Getting Old

At 30 I knew everything.
I did “cool, different” comics, politically active and went to El Salvador to actually learn about truth justice and the American way. At 31, I chased a girl to California, got dumped and diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.At the time, there was nothing that could be done for MS other than die, thanks Oakland for ruining my life.
Maybe, maybe not.

But in life drawing class I met a cool hippie chick doing yoga. Thanks Oakland for introducing me to the love of my life. Marriage and kid followed, but comics collapsed, my cool different comics were hated by the comics editors who controlled the work. They made sure that I had no work and no health care.
Maybe, maybe not.

By 40, I could barely walk. The cool hippie chick attacked the health care system to get me access to Copaxone, a new drug for MS.The drug worked and play with kids was again possible. Commercial comics were gone for me but I went other ways, learning to program, non-profit work, teaching HTML.

At 50 I ran the get out to vote for one tiny little section of Minden Nevada from a teacher’s home, we elected a Black guy President of the United States. Then we passed the ACA, the health care that had been the threat hanging over my head, the black cloud of my life lifted.
Maybe, maybe not.

Now at 60, phone banks every week leading up to another get out the vote weekend. Now Republicans want to take away peoples health care, bankrupt our country and drive it into hell, maybe, maybe not. I’m doing the comics I really want to do for the first time in my life, maybe they’ll make me famous, maybe not. So in sixty years what have I learned?

Maybe, maybe not is a good motto for life.

3 replies on “Getting Old”

Thank you, Mark.
I loved your comics as a young teen, and you drew a killer Nightcrawler sketch for me and my brother at a Wondercon in Oakland. You also gave me a US Out of El Salvador poster, and though I didn’t fully get what was at stake there, it made leftie politics seem cool and accessible, which is something.
I’m really very sorry that mainstream comics couldn’t appreciate your work. And I’m really very happy that you found a partner, had kids, and did us all the solid of keeping on with politics.
I share your concerns about the future. I too have a kid, and I worry about the long tail consequences of the current administration. Hopefully we can equip them to do better. What’s more, we’ve got some fight left.
So happy birthday Mark Badger, and many more.

Thanks for the wishes, there’s some serious fight out there right now it’s really inspiring. Nice to know that lefty politics can be cool 🙂

Hi Mark,
Thing about getting old, is that the new reality runs parallel to the reality of the old. You have been on my mind lately, along with Gary Siegel, Paul Burgher, Scott Wilson, Iona Laughinghouse/Perry and Doug Denton. I am glad I was able to read your bio, & hope the next chapter of your life is the best yet.

Best wishes,

Dave Daw

P.S. – You were SO right about needing to be born again, sorry about the immature arguments – Dave

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.