with J.M Hunter creator of BAM!
Name: J.M. Hunter
Comics: Note 2 Self, BAM! (Big Ass Mini-Comic!), Angry Citizens.
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a cartoonist?
JM – Young. Very young. I began either tracing or drawing off of cartoons like Looney Tunes & Disney like everyone else did. Any type of drawing book or “How To” book, I swooped up. Hell, I still have a large library of how to books even today.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your cartooning career?
JM – Those haven’t happened yet. At least not that I can see. I think the effort right now is trying to MAKE it a career!
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
JM – Somewhere around junior year of high school. I took a lifestyles class & realized that the way I grew up was kind of messed up. Then I worked in child daycare for over a decade, before that watching my nieces & nephews. My kids are & will probably be the greatest creations that my wife & I have ever created. No matter how much success (if it happens) I get in the future.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
JM – If we’re talking about family from my own loins as opposed to the family I grew up with, then ultimately when it comes to negative impacts, I can’t really place blame on them you know? While it’s most certainly hard at this point in time because my kids are so young & my wife doesn’t always understand a cartoonist mentality, the challenge really is coming up with a schedule that works for all around & getting people to respect boundaries... oh & knowing that my INK PENS ARE NOT FOR PLAY!!! Ha-ha.
Positive wise? Wow, where do I start? I’m still seeing the benefits of that. My oldest daughter actually tabled with me on my last convention. She’s got an interest in making her own stories & my son likes drawing too. I have a hard time throwing anything they make out. I keep wanting to frame everything & make a gallery for them!
Actually positives are in comfort, when I can have my family at my shows or they travel with me & see all the other friends & collaborators I’ve met. Basically when it’s not just a bunch of the people on the internet; but real people, real artists, with real families, & whom treat my family as if they’ve always known them. Can’t ask for a better atmosphere than that!
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
JM – Wow...where do I begin. Sometimes, I’m not gonna lie, I feel selfish or guilty for having this talent & obsession. But... I’ve tried to do the regular job thing. I’ve tried to exist in the technical world, the corporate world, tow the line.... I got chewed up & spat out. Not for lack of trying... but sorry hotel furniture is more appealing than your cubicles & spreadsheets.
QRD – Have your children effected the comics you make &/or read?
JM – Oh yeah. They’re getting me to the point where I’m going to eventually have to do some all ages stuff. When they ask me to help them with their own comics, I can’t lie, I feel proud.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from an artistic career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
JM – Yes. I’m currently unemployed & have three young but energetic children, at least one with special needs. I wish the art & creativity was paying off, but that’s the grind right?
QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on going on the convention circuit, would you have showed more earlier in life if you’d known?
JM – I would have. I would’ve worried less about girls & booze & focused more on getting signed or my work out there.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a cartoonist has a greater impact on your community?
JM – I think both. I’ve volunteered at my kids’ school & done demos & numerous other volunteer artistic jobs.
QRD – Would you rather see your children eventually become cartoonists or parents?
JM – I just want them to be happy, safe, & not go through what I’ve gone through. They’re more than welcomed to live with me until they’re 30 as long as they stay goal oriented! That saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” well, I kind of subscribed to that theory meaning that if you have a solid supportive family unit then you’ll have progressive healthy children who will succeed. I’m not one of those that can’t wait until their kids are old enough to move out. Nope. While I recognize they’re going to have to have their own lives & make their own choices, I don’t want to be far away from them ever! I want to always be in their lives in some capacity.
Now...with that said... if they could quiet down so I could get some sleep & work done, that’d be real keen!
QRD – Both family & comics seem like things that will take up as much of your time as you’re willing to put in. How do you end up dividing your time?
JM – I am still trying to figure it out. I have a documented math disability & some other deficiencies & issues. Basically... I haven’t figured out that equation yet, ha-ha!
QRD – What do your kids think of your comics?
JM – My kids aren’t really allowed to read my comics too closely. I do comics at this point mostly for myself & other adults & like-minded people. But that can change one day... especially since I do want to do some all ages work that they can read.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a comic project with your children?
JM – I’m sure I could! I hope so! We already have started! But I don’t want to be a stage dad. I don’t want to make demands on them. I don’t want them to grow up hating this medium that I love so much! So it’s up to them. I’m here if they need or want my help!
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
JM – Enjoy your youth & live the adventure... but keep your eye on the big picture. Don’t wait too long.