The GoComics “Meet Your Creator” series brings you firsthand insight into the lives and careers of your favorite cartoonists. Each week, we hand over the keys to one of our talented creators, who share their inspirations, achievements, creative processes, studios and more! Read on to hear from this week’s featured cartoonist: Brian Gordon of Fowl Language
It was at the tender age of 6 that I decided I’d be a cartoonist. I don’t think my parents thought much of it at the time, since kids wanna be all sorts of crazy things when they grow up. But unlike my friends, who quickly realized how hard it was to actually become a superhero or a princess, I never really wised up.
Shy and uncoordinated, I spent an inordinate amount of time as a kid indoors. One of my favorite indoor activities was drawing pictures from the comic pages of our newspaper. With zero interest in learning to hit or catch a ball, I had lots of free time to practice drawing Snoopy.
What really sealed the vocational deal for me, though, was an interview I saw on TV with the creator of Peanuts, Charles Schulz. He seemed really nice and looked like he was having a lot of fun at his job. So, I decided at that moment that I’d become a cartoonist, too.
Throughout my school career, I would pick and choose what subjects I’d actually pay attention to based on the simple question, “Does a cartoonist need to know this?” Looking back on my high school transcripts, I can tell you that more often than not, my answer was “no.” It’s a shame I can’t go back in time and tell my former self that, yes, actually, even cartoonists have the occasional use for math.
Somehow, I was able to graduate and even go on to art college. And once I got my degree, I went on to make tens upon tens of dollars as a freelance illustrator. I was poor as hell, but I was determined to make a living as an artist, so I enrolled in a graduate art program. My intention was to teach, but through the program, I stumbled into a summer internship at Hallmark Cards that turned into an honest-to-goodness, real art job.
My intention was to stay a year or two, become a famous cartoonist, and leave the Midwest with all my riches. Eighteen years later, not famous and barely much richer, I was laid off by the card company.
With few other prospects of full-time employment as an illustrator, I decided to devote all my attention to the webcomic I had been drawing in my spare time, called Fowl Language. It was an autobiographical cartoon depicting my life as a flawed parent, and, while I never got the wealth I hoped for, I did have two beautiful, whip-smart, often quite irritating children to draw inspiration from.
Within months of devoting myself full-time to the comic, its popularity exploded. In fact, a collection of Fowl Language cartoons appeared in an Upworthy post and ended up being the fourth-most shared content on all of Facebook in 2015.
In addition to the popularity, the first collection of my work came out in book form on March 22nd.
It’s been a bumpy ride, and I still suck at math, but I’m so happy to see my crazy dream finally coming true.
Want more Fowl Language?
• Read on GoComics here.
• Snag a copy of “Fowl Language: Welcome to Parenting” here.
• Follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.