To a person pursing a passion project, the hardships to follow a dream and make it a reality seems incredibility tough. Aside from the factors to get a project started, the internal conflicts alone can halt the processes in the beginning. From self criticism, the nagging hunt for perfection and the anxiety of doubt makes following that dream hard enough. Ethan Young chased his dream and turned his stressful hardships into illustrated entertainment. Life Between Panels is a collection of Ethan’s webcomic Tails that he created while trying to turn his get his foot into the comic industry.
Taking real life inspirations, Ethan created Tails, a semi-autobiographical story about his life in NYC and trying to make his mark in the comic world. The cartoon version of Ethan juggles his time with work, people and cats. A lot of cats. When not taking the odd job to make rent, Ethan was trying to publish a comic strip Crusader Cat, a super powered cat that fights evil and saves the day. But the realities of being a struggling artist and the building pressures from his personal life finally come to a boiling point when his imaginary creations start to mix into the real world.
Tails blends Ethan’s troubles he encountered with a touch of fantasy. The pressures of dealing with family acceptations, love life and the uncertainties of pursing his passion is enhanced by the fictional world he created. Life Between Panels is a fun, geeky coming of age story that should strike a chord to any reader that has every felt doubt about their work. Any person that has attempted to create or express themselves through their labors had to faced similar issues, and its reassuring to know that others had went through the same thing. The story telling and artwork grow stronger as the story progresses, reflecting the growth of real world Ethan’s craft. Earlier chapters will read like a diary entry while later chapters will have much more depth to explore. Ethan flexes his artistic skills with fun character designs that range from hipster city dwellers, parody macho meatheads with guns and furry rebels. Life Between Panels is a great read for anyone looking for inspiration to chase their dreams no matter what life throws at them.
The Tails Ethan Young might had reached his conclusion, but Ethan Young’s journey in the comic industry hasn’t stopped. Ethan had won Independent Publisher Book Award for Best Graphic Novel for Tails in 2007 and would later win Reuben award for best graphic novel for Nanjing: The Burning City in 2016. Ethan has since worked on many projects and is currently releasing a new volume of The Battles of Bridget Lee.