One of the very first things that attracted me to my wife Kim was her exciting and fun childlike spirit. I think that was one of the first things we realized we had in common. Of course, that’s how this whole “Kim & Jason” thing started. Had we both been pessimistic, stuffy, and cynical, I doubt cartoon drawings would have entered the scene at all.
Some of the reasons I’ve put over two years of my life into this so far is because I love to draw, I love to make people laugh, and I love to encourage them to follow their dreams. Over the course of the time I’ve been working on this dream of mine, drawing silly pictures and hoping that maybe people would be interested in them, I’ve pondered the bigger picture. What do I really want out of this? To make a living at it? For sure. To make a million dollars? I wouldn’t complain. To become world famous? From what I hear, that’s pretty overrated.
I think that, perhaps not unsurprisingly, the more time I spend on “Kim & Jason”, and the more I tell people what I do, the more I think about childhood. Through “Kim & Jason”, I try to encourage people to “remember childhood.” I was fortunate to have a good one. And from the response I get from most of my readers, they did, too. But a lot of people didn’t. And a lot of kids won’t. And that really bothers me. I will admit, the world I portray with “Kim & Jason” is pretty saccharine and idyllic. Maybe I’ll someday be known as the Norman Rockwell of cartoonists. But although the world represented in “Kim & Jason” can seem pretty archaic, or even lost by today’s standards, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Heck, I lived it. When I was a kid, the world WAS pretty saccharine and idyllic. But today, kids are made to grow up too fast. And I sense a yearning in our country for a return to some of those simpler times.
As time passes, I seem to be more and more drawn to topics relating to childhood. Kim and I sponsor a little boy in Ethiopia through Compassion International because we think it stinks that kids have to think about where their next meal will come from. I have supported the National Adoption Center because I think every kid should have a home, and someone who loves them. I love what St. Jude Hospital does, and support their research, because it doesn’t seem right that there are kids that have to spend their childhoods going through chemotherapy. What the Make-A-Wish Foundation does is extraordinary, because it helps make kids’ dreams come true. I think child abuse is one of the worst evils in our society, which I why I admire what Childhelp USA is doing. CareNet is an astounding program that helps young pregnant women facing difficult decisions and provides opportunities for them to make a better life for themselves and their children. And as a Kindergarten teacher, Kim is passionate about programs to help parents be better parents.
I’ve felt strongly about these issues for a long time, but it’s kind of sad that I only just recently realized they all concern the topic of childhood. As time passes, I’ve begun to consider that perhaps, just maybe, there’s a reason I’ve been allowed to do “Kim & Jason” aside from the possibility of being “world famous.” I’m just one guy who wishes he could save the world (there’s that whole superhero complex again), but that’s not my job. I think Kim and I are making a difference simply by doing the little things that any regular person can do. As time passes, and I think about what I really want out of all this, my hope becomes clearer. I hope that somehow by following this dream, I may have the opportunity to contribute in unique ways to the causes I’m passionate about, thereby making a gigantic difference in the plight to make sure that the Childhood I write about in “Kim & Jason” is never lost.
You know, just the way you care and the example you guys set is pretty “world changing” to me.
We are not actually called to change the world, just our part of it. Coompassion is an excellent group we’ve been with for years. EVERYONE cold pony up a buck a day to save a kids life, and the kids are so great to write to. Ours has blossomed into a beautiful young woman now.I noticed your Compassion child is Ethiopian. We are adopting 5 kids from there soon! Where is yours from?
That is so exciting about the pending adoption, Steve! You know, I’m not actually sure what area of Ethiopia Hal is from. I do know that he likes to draw and play soccer. It has been so cool to see him grow up over the years.