Josh Bayer said in a review of one of my books that he suspected that I was a self-taught cartoonist. I resist labels such as "self-taught," because I believe all of us learn from someone or something, even if not in an academic, tutorial, or apprentice setting. I've read some books on cartooning that my parents gave me as a kid, that I've checked out at the library, or that I've bought in recent years. Plus, I've made friends with people who've taught me stuff, so I count peer exchanges of information as being taught as well.
But, I've learned some lessons the hard way, I'm afraid. In 1999 I completed the first issue of Richy Vegas Comics. In that issue I drew some people who antagonized me in real life as victims of my version of the Whitman Massacre. They seemed to not take that well at all after I sent one of them a copy of my book, and so a whispering campaign may have begun in the succeeding years.
It took the self-publication and distribution of issue four, "Anita, You're the Reason I'm Not In Prison," where I tell my side of the story of the incident that upset me so much in the first place that involved these people; it took that to put the kibosh on their shit. So, I will apply the lessons I've learned from that episode, and not use these women's likenesses as the likenesses of fictional characters in my book. You can do anything you want with comics!