I first met Journey sometime in the 20th century. We had started a gaming group with some other guys, had a falling out with a couple of them, moved what was left of the game to Journey’s place, and then Journey showed us the part of himself that he kept hidden: The twisted, angry , truth-telling jester. This is the guy that you see on the World of Warships stream. But I also saw another side of him: The thoughtful, joyful, sometimes insecure artist. This is the side you see on the art stream. There are other sides to him, but those are the sides he has shown to the public.
We became fast friends, best friends, tested by a bunch of shit both literal and metaphorical. And we also became artistic collaborators.
Our first collaboration was a roleplaying game. It was about kids growing up in the 1950’s who find a portal into a pagan-fairy realm in which they are quite powerful. The game had some cool innovations: The kids’ strengths in the fairy realm were based on their weaknesses in the real world. In a sense, the fairy realm was a bit of wish-fulfillment, and even though it was dangerous, the real world was cruel to the kids a, and the kids were basically helpless in it, as they are today. Another innovation: Both Journey and I GMed at the same time. But our group hated the game. They hated the helplessness of the children, and, now the game is lost, but I still love it.
Our second collaboration, begun years ago, is what you see now on the art stream, the stories that would have formed the comic we planned to publish — Huzzah!
Our collaborative process is this: We discuss an idea for a story, I write a rough draft, Journey critiques it, then I rewrite it, and so it goes, until Journey and I are happy with it, and then he draws it. You might think this is no fun for a writer, but this process was more than fun, it was necessary: When I began writing, I needed to outsource my critical voice — it was blocking me, telling me how much my work sucked. Working with someone else helped me silence that voice in my head. I’m better now, but I still like working with Journey a lot, and I am glad that Twitch and the people who convinced him to Twitch and his fans on Twitch have brought him back to his art. It was miserable seeing him stuck, so thanks you all.