My first professional endeavor into the world of comic-making was Massive Pwnage. A nerd-culture comic that ran from 2007 to 2016, Massive Pwnage was about whatever I wanted it to be about. Sometimes that meant that it was about video games, and sometimes that meant it was about Magic the Gathering, Doctor Who, or Spider-Man. Though, if we’re all being honest with each other, it was mostly about video games. As a cool side-effect, comics I’ve done about certain games have been featured by the developers of those games on their websites and social media. A lot of the traffic to my site in the early years came from World of Warcraft and League of Legends, which is pretty amazing.
But let’s back up a bit. I started Massive Pwnage in 2007 because I wanted to learn how to draw. I had been reading a lot of webcomics at the time and I thought to myself “I can do that,” so I did. I was at the time in my life where I had just graduated from high school and I didn’t know what the next step was. Becoming an artist became my goal, and drawing a comic was the way I chose to achieve that goal. I had never intended to become a person who makes comics — I barely even read comics growing up — comics were just what I was really interested in at the time and were a lot of fun to draw.
Not only did I have no intention of being a comic creator, I had not the tiniest interest in becoming a writer. I resisted that idea for years, telling myself “no, I draw. I don’t write, that’s not my thing. I draw.” But then one day, after about four or five years into my endeavor, I looked at the hundreds of comics I had written and thought to myself “I might be a writer.” It was quite the surprise!
Depending on the year, Massive Pwnage updated two or three times a week, which means that by the end of its nine year run, I had written and drawn over a thousand comics. And, it turns out, that was an amazing way to get good at making comics! Who knew that doing something almost every day for nearly a decade is a great way to accidentally getting good at it? What started as a way to motivate me into learning how to draw, Massive Pwnage became one of the most important things I’ve ever done with my life. It taught me everything I know about hard work, discipline, and professionalism. It opened doors that I never imagined could be opened and thanks to Massive Pwnage, I’ve learned that I’m a cartoonist.
It was bittersweet when I ended it, but ultimately I wanted to focus on telling stories rather than daily gag comics. It’s what I think I’m good at. I mean, one of my stories is getting published as a full-length graphic novel! That’s gotta be a sign that I’m heading in the right direction, right?
Either way, I’ll see you on Wednesday when I’ll get back to talking about LOOK and where I got the idea for a story about a little robot who’s not happy with his lot in life. See you then!
Oh! And I definitely can’t end this write-up without mentioning my good friend Josh Rivas, who helped me a lot with the writing duties on Massive Pwnage, especially in the early years before I found my confidence as a writer. If you’re interested, you can check out a short sample of his upcoming graphic novel, Magical Universe, over here.