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The Land of Make Believe - Howard Tayler
Ramblings of a Happy Cartoonist
The Land of Make Believe
I refer to my years at Novell as time spent in "Day-Job Land." I haven't had a similarly apt descriptor for the land where I get to be a cartoonist, working for myself, playing with my family.

A private conversation with David Malki of Wondermark shook loose the descriptor I want to use. "The Land of Make Believe."

Yeah, it's been trademarked and copyrighted and all that by somebody else. I think it's an amusement park in Jersey. But the idea is bigger than that.

My Land of Make Believe is not just about pretending, it's not "make-believe" in the child's play sense. No, this is the Land where every day I get to Make the things that I Believe in. I build universes and draw pictures about them. I share my stories and pictures with others, and I Make them Believe too. I've said before that few things are as flattering as learning that I've captured the imagination of another human being. I can't bring myself to think of "fans" without feeling both humbled and exalted by their very existence.

But my Land of Make Believe is not just about creating worlds and inviting others to experience them with me. It's also about Believing that these worlds, this shared experience can somehow support me and my family, and then Making that happen.

And every so often it's about looking a skeptic or a critic right in the eye and Making him or her Believe, too. It's a land of proof in the pudding, and then second helpings of pudding.

And yes, sometimes it's about pretending I know what I'm doing, and then getting on with my day.

I feel: contemplative contemplative

11 comments or Leave a comment
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: March 28th, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I should point out that Malki is not a skeptic. He's out there Making Believe too.
rowyn From: rowyn Date: March 28th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
A surprising amount of life in DayJob Land is about pretending that I know what I'm doing, too. n.n
ccdesan From: ccdesan Date: March 28th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pass the pudding. And the smutto.
From: discarn8 Date: March 29th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, lessee here....

1) I knew you were a lucky man when you were able to make old themes new, entertaining, and downright delightful.

2) I knew you were a lucky man when you started to get paid for your art.

3) I knew you were a lucky man when I met Sandra & the kids.

4) I knew you were a lucky man when you managed to get paid full-time for your art.

And yet again, your ability to pull the right words out - well, you're a lucky man, Howard. *smile* Congrats.
dragonbane From: dragonbane Date: March 29th, 2009 07:59 am (UTC) (Link)
So do you live in "The Land of Making Believe" or "The Land of Making Believers?"
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: March 29th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I'm in both of those places. It's one of those overlapping city/county jurisdictional things.
From: tariq_kamal Date: March 30th, 2009 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I dunno. I've always liked "Misty Magic Land", myself.
anshackles From: anshackles Date: March 30th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's a song about it too. Bucks Fizz, IIRC, early 80s.

ah, here it is on you tube, with what is probably its original video. enjoy!
cforce From: cforce Date: March 30th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm still in Day Job Land, but the fact that you get to live in your Land of Make Believe is an inspiration--and so is the fact that what you Make is so amusing.

roster007 From: roster007 Date: April 6th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ross found this and wanted to make sure you knew about it.
slackdaddy From: slackdaddy Date: April 28th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Blank Label


Is there a reason Shortpacked no longer appears on the BlankLabel website?

Also conrats on being almost done with the XDM project!
11 comments or Leave a comment