When I first started making comics, I was living with a bunch of guys, old college friends. We had this deal. At the end of each day, they would ask me how far I'd gotten on my comic. And if I hadn't made my goals, they were supposed to make me feel really bad about myself. They happily obliged.
This is a profession for me, but I started off as a self-publisher working on my own schedule and my own stuff before moving on to graphic novels with First Second Books, where there was definitely a schedule, but it was very different from monthly comics.
I talk about religion because it's one of the ways human beings find power and belonging. Religion is more than just that - I think faith traditions give us ways to talk about experiences of the numinous, too - but power and belonging are a big part of it.
The Boxer Rebellion is a war that was fought on Chinese soil in the year 1900. The Europeans, the Japanese and their Chinese Christian allies were on one side. On the other were poor, starving, illiterate Chinese teenagers whom the Europeans referred to as the Boxers.