|Cartoonist Dad Interview with Jason Young
Name: Jason Young
Comics: Veggie Dog Saturn, Defenders of the Planets, The Geek (Adult comic in production)
Websites: http://buyerbeware.guttertrash.net, https://sparklecomics.com
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a cartoonist?
Jason – Pretty young. Like, a kid definitely.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your cartooning career?
Jason – Being published in some great anthologies & collaborating with some interesting writers & artists in the world of mini-comics. Also co-founding Sparkle Comics with my friend Matt Brassfield to publish a diverse line of comics by local cartoonists in Dayton, Ohio.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Jason – Not until last year at age 40, when I got married to an amazing lady with two kids from a previous marriage.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Jason – I have been lucky that my wife is very supportive of my taking time on weekends & during the evenings to work on my comics. The kids encourage me too by being interested in reading my stuff. They love Defenders of the Planets, the all ages’ sci-fi action fantasy that I co-write & draw.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Jason – I guess I miss some family hang out time once a week, but overall no one seems to be suffering from my being an artist. & they enjoy seeing the finished books, reading them. So I would say it’s positive in that regard.
QRD – Have your children effected the comics you make &/or read?
Jason – Not really. I am actually in talks of drawing a porn comic next year for a writer I work with. I just have to draw that one when the kids aren’t around, obviously.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from an artistic career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Jason – No, I have a full time day job for that. My comics work is a full time hobby.
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?
Jason – I don’t believe so. I like to do a couple of conventions a year to see some of my cartoonist pals, but honestly I much prefer to stay home & draw than to do shows. There isn’t that much pressure to get out there & sell when it’s something I am solely doing for fun.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a cartoonist has a greater impact on your community?
Jason – On the community I would have to say my art. I put a lot of energy into being a good dad (or stepdad, technically), but most people that I interact with know me as the guy who draws all the time. They know me through my artwork.
QRD – Would you rather see your children eventually become cartoonists or parents?
Jason – I like the idea of someday being a grandpa. & my kids are into computer coding & break dancing respectively, so most likely neither will go into cartooning. But who knows, they’re young & both draw with me & on their own occasionally.
QRD – Both family & comics seem like things that will take up as much of your times you’re willing to put in. How do you end up dividing your time?
Jason – We have the kids a few days each week & their biological father has them a few days too. I usually draw only when they’re at their dad’s or asleep. Except for Saturday night. I draw every Saturday with a cartoonist buddy of mine. But other than that night, the kids come first. If I feel like drawing, but they want to watch a movie or play a game with me, then I’m one hundred percent hanging out with them.
QRD – What do your kids think of your comics?
Jason – They like them! Which makes me feel good. Again, I won’t let them see the porn comic I do next year for a few decades (if ever), but the others they dig.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a comic project with your children?
Jason – Oh man, would love to! We created a character together that they said they were going to make their own comic for but haven’t done so yet. Too much coding & break dancing to do!
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Jason – Whatever you dream of doing you can most assuredly do. Whether or not it is your day job or your hobby, you can make it happen. I have produced or been a part of over a hundred comic book publications while maintaining a full time day job with no plans to slow down. When you find a form of expression that fulfills you, you just have to do it. It’s who you are. Make time for it. You will thank yourself!
QRD – Anything else?
Jason – There is always a way to make it work. Don’t force it. Just take a second to look & listen to the particular rhythm of your life. You will find the moments that you can work on your art. Seize those moments. It’s what you have to do.