I recently did an interview for a French publisher who asked me to introduce myself to the French audience. The only thing I could think to say was “My name is Matthew Dow Smith. I draw comic books for a living. And when I’m not doing that, I’m usually writing.”
It’s the best I could come up with at the time. But in retrospect, about as accurate as I could be without being long-winded.
I could have said, “My name is Matthew Dow Smith and I’ve been drawing comics for almost 15 years. I’ve worked for almost every major American comic book publisher and more than a few of the minor ones. It’s a crazy way to make a living, but it’s the thing I dreamed of doing ever since I was a little kid.”
Also accurate, but a little more long-winded.
If I’d really wanted to bore people, I could have said, “My name is Matthew Dow Smith. I’ve drawn a bunch of comics, but most people know me from some short stories I did with Mike Mignola for HELLBOY, and a NIGHTCRAWLER mini-series I did a while back, and this comic book I drew based on the show SUPERNATURAL on the CW network. And every once in a while, someone knows me from the short stories I do with my own character, Evan Fade, for the NEGATIVE BURN anthology.”
Slightly more long-winded, but also more or less accurate.
I also could have added, “I’ve recently begun experimenting with prose. I’ve written a couple of short stories featuring my Evan Fade character and now I’m working on a full length novel.” But that’s the point where I would expect them to roll their eyes and decide to interview someone far more interesting.
The truth is, I really don’t like talking about myself. I LOVE talking about comics, or novels, or music, or the things I’m working on at the moment, but not about myself. I love the creative process and there’s nothing I like more than talking about it with someone who’s a ‘process junkie’ like myself. I’m the kind of guy who reads the little author’s notes in short story collections. Sometimes, I like the anecdotes about the stories more than the stories themselves. But that’s a whole other issue.
When I decided to start a blog, I thought about how I should introduce myself. So far all I’ve got is, “My name is Matthew Dow Smith. I draw comic books for a living. And when I’m not doing that, I’m usually writing.”
And if you happen to be reading this, it’s nice to meet you. Welcome.