simple thing--I watched America react to 9/11 in such a way that it pulled into focus its general inability to face reality. I started seeing Americans and American entities that I previously trusted doing things to betray that trust. This in-your-face choice to ignore our own mistakes, as a people, made me angry and filled me with a feeling of powerlessness. So, what else could I do?
To be clear, there is no point that I can recall where I said "I'm going back to drawing BALLPOINT!". I think there was a trigger where I was told to be someplace at a time by an employer who suddenly changed their story. When I could easily point to proof that the employer had said one thing but then claimed they'd said something different, it made me angry. Of course, I couldn't express that anger on the spot because I didn't want to risk getting fired. So, I must have decided to express it in a drawing.
Looking at this strip now, I can't recall any of the specifics that inspired it. Who the employer was, what the job was (I was a temp for a while and I also did a some contract copy writing around that time) and what I had shown up early for are all facts I can't recall. However, there must have been a lot of things that had gotten on my nerves because I drew a bunch more BALLPOINT ADVENTURES comic strips in the last quarter of 2003.
The sad thing about being an independent cartoonist is that there's really not much money in the gig. You do it because you have something to say and, sadly, you can't always say what you need to because you've got a dayjob that sucks your creative energy dry. Over 2004 and 2005 I only drew a handful of BALLPOINT strips. In 2006, I drew about 9 months' worth of weeklies. For the next decade, BALLPOINT was definitely an off-and-on-again project. However, by 2015, I was fully dedicated to weeklies, though, late last year I did stop drawing for several weeks due to my employment situation. But this is the way of artists, sadly. 2016 marks my second attempt to do new strips weekly all year long and if I can find enough money to keep a roof over my head and food on my plate, I fully expect to draw 52 new strips this year.
There is a big however and that is that you can easily help artists like me--for as little as $1/day, you can support me through my Patreon page at patreon.thepete.com. If I get enough support, I plan on drawing BALLPOINT ADVENTURES daily which has been a goal of mine for years. Any amount helps! Pledge $8 a month and I will draw a comic where Billy Ballpoint praises you by name (or insults you, your choice)! Want something physical for your money? Buy issue #1 of INKSREME BALLPOINT ADVENTURES for just $5!!
Don't want to drop a thin dollar on your favorite stick-figure artiste? Then spread the Good Word about BALLPOINT ADVENTURES to all of your friends! Follow me on Twitter and RT the BALLPOINT strips that I post to Twitter every Monday and Thursday. You can also follow all of my new comics on Tapastic!