First, tell us a little about yourself. And where are you from?
Answer: My name is Jason Pittman, and I am a self-published writer/artist for the titles, The War for Kaleb, and Leftovers. I operate under the publishing imprint Leftovers LTD.
I was born in Hampton, VA, and moved around a lot once I got into college, where I attended both The Joe Kubert School of Cartooning and The School of Visual Arts.
As an ice breaker… What superpower would you want? And why?
Answer: When I was a kid, I would have to say flight, or super strength, for typical reasons. But now I’m a middle-aged man, I would want super speed, but not to go fast. I would want the super heightened metabolism that comes with it, so I can eat whatever I want. But the more I think about that doesn’t sound like such a great idea either. Hell of a grocery bill.
What was the TOUGHEST thing you’ve had to face in your career as an artist and how did you overcome it?
Answer: Excepting the fact that I may never make a living off of making comics. After trying to break-in to the comics industry for a while, I entered quite a few hiatuses. Each one of them seemed to be more difficult to get out of than the last. Questioning myself and my abilities, are something I go through every time I pick up the pen or pencil. And I find the older I get, the harder it becomes.
Lately what I have been doing is trying to get in the frame of mind I had when I was in High School, and how I used to draw just for the hell of it. I wasn’t going out for a job, even though that was the ultimate goal. But back then, with my life ahead of me, it was easier not to focus on that. Now, I just don’t worry about that anymore. I just write and draw comics, because that is what I want to do. I concentrate on the journey, and the task at hand, rather than the reward, or what this medium is going to bring me.
The description of your comic says that the main character has anxiety and it affects the story in a big way. What was your inspiration for the storyline?
Answer: My late Aunt Barbara and my own experiences with heightened anxiety were the source of my inspiration. Since we both lived with and dealt with anxiety, the story manifested, kind of by accident. Personally, I have dealt with anxiety in some form or fashion, all my life. In my later years, it had progressed to the point that my life was taking a turn for the worse. My work suffered, and so did my relationships with my family and friends. One day, the anxiety got so bad that I began taking it out on others, particularly my own wife. Eventually, the idea, of how the world made me feel, became a catalyst for The War for Kaleb.
The story itself started, and ended, as a way to examine my own feelings, and why everything at the time didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t know what to do with those feelings, so I made a story about it loosely based off my own experiences.
The main character has a relationship but his anxiety disorder gets in the way. Do you believe that this happens in a real way in real life?
Answer: I do, because it’s what happened to me. Again, I only wrote this book based on my own experiences. It really helped give me insight to what I deal with on a daily basis living with my own anxiety. It was like working out an algebra problem kind of.
What was cool though, was the readers coming to me after reading the book and letting me know how much it had helped them. They seem to be very happy to know that they are not alone, and more importantly, someone got them enough to be able to accurately describe them in a work of fiction. When someone tells me the book felt like it was written about them, it is the best feeling in th world, and makes me feel like my story stayed true to the message.
Do you believe your character personifies those with anxiety? And do you recommend the book to those with the same disorder?
Answer: In a general sense, I guess so. That is a tough question to answer because everyone is so different. I mean, even people who have anxiety have different times of anxiety. There is separation anxiety, agoraphobia, chronophobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD, etc. It would be impossible to encompass the different spectrums of anxiety in one book like mine.
That being said, I do think that the book is general enough to help anyone of these types of people, find a relatable quality to the book, and would definitely recommend it to them. I also would recommend it to anyone who has a loved one that suffers from anxiety. The secondary characters, Addey and Mike, are written in honor of them.
Do you believe there is a stigma against those with mental illness? And how does your comic affect the stigma?
Answer: I feel there is probably this sense that most people with anxiety, or depression, just don’t do enough to snap themselves out of their own mindsets, and “get over it”. It is an unfortunate reality that dates way back, particularly in this country. “What is wrong with them?” is a question that is rarely asked, because the person asking actually wants the answer.
I’m hoping that my comic might deal with this stigma by giving everyone a comic that is accessible by not only people who deal with anxiety, but also those that are just into the superhero kind.
I’m also thinking that due to the fact that the main character Kaleb, is a male, that people break conventions and standards, and understand that men can suffer from mental illness too, and that there is nothing wrong with them expressing their feelings, and emotions.
What do you want people to know before reading the comic?
Answer: Mainly that this story comes from a very honest, sincere place. There is nothing in the story that I have not experienced personally in some form of fashion.
How can we find you on social media, the internet, and online stores?
Answer: You can purchase the book at:
My website is:
And my social media is: