I’ve read a ton of How To Draw books. I’ve even written one. They tell you how to do things like sharpen a pencil, draw a foot. None of them ever mentioned that, if you were ever lucky enough to draw for a living, you would spend your life sitting on your butt. And I don’t mean the casual sit with a sigh. I mean, in that chair for 25 hours a day, 8 days a week, year after year after year until the EMTs come get you. The first few years go by like a flash. No big deal. Then your hip pops out. Or one morning you put on a sock and your leg shatters. What chapter was this in when they told you about the joys of cartooning?
Every morning I look at the torture chair and hold back tears—because I’m a man—knowing it’s going to hurt but I can’t let it see my fear. My bottom hurts like I was a bad boy and Mistress Veronica gave me what for. My legs are blue from lack of circulation. My feet are swollen up like two cantelopes. Every fiber in my body says, Never sit down again!…Walk!…Jog!…Use your legs or lose them! But I have a deadline and the only way to make it is to draw. And to draw I have to sit down.
Just to make this worse, there’s the occasional article reporting everybody who sits down at work will soon die. Cubicle include treadmills now. I guess you can be a day trader or bill collector while running on a treadmill, but it’s hard to draw a comic book while running a marathon.
So, here’s how this is going to play out… and I tell you this only to warn you—save yourselves. When I’m in my last dying moments in the studio, my legs curled up like a melting witch, I plan to grab this wicked chair in a deathgrip and take it to the grave with me. That will be my revenge—my last laugh—pulling it 6 feet below ground, alive. That part of the plan, I love. But here’s where it goes wrong: Later that night, it will be raining on my new grave. Lightning. The fresh dirt on my gravesite moves. Something emerging. It’s the chair… pushing its way up from the ground like a massive black weed. Finally it sits atop my grave, driving rain rinsing the mud down its polyurethane legs. Thunder shakes the sky. Or is it the chair, laughing at God?
The next day it’s sunny. A family visits a nearby grave. The little boy points to my grave, “Look, daddy, a chair for your office.”