These were questions posted on Facebook by readers.
1. What is the typical work day for you? (Sent in by Tyler S. Grant, via Facebook)
Let me start by saying that our new baby is really throwing off my work schedule. With that being said, there are slight traces of what my “scheduled” time used to look like. I wake up each morning at 6:30 so I can wake up my oldest son to get ready for school. I am usually back from the bus stop at 7:40 and pack orders from the previous day/weekend anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours (usually 15-30 minutes). After that I take care of some business sides of Tone Deaf and that can last anywhere from 1 to 4 hours. Depending on how much business stuff I had to do I usually have time to write and draw a comic. A comic (once I get drawing) usually takes 1-3 hours, depending on the length. Occasionally, I will work on a merchandise item instead of a comic for the day. My oldest is back from school at 3:30 in the afternoon and in an ideal world that is when I quit for the day, but usually I am straggling on with various emails and tiny projects until about 5.
2. What instrument do you play? (Sent in by Mary Lynn Williams, via Facebook)
I used to play the trumpet, but right now I don’t play anything. I don’t even have my keyboard sitting around anymore, from when I composed music. I am looking at, however, buying a p-bone (or perhaps having a music store donate one…hint, hint) so I can have it on a stand somewhere in the house so I can fiddle with the trombone a little bit and perhaps have my oldest son fiddle around with it from time to time, trying to gain his interest in music.
3. Are the characters inspired by specific people in your life? (Sent in by Heather Johnson, via Facebook)
Yes. Most of them are actually based on various parts of my personality, or at least that is how they started. Ed takes my personality of being perpetually frustrated by things/people and being a low-key pessimist. Thom takes my ignorance as a beginning teacher who thinks he knows everything, but is actually an idiot about how things actually work. Scott Mackerel (the composer who you don’t see much of), is based off of me when I was a bachelor and didn’t get outside much. He is overly opinionated about things and can’t seem to reason with someone else who doesn’t have the same point of view. Alma is my geek side and likes all things Lord of the Rings.
4. Any chance of having a guest comic week? (Sent in by Rebecca Boddie, via Facebook)
Probably not. I’m a control freak. If people are visiting my site for the first time I want them to see a comic by me, and not someone else (they would be disappointed with my drawing if they saw someone else’s first, and then mine).
5. What advice would you give to a student aspiring to one day be a band director? (Sent in by Amelia Mixon, via Facebook)
Talk to your band director and many other band directors before you decide this is what you want to do for a living. Perhaps have schedule a full day where you are with the director from the moment they arrive at school until they leave from school so you can see what a day in the life is like, because it isn’t just about making music. There are many many different parts of the job that you don’t see as students that are essential to being a successful band director. There is a lot of not-fun stuff to do. It isn’t for everybody. You have to love music, but you have to, more importantly, love kids and want the best for them, even if it means working 16 hours a day, 6 days a week (some directors are laughing right now that I made it 6 days instead of 7).
If you have a question that you would like answered for a blog post in the future, please visit our contact page and send it to me there. Thanks!