Josh’s Thanksgiving Thankfulnesses

If you’ve ever spent any time following me on Twitter or roll with the “Josh hates fun” camp, then you might think I’m some ungrateful jerk. You might even be right, but my mother would tell you that you were a liar, and then she would beat your face in. She won’t be doing it this Thanksgiving, however, because she decided to skip the Northeast, and fly to Virginia Beach for the weekend, necessitating a Thanksgiving held at the parents of my brother-in-law’s place. It’s OK, I bought a turkey to cook my damn self later on. I cook a mean turkey. Seriously.

My point, lost some time ago, is that I have a whole lot of things to be thankful for, and in between my clever and witty bon mots about stuff, I really do need to realize what a lucky guy I am.

Let’s start with comics, because that’s probably why you’re here, unless you’re my mom, but as we already discussed, she’s off doing God knows what, but not spending time with her grandson. Anyway, it’s a rough time for comics by any account. Except creatively. There’s a group of creators out there, artists and writers, colorists and letterers, and inkers too who are bringing us some of the most fun, most visually stunning comics we’ve ever seen. Even better? Because of this strange made up job that I have, I get to meet, talk to, and even become friends with plenty of them. It’s only made me more excited about the artform that is comics. Pound for pound, we’re shown the best that modern creativity has to offer every time we step into a comic shop. It’s a damn shame the the rest of the world doesn’t seem to be equipped to appreciate what’s going on in comics. The fact that Darwyn Cooke isn’t lauded as a genius in the same vein as film directors is a crime. But we’ve got them. We know of them, and I am so thankful for them.

I sort of mentioned this job in the last paragraph didn’t I? I am so thankful for that. There are a couple reasons for that one. For one, I chafe in a cubicle environment, and since this whole thing started, the idea of going back to that is a terrifying prospect. Imagine that most of the people around you didn’t get your sense of humor and just looked at you oddly, instead of random people out in the internet. Because of this job, I get to learn about comics, and talk about comics, and I get to entertain, and have nice people say nice things about me. I get to have conversations like this and this, and I get to make friends, and work with an incredibly talented group of people. I get to work for a company like Graphicly, who have given a platform to so many comic book creators that gives them the tools to get better at this strange artform, and hell, they even put one of my comics on there! (More are coming, I swear! They keep me busy.) There’s Ron and Conor too. While I do actually loathe them with every section of my heart that isn’t wondering why my mother preferred her version of this holiday, they are also both very fun, funny, and strange, in varying degrees. They’re also my best friends.

Ooh, you know what else is great about this job? I get to do it anywhere I want, so I moved the hell out of New York City, which is apparently now under occupation by people who don’t like Frank Miller comics. I’m a bit hazy on the details of all that, but either way, I didn’t want to live there anymore, and now I don’t. Now I live in New Hampshire, and when there aren’t gun toting libertarian bikers all around, it’s a pretty nice place. Every night when I go outside to let the dog pee, I look up at a sky I never saw in Astoria. The stars punch me in the face with their fantastic beauty, plus I get to have a grill now. I’m also thinking of getting a motorcycle. (My mother would tell me to avoid that sort of thing, but look where we are, mom.) Actually, I can’t afford a motorcycle, and I don’t know how to ride one, but I hear they have these clubs. Check back with me next year on that. Either way, I am much happier here, and I have an office, which is where I am typing this, and as long as we don’t lose power again, it’s pretty great. I’m also thankful to have found a great comic shop here, because it’s a rarity in a lot of places. My wife and son also love it, so it’s a win all around, and there are much happier Flanagans today because of it.

Finally, I’m thankful to my artistic collaborators on comic projects you will see someday. This isn’t me plugging (this is though). No, this is me saying one of the great side effects of making comics was making friends with wonderful folks. I talk to Doug, the  artist on Dixon’s Notch on a regular basis. He’s stuck out in the middle of nowhere, and he’s got a ton of passion and a heck of a lot of talent that the world doesn’t know about yet. Kalle is one of my favorite people. I’ve actually only ever spoken to him once, but over email and all the other ways people communicate these days, well I think I love him. Or at least I love his attitude and enthusiasm. I have a 9 panel page he drew for a story we did framed on my wall (in my office), and it’s not the best thing we ever did together, but it’s the first best thing we ever did together, and we’re improving together, and it’s gorgeous. Charles, who does letters and stuff for me is also wonderful. This guy has been working in comics, on the fringe for years, and even though it’s hard as hell to make a dent, the guy keeps at it, because he loves comics. He’s super smart, and funny, and we talk dad stuff over IM. Doug’s a dad too, but Kalle is a dirty, hockey playing bachelor. There are a couple other guys who are drawing stuff from my scripts, and I really like them too, but until those pages are secure, that’ll remain a secret. But rest assured, you know them, and they’re amazing. Then there are the people out there who’ve taken the time to give me critique, notes, just a conversation, and friendship, right down to a knowing nod at a convention. You are too numerous to mention, but you’re fantastic. When you’re in comics, the other people in comics might be the best part.

So thank you to everyone who made this possible. To the comics folk and the listeners and the viewers (they are viewers) and the readers and even you troll bastards who really get those pageviews up there. Raise a glass to yourselves from me, and eat turkey, or tofurkey, or turducken, or whatever it is you eat a regular Thursday somewhere that isn’t America. Thank you. Even you, Mom. I hope you have fun!


  1. Great piece Josh, happy thanksgiving and i can’t wait to read all these projects you have done the pike!

  2. As a member of the chafed, I’m thankful for the work you guys do. As a proud iFanboy member I’m always amazed at the level of work you guys do. I also consider myself fortunate for the friendships that I’ve made through the site. It’s always awesome to meet everybody at the cons and other events. You truely make my comic experience exponentially better. Thanks!

  3. Thank you, Josh.

  4. Thanks josh, Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Josh, you should get the motorbike AND THEN become a gun toting 1%er!

  6. ” It’s a damn shame the the rest of the world doesn’t seem to be equipped to appreciate what’s going on in comics. The fact that Darwyn Cooke isn’t lauded as a genius in the same vein as film directors is a crime.”

    Here here, Josh!

  7. Glad the move worked out.
    I can understand moving out of astoria- but all of ny?
    What was it that made you want to move?

    • The rent was too damn high! (sorry too easy)
      Let me take a guess. The high taxes, high cost of living, deteriorating infrastructure, the fact that we get wind and snow on halloween and thousands lose power like we live in a third world country. The traffic, the noise, overall douchiness of some NY’ers, I could go on but my fingers hurt from typing

    • If Astoria wasn’t Josh’s thing, I can assure you that the rest of NYC wouldn’t be his thing either. People just get tired of the city, it’s more common than you think.

  8. I”m really craving a bacon-wrapped turkey now…and I already had my Thanksgiving turkey dinner (which was pretty great in its own right)…I might have to try that one over Christmas….

    I’ve got 35-40 pages left in Storm of Swords…and Astro Van’s coming up next!

  9. Semi-off topic, but I am totally jealous about you moving to New Hampshire. I spent my honeymoon there and never wanted to leave. One of the happiest times of my life.

  10. Just because you can’t ride a bad motorscooter, Josh, doesn’t mean you can’t become a gun-toting libertarian. I say, go for it anyway!