’s shocking how much responsibility you can sign up for with no test for capability, sanity or financial stability. And at the beginning, I felt sorry for my son for having to put up with such an amateurish dad. But as the years go by, I think I am getting the hang of that role too. Although the next curve ball is just around the corner, I can feel it.
This is another of my personal favorite strips. When I was the chief pilot I couldn’t help but cringe every time the FAA inspector called. It wasn’t usually for the reasons they call Chuck and the guy was really nice, but it typically meant more work for me in some form or another. Like every pilot all I really wanted to do is just to go out and fly and not deal with rules and regulations and the associated paperwork. So maybe the “flight” response is more natural for a pilot? As in “Tell the POI, I’m out flying and I’ll call him back!” HAHA!
You can still take advantage of our 15% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER sale until the end of this coming Thursday. Use our COUPON CODE “THANKS” during checkout. This offer extends to both of our shops.
Please help to keep Roost-Air out of bankruptcy. Hans relies on you!
A lot of my work at Roost-Air actually revolves around bubble wrap. Shipping packages, receiving packages, mailing packages, unpacking packages … the first world problems of running an online store. So one can say this strip was one of those “meant to be” or rather “written by real life” comics as it was just a matter of time for Chuck to get into bubble wrap. And don’t we all know at least one annoying guy (never us, of course) who gets way too much pleasure out of popping the bubbles?
My personal pleasure popping them has changed somewhat ever since I started having to buy them in mass quantities. Every bubble is precious! HAHA
HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEKEND EVERYBODY! I hope you had a great day yesterday and didn’t splurge too much on turkey, or even worse, chicken! As you know us here at Roost-Air promote eating pigs and cows over birds.
Once you emerge from your tryptophan coma grab the opportunity to do some discount shopping this week and use our DISCOUNT CODE “THANKS” to get 15% off your entire order until December 1st. It’s the perfect opportunity to get your shopping done in time, make your loved ones laugh at Chuck, and save a little coin all at the same time.
A lot of my work at Roost-Air actually revolves around bubble wrap. Shipping packages, receiving packages, mailing packages, unpacking packages … the first world problems of running an online store....
For the longest time, it was part of my wife and I’s daily routine to watch the evening news together. That tradition came to an abrupt halt, when son #1 stopped taking a nap at noon and started going to bed earlier. So now, we bring the two rascals to bed at around that time, and my TV consumption dropped to approximately 1h a month, if that. I can’t say I miss it! I have to get my news elsewhere, but nowadays, when you can read any online newspaper on your smartphone, I don’t feel like I’m missing out.
A few years back, when somebody told me they don’t even own a TV, I was wondering how that is even possible. Now I find myself looking for internet deals where I don’t have to pay for cable, since I don’t use it anyway. Alas, there are no options where passing on cable makes a real difference.
The internet never ceases to come up with new crazes, fads or fashions to entertain and engage us. (Notice how I just wrote about the internet as if it was an entity or creature? But that’s a whole other subject for another time). Planking, Gangnam style dance videos, the Harlem shake, the ice bucket challenge … the list goes on and on. The latest fad is the so called “mannequin challenge”, in which people try to enact a real life freeze frame, and somebody with a camera moves around and films the whole thing. There are a few really, really impressive ones out there. I remember one with a whole gymnast crew and one in a power lifter gym, where people hold perfectly still in positions that few other mortal men even can dream of getting into.
Anyway, I thought about how this mannequin challenge would play out in different scenarios or workplaces. If you work in a clothes store or at Madame Tussauds, you could probably participate in it without even being noticed. But I’m sure there are professions out there, such as lumberjack, zookeeper, firefighter or soldier, where freezing up could have some dire consequences.
That’s more or less how today’s comic strip was born, although the consequences for Chuck, Julio and Sally are seemingly not as dire.
As somebody who is self employed and works alone in his office all day, I don’t have the benefit of having somebody giving me inspiring pep talks like Chuck does in this strip. Like everything in life, it’s a two-sided coin: I have only myself to rely on for motivation. Many people who are or were self employed too, mention this as one of the biggest challenges. And it definitely is! Especially in times of the internet, where endless entertainment is only a mouse click away. On the other hand, I don’t have a boss bossing me around or coworkers who distract me. There’s no office politics either. I can be as productive as I want to be and all potential benefits of hard work accrue to me.
As for motivation: It started slowly over the years, but I have grown more and more fond of motivational books. When I was young, I was scoffing and secretly smiling at people who read self help books. Imagine that. I was a teenager and young adult who thought he knew it all already. I’m sure I must have been the only one! Anyway, now I like to read the occasional book about how to be successful or on investment etc. and even though I don’t put 95% of what I read in practice, I always feel motivated and energized after reading something like that. That feeling alone, plus the one or two lessons I do take out of a book are more than worth the money.
