Warning: This journal is probably unnecessarily long, rambling and sappy so feel free to skip this one over. /endwarning
Okay, I generally don't use internet journals to talk about the stress I'm dealing with my life, because I have this thing where I feel like no one really needs to be burdened with my random 'oh nooo so stressed' garbage going on. But this actually has a bit to do with HiNaBN so here it is. This is my confession to you. I was worried writing it before, because I was afraid that it would always come off grossly unappreciative or self depreciating so hopefully this manages to be more conversational than that.
I love Hanna. It has turned into something bigger than I could ever imagine and it's amazing. I get blown away every time I open up the browser and I realize how many comments are left on the pages, how many people are drawing fanart, doing fanfiction, roleplaying the characters, and just investing their wonderful, valuable time thinking about Hanna Is Not A Boy's Name. I'm touched every time I go to a convention and it is the most surreal feeling in the world when I see lines of people coming up to talk to me, to dress up as the characters, people telling me they look forward to it every day and just the wonderful people I've met THROUGH the comic itself.
Personally? I don't understand really what it is about this comic that everybody loves. Sure, I love doing it, and I put myself into it entirely but I see it and I think it is goofy, horribly lame and I feel like I've got SO much to learn because whoa was that last page hideous or jeez was that dialog clunky or what the heck was I thinking when I did such and such. Before I go further, I also want to establish that this is not me fishing for compliments, but rather an explanation into my mind for the past few months. I'm not saying that Hanna is trash ewww why do you guys like it, I'm just saying I am not framing it and putting it on my wall like the next damn Van Gogh. The sense of pride I get out of doing the comic are from the lessons I've learned, and not necessarily the visible product itself (if that makes sense?). Anywhoo, moving on!
Hanna Is Not A Boy's Name was originally an experiment in the comic medium itself only, but the experiment has gone beyond that. It is my first time continuing something with the mind of finishing it, it is my first time doing something with a publisher, it is my first time investing my every day into an idea, as well as my first time really growing with each character so fully that the comic itself is just really truly about the characters and each other. Hanna is so many of my FIRSTS that it's amazing that it hasn't sunk to the bottom of the hypothetical creative ocean. I'm so grateful, because I feel so damn lucky that it hasn't.
On top of it all, I am an emotionally unstable person. I don't mean this to be an excuse or self depreciating, but rather state it in a self aware way. I dip in and out of people's lives not because I do not like people but rather, because I am terrified of wronging them and my own view of myself is so shaky and so .... unsure that every social outing is a stressball waiting to explode. I'm self conscious and nervous, and I have been fighting through so much ongoing self improvement and random ass issues created by my own mind that a simple dinner I have with people I only sort-of know knocks me off my feet because HOLY SHIT that was hard. For me.
But I love people. That's the thing -- Hanna, all my comics really, are all studies in people. But I'm bad at interacting with them. It's almost why my isolation makes the writing easier. I'm so like engrossed in my own mental goings on that it feels so real and then I put it in a comic and that's what you see. Forgive me for rambling, haha, this is actually really embarrassing to write (but amazingly making me feel a bit better).
Continuing onto that, con season has been incredibly hard for me. I don't want this (at any point) to feel like I do not like meeting you, or talking to new people, or just not enjoying cons at all, but rather explain my lame ass thought process. It is like....when you love running and you love it like crazy but you're pretty shitty at it and you ran a marathon but you had to do it at your own pace and it took twenty years and after you were done you felt like hibernating for another twenty because whhoaaaaa.
That's kind of like that. Essentially, sort of, only minus the running cos then I'd be in better shape. Anyways.
I am so grateful to you guys every day all the time that I always fear I come off too sappy in my posts, that I say it too often, and then alternatively I worry I don't say it enough or show it enough. I always feel like I'm somehow ripping you all off -- that whenever I miss something or don't get something done earlier it is like a personal failure. Essentially, I am battling the weirdest battle of all. I am having to fight my own passion and tell it to calm the hell down a smidge.
I love the comic SO MUCH right now it is almost self destructive. When it was just this fun thing I did it was a completely different mental battle. Oh that page sucked? Its okay, tomorrow's another day! I could take a jaunty step forward and everything would move on and my own negativity forgotten. Now I screw up on a page or something and my mind stumbles, thumbing through all the ways I wish I had done something better and how oh god, I am messing everything up. I am clinging to every mistake I make (every, not just in the comic) and obsessing over it like thinking about it for a million hours is going to make the mistake undo itself. Which, we all know doesn't happen.
Hanna (the character and comic itself) was supposed to teach me to be able to move on, a lesson in the purest form of 'tomorrow is a new day' and oddly enough I'm so attached to it now that I am not even listening to myself and all I'm doing is thinking about yesterday. I'm dwelling, I'm sinking in my own self doubt, I'm screwing my own self over. These past few weeks (I guess while also being sick helped? Hooray?) I had some sort of epiphany, realizing what it was that was making doing what I was doing so hard. It's like if Hanna (the comic, not the dude...although that would be pretty funny) was my casual friend before and now I was making love to it and marrying it and stalking it to work and taking pictures of it when it though I was at home baking an apple pie.
Creepy of me, yes.
So essentially, this huge long rambling ass mess of a journal is just sort of an explanation to you. Why does Hanna take so long to update these days? This is probably why. Am I going to stop doing it? Hell no. Am I finally going to figure my shit out?
Of course. That's what the whole experience is all about, even if it takes forever. I don't see this as just this thing I do every once in a while, I have grown so much in a YEAR from this damn thing I'll be damned if I stop now.
All in all, abridged version means thank you for everything even if I never reply or never get a chance to fave your awesome creativity, or say hi or get to be personally grateful to you. I am working hard to figure out how to use this experimental comic I started to grow in art, story, and character, and for the journey and experience through the comic to be worthwhile not only to myself, but hopefully (just maybe) to any of you who happen to read it at any time and enjoy it. Because in the end, we all float on okay.