Marc Alan Fishman: The Marc Cave


While the world outside continues to get disgustingly scarier, this week I’m choosing to look inward for peace. Piece of mind. Peace of soul. Reese’s Pieces.

Not long after my wife and I purchased our home (and I guess for the sake of being optimistic, I’ll dub this our first home) I also purchased a new iMac desktop computer. Given the amount of freelance design work I was picking up, having a home system ready to earn me money sure made a lot of sense. And it also helped that the horsepower allowed Unshaven Comics to complete issue after issue, and even record and post 169 episodes of our award-losing podcast. The iMarc, as I’d dubbed it, has been the centerpiece of my digital life now for over five years. It’s been an amazing companion, muse, and canvas to me. But it’s started to show its age. Which means – like all red-blooded chauvinist males – it was time to trade up to something newer and sexier. Sorry honey!

So with a few freelance checks burning a hole in my pocket, and an iMac facing overload on its 2TB hard drive, I sought the advice of my computing community. And as a sign of my pending age, rationale, and utter unhipness… I’ve succumbed to the Dark Side. I aligned myself with an amazingly talented hobby system admin, and together we built a Windows PC. It’s a monstrosity of a machine. The tower is a hulking metal cadaver easily twice as tall as my current Mac. Inside, it boasts the latest and greatest i7 processor, enough Ram to choke a Dodge dealership, 2 hard drives (because if you’re not running your OS on an SSD you’re just pathetic), and the side panel is glass so I can see the onboard fully-customizable LED lights inside.

If Tim Allen were here, he’d give us a signature grunt.

But beyond the listing of specs, and additional toys – what, I didn’t mention my dual 27” LED monitors, and new Cherry MX Brown mechanical keyboard yet? – comes a renewed sense of purpose. As I’ve taken to slowly pull apart my iMac’s repository, I look back on the last five years in this man cave of mine. I’m a little lighter on the scale (thanks crippling diseases and your delicious medicinal counterparts!), a little thicker in the beard, and a lot heavier on the love for my family. Amongst the gigabytes of project work is hope, desperation, blood, sweat, tears, and embittered compromise. It’s bittersweet to turn in my official Apple Card™ when I move iMarc to my parents’ home – to become my mother’s testing ground for Photoshop. But, as with so many things… I’d grown up without paying attention.

This leads me around to my point this week: our secret spaces where we create. You see, for many of us here at ComicMix, our workaday worlds revolve around the digital word and pixel. Be it a script from John or Denny, or a patented rant by Michael Davis or EIC Mike “Hubba Bubba BBQ” Gold… the screen is our canvas from which we communicate to fans abroad. I’m always curious to see the spaces then of my friends-in-arms.

For me, it’s an old clunker of an Executive pleather chair that rolls up to my IKEA desk where my new beast rests. I’ve upgraded my desktop landscape to accommodate the new digs accordingly. But in essence… my space to create is cold and clean. Behind me, I’m flanked with a cadre of Nerf weaponry, and I’m surrounded by action figures and keepsakes from a life of nerding abroad. To my right, a dinged up and dented acoustic guitar (played when I need to procrastinate). To my far left? My son’s entertainment center. Now, let’s be clear: I own the TV, the Xbox, the Nintendo, the games, the controllers, et al; but Bennett plays it enough to ensure that he’d assume liability when I finally get struck by lightning after snarking too hard at Dan DiDi– HEY! Watch it Lightning Lad! But I digress.

So, I ask of you, my loyal readers: if you are an artist of any sort, what space do you call home? What makes it yours? Is it the tech, the toys, or the trash on the floor that helps you make the work you’re most proud of?