Some examples of simple lessons would be: “Try to remember more people’s names and faces” (Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends and Influence People). “Don’t try to beat the market, buy an index fund.” (Burton Malkiel – A Random Walk Down Wall Street). “Eat less sugar.” (Mark Sisson – Primal Blueprint). Etc. etc. Other books I enjoyed were the “Rich Dad – Poor Dad” series or “4 hour work week”.
The latest thing I read and now try to implement is parts of, dare I say my “colleague” Scott Adams (Dilbert), new book called “How to fail at almost everything and still win big.” The big point I took out of that book was to not focus on goals (e.g. I want to lose 10 pounds (which I don’t, my weight is fine, but just as an example)), but to create systems that take willpower out of the equation (e.g. remove all sugar crap from the house and replace it with healthy snacks like nuts, so, when you do get weak, you snack healthy stuff). That way, you don’t feel like “not reaching the goal yet” with one brief moment of satisfaction when you do, but more like successfully using a system every time you apply it.
Does anybody have suggestions for other self help / motivational books? Or do you think that is all bull crap anyway?
Writing is definitely one of those things that look easier than they actually are. And a lot of people I know have ideas about stories, books and movies they would love to write, if they only could find the time. I know I do! But even though I don’t do a lot of writing, I have really learned some respect for the art over the years.
Writing comics comes rather easy by now, after many years of doing it. At least I have the technique down, coming up with ideas is a whole other subject. But when it comes to writing other things, such as these little blogs, or descriptions for our online shop, or prefaces for our books etc. I still break a sweat. It’s hard to be witty, concise, while keeping it interesting and bringing the point across. But I think having dabbled in writing makes me appreciate other people’s writing even more.
I’m sure this is true for most subjects. As an amateur guitar player, I think I can appreciate the craftsmanship and achievements of many professional musicians on a different level than a complete layman. Having dabbled in music, I know what it takes to get up on stage and have a vague idea of what it takes to become a star, just like maybe a recreational pilot can appreciate a Blue Angels pilot more than I can.
A friend of mine once told me how he would like to start a band, describing to me all the vivid details of how awesome it must be on stage. But when I asked him if he played any instrument, he said no. I neither want to bust that friends dreams nor want to sound like a downer, but, most likely, his band career is not going to happen. I have also met kids who thought it would be easy to fly a helicopter, after having “practiced it” in computer games.
This combination of overestimation of one’s own abilities and underestimation of what it takes to become a star is the basis of the whole industry of casting shows. And to be fair, I haven’t watched one of those in ages, but I remember that I always enjoyed the first rounds the most, where you can see the absolutely untalented cohort making asses of themselves.
That gave me an idea: How about an aviation themed casting show? Put wannabe pilots in airplanes and let them have a go! Action and entertainment would be guaranteed! But it would probably be rather expensive to produce.
Anyway, let me tie this all together by pointing out one more time how hard writing is. I’ve rambled on for a few paragraphs, moving on aimlessly from one subject to the next, without really gaining very much insight into anything except a couple of opinions I hold. Now you see why I draw chickens and don’t write blogs for a living.
If I should ever feel for a pseudonym, “Hotshot McThunderbolt” would probably be on top of the list too! But wait, now that I’ve mentioned that, I can’t really use it anymore. And “Maverick” clearly is taken. Hm, maybe “Ice … man”, periods and all. But then, I don’t like the cold very much. I can see why Chuck is having such a hard time!
Chucks frustrations most likely might come from our own past of trying to sell a movie script. But we will never know, will we? 😉
Many of you might not know this but we came pretty close to getting Chicken Wings animated twice in the last ten years. Unfortunately the movie business is brutal and things got in the way. We ended up with a few half-done shorts and a bunch of storylines, treatments and storyboards but not much else to show for. Maybe after things settle down with work and Stef’s kids start being able to feed themselves we can revisit the idea. What do you guys think of a Chicken Wings short-film?
If anyone reading this is a media mogul or producer, get in touch with us! 😉
Here is one page of one of the storyboards we wrote:
I just noticed, in shock, that we are approaching our 15th anniversary rather quickly, and that we have totally forgot about it. I guess we can cite the same reasons for that oversight that we already invoked in the preface of our new book: We’ve both been extremely busy with other stuff. Mike moved and is sent around the globe by his company for weeks on end, and I am constantly busy, distracted and sleep-deprived as a new father to two toddlers.
Now today’s strip reminded me about the “Japanese Skywriter” cartoon, which was one of the first ideas we had and which we later turned into a t-shirt. So that got me thinking and made me realize that we are just a week away from the anniversary of that fateful day, when we were sitting down with a glass of wine and started doodling on a couple of paper napkins after returning home from our mom’s 60th birthday dinner. That’s the reason why it’s so easy for us to remember the exact date, by the way.
I am not sure if we can come up with any special ideas this year. For our 10th anniversary, we made a silver coin, which was very popular, so maybe we can do something like that again? Anybody interested in investing in another ounce of silver? In any case, it would probably be rather late. I’ll talk to my brother and get back to you!