1916055_101878843170405_8151383_nI’ve been drawing cartoons ever since I was a child;  ever since I read my first Calvin & Hobbes book. During college I produced three comic strips which were published in a few local papers and university papers. My most popular strip was Common Ground, in which Celeste was the main character of. When it was time for me to graduate from college and try to pursue a job as a cartoonist with a syndicate, I knew it would be with Celeste that I should base my new strip on.

 

So from 2001-2002, I created the strip Soliciting Celeste (looking back, I don’t know why I ever settled on that name). The strip was about a young, recent college graduate who forges a new path in the adult world. Celeste was innocent, naive and prone to fantasies, much like to Calvin & Hobbes. Every major syndicate that looked at it, rejected it (sometimes twice). I was certain that the problem was my execution and not the overall concept, so I looked for a professional second opinion.

 

I showed samples of my work to a couple of professional cartoonists. One of them, Lynn Johnston, of For Better or For Worse, didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear: that the strip was great and to be patient because my time would soon come. Nope. She tore apart my strips from the writing to the layout to the art. After several days of nursing my wounds in my man cave, I finally saw my strip with a fresh pair of eyes. She was right; they were horrible. But I was still certain the problem was my execution and not necessary the concept of the strip.

 

After two years of work, I threw away all my strips (figuratively of course. I still have them stored away) and started again from scratch. Some individual strips, I re-did, but most I did not. The newly named strip, Something about Celeste, followed the same premise as its predecessor. I spent more time on the layout and art and tried not to write dumb, throw-away gags. I created the same amount of strips that I had with Soliciting Celeste (150+) during two years, but it took me twice amount of time. From 2003-2007, I worked on Something about Celeste.

 

The new strip was still rejected by all the major cartoon syndicates, and now working full-time as a teacher, I was finding it harder and harder to allot time for my hobby. Finally, I gave up my childhood dream and was ready to move on in a new chapter in my life.

 

Nearly a decade later, I found that the real world is over-rated. Seriously. So I have decided to reprioritize my life and restart my passion for creating comics. Even though my old strips are a decade old, they had never been published in print or on the internet. So I am am finally publishing my Something about Celeste strips and will be making new ones soon.

 

Thank you for reading and for indulging me during my mid-life crisis. (08-15-2015)

 

–Eric Salinas