Monday, January 01, 2007

Look Back with Thanks

I'm not much for New Year's resolutions but can't help looking back at 2006 with great gratitude and a sense of accomplishment. A lot of people helped make it an amazing year for me, especially since the release of Mom's Cancer in the spring:

My family [insert boilerplate heart-felt tribute here]. Thanks.

Everyone who bought my book, checked it out of a library, found it in their local cancer resource center, or mentioned it to a friend. No award or reward means more to me than knowing I created something you thought deserved your time and money. I take my obligation to you very seriously and hope I didn't disappoint.

The friends I've made through the book, most of them online but good friends nonetheless. Ronniecat, Mike Peterson, Sherwood Harrington, D.D. Degg, Laurianne's sister Lynda, Sarah Trejo, Dave Grant, and many more.

The cartoonists--some long-established, some just starting out--who sent me a note, shared a tip, gave me some encouragement, and otherwise welcomed me into their community: Mike Lynch, Patricia Storms, Arnold Wagner, Paul Giambarba, Jeff Kinney, Otis Frampton, Stephan Pastis, Lynn Johnston, Ted Slampyak, Darrin Bell, Michael Jantze, Bob Weber Jr., Raina Telgemeier, and many others who've sent professional and personal kindness in my direction.

My editor and friend Charlie Kochman, who pulled Mom's Cancer from the slush pile, made it into a better book than I imagined it could be, and introduced me to people and places I never thought I'd know. Visiting the Society of Illustrators and meeting Chip Kidd, Walt Simonson, Joe DeVito, Irwin Hasen, Jerry Robinson, Kyle Baker, Mort Gerberg and others was all pretty cool, but the real treat has been getting to know Charlie and his girlfiend Rachel, who is better than he deserves.

Members of the press who wrote reviews and features about Mom's Cancer. I know they were just doing their jobs, but they still chose to do them about me and I appreciate it. In particular, Jen Contino of The Pulse webzine, Melissa Block of NPR's "All Things Considered," and Liz Szabo of USA Today went above and beyond their professional responsibilities to reveal unexpected kindness and humanity.

Sue Lord, Vicki, Jerry, and the staff at Comic-Con International who made my experience there as both a Special Guest and fan a wonderful time I'll never forget.

Dr. Scott Bolhack, Paige, and their colleagues who made my visit and talk to the TLC HealthCare Medical Research Foundation in Tucson, Arizona a true lifetime highlight.

Some special people lost to cancer in the past year, including Lynne White, Miriam Engelberg, and friends or relatives of friends whose names I'll keep private. Too many good people gone too soon.

I'm looking forward to new experiences, friends, and creative projects in 2007. My apologies to anyone I should have mentioned but didn't (this list is off the top of my head, an increasingly cluttered venue), and my thanks to you all.



Sherwood Harrington said...

Thank *you*, Brian. Let's all look for the everyday good in the New Year -- things like the green sour apple Jolly Ranchers atop your mail or my dogs' goofy smiles -- no matter what else it may bring.

patricia said...

No, really, THANK YOU for creating such a beautiful book, and for being such a gracious human being, especially after all the many much-deserved successes came your way as a result of this amazing creation.

I wish you continued success, Brian, though I know wishing isn't really necessary, for success will continue to find you, no matter what you do!

ronnie said...

Aw, gee Brian. We're not worthy.

Seriously, we're not.

Other than that, I think Patricia sums my feelings up pretty perfectly. :)