Yes, I’m still alive.
Hi, I’m Walt Jaschek, a generally upbeat writer of comics and videos and this and that. Here I am hiking in Colorado, September, 2016. (As I prepare for a writing project, I like to rise in elevation and get the Big Picture. It’s an attitude for altitude.)
Now that we’ve cleared up my existence, what you want to know is, “What’s this site about?” It’s about…
…me. Having fun. With myself. Wait, that didn’t come out correctly. What I mean is, having fun, writing, in my…
…home office. This is in beautiful Ballwin, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, and I’ve been privileged to inhabit home offices like it since plunging into self-employment in (can you believe it?) 1988.
Oh sure, by business day, I’m often a…
…”ideation session leader.” (What’s the difference between an ideation session leader and a copywriter? Nicer pants. A writer wears jeans. An ideation session leader, khakis. It justifies a slightly higher hourly rate.)
But here’s the rub. These days, I’m wearing more jeans again. And a corduroy jacket. Which means I’m a…
…writer, gosh darn it.
Here I am in 1975, editor of the UMSL Current, visiting Washington D.C. as a Watergate-era, take-no-prisoners, write-our-way-out-of-this, student journalist. (And might it be obvious, aspiring actor?)
I graduated from UMSL in 1978 with a degree in Speech-Communications and an eye on a career in journalism.
So of course instead I went into…
…advertising. What can I say? I was weirdly wired for it. And so was a good friend since college, Paul Fey, who inspired me and invited me to help him create funny radio commercials, a genre we were proud to champion. Won some awards for ’em, too. Here