Joel Watson is a cartoonist who writes and draws a webcomic called HijiNKS Ensue, which he describes as “a semi-autobiographical comic about a lifelong geek and aspiring artist who turns his back on an unfulfilling but financially stable career in order to pursue art full time and set a better example for his daughter.”

I’ve read Joel’s comic for years, and I interviewed him for my book, Make It Mighty Ugly. It’s something he said during that interview that inspired me to reach out to him again, to talk specifically about his compulsion to make art and tell stories, and how he balances his need to do those things with the needs of the audience he relies on for his livelihood.

(My conversation with Joel went on for about another fifteen minutes beyond what I included in this episode. We talked primarily about stay-at-home working parenting, and I enjoyed the conversation so much that I’m going to I released it as a bonus podcast episode next week.)

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