“Quit your job, chase your dreams.” This was the motto of writer/artist Ryan Stegman and writers Griffin Sheridan and Ethan S. Parker when they ended their podcasts in 2019-2020. At the time, I was a long-time comic book fan listening to creators and other fans share their love for comic books. I was sure I would write comic books sometime in my life. Comics are my passion.
My name is Oscar Osorio, and up to seven months ago, I worked at an auditing and consultancy firm, going strong with five years under my belt and projections to go big. But, at the end of 2022, I decided to move to Canada, a process still pending, and become a full-time comic book writer. How did this happen?
I started reading comics in 2010 when a local newspaper started publishing Marvel and DC Comics in Peru, my home country where I live. It was love at first sight, and it pushed my family and me to attend SDCC in 2011, where I met Stan Lee. My love for comics started strong, and I followed that path during the following years. I read more and more, going from Marvel and DC to Image Comics and the rest of the Indie publishers.
I was the Marvel kid among my friends – reading and collecting comics and watching all the movies. You know the drill. So in 2017-2018, I opened my first writing blog to share my experiences and fun facts with my friends and family. It was my first contact with writing, I loved it, and my small audience loved it too. I knew comics appealed to people as they watched the movies and the series they came from, so I wanted to encourage them to take the next step toward the pages.
A few months passed, and I returned to conventions, attending NYCC for the first time and returning to San Diego. I attended the more informative comic book panels, where I began familiarizing myself with comic book creation. Around that time, I discovered Comic Book Twitter and started following creators instead of characters and publishers. I noticed many of them posting stuff online that helped me learn more about making a comic book, both from a technical and an inspirational standpoint. With the pandemic, many creators turned to podcasts and Youtube to pass the time and share their craft, and I was there to absorb knowledge as if I were a five-year-old kid.
In the meantime, I got my Bachelor’s in Economics. I started working and got promoted twice in three years. I wrote and read at night. Comics was my hobby, my passion project, my secret identity. I led a balanced life to some extent. Corporate takes a toll on everyone, especially creative people. Without going much forward into the story, when I moved to comics, I spoke to a coworker who told me: “It’s fantastic that you are chasing your passion. I know this job isn’t my passion, but I haven’t found my passion yet.” But I had. And before making the change, no matter how happy I was at my job or any day job, I knew my passion and needed to pursue it. Comics were my true love.
In 2021 I opened my Substack blog, following the batch of comics creators that moved to that platform. It gained traction and caught the attention of prominent creators who supported my blog. I was writing for a North American audience, and my work was well received, encouraging me to continue. In July 2022, I created my first comic book, which I gave away at SDCC that year. I worked with an editor, an artist, and a letterer, and the product was excellent. Seeing my comic book live in print was a dream, and having creators such as Tom Taylor ask me to sign it for them when I gave them away was priceless. At the same time, I changed jobs to a more challenging firm that would give me better opportunities for my future.
I can’t tell what happened, but I lost motivation for my corporate job. Maybe it was the years. As I said, corporate takes a toll, and year one motivation differs from year four. It could be my success in the comic book industry, showing me a new path in life. It could be the stress of the new job. I’m adverse to change, and the new job had many changes. All I can say is I burned out. I was so tired and stressed that I stopped dedicating time to my passion. I left my secret identity behind. I stopped being Spider-Man and was only Peter Parker. If you’ve seen Spider-Man 2, you know how this ends.
Jokes aside, I took a deep breath and said that if I wasn’t getting time to pursue my passion, if I wasn’t moving towards creating comics, towards my dream, then I needed to move in the right direction. Combined with a personal development that allowed me the possibility of moving to Canada, I made my life-changing decision. Abandon corporate life and go into creative mode.
My debut comic book, a 32-page one-shot live on Zoop now, A Never-Ending Adventure, was inspired by this journey, and will tell a similar story mixed with fantastic elements and action. It will discuss the mental health consequences of making life-changing decisions, showing the protagonist’s epic quest to turn his passion into his profession. It is the perfect start in my journey as a comic book writer, as it will tell exactly who I am and what I’m bringing to the comic book industry. I don’t plan to stop, and I hope you come with me on this journey.
Two Important Disclaimers
- When I summarize my story, people think this wasn’t a thoughtful decision. I don’t care what people think, but in this case, I want to clarify as it can jeopardize what they feel about my job. Rush decisions and lack of preparation translate to a lack of quality, and I don’t want my writing to be associated with bad quality. As you see in my story, I’ve been preparing for this for 10+ years. I’ve studied legendary creators, rising stars, my peers, the industry, and the audience and created a voice. I want and need to make this work. And I will enjoy my time doing it and do it well.
- My two jobs at corporate were essential to take me where I am right now. My knowledge of how a business works, how to be a team player, and how to manage projects comes from this experience. When I talk about the mental toll it took on me, I come from my own experience. Nevertheless, I believe some problems at a core level encompass all corporations, capitalism, and the accumulation of wealth, which I will discuss in my work in comics, following the great examples of stories such as Eat the Rich, Know Your Station, and Billionaire Island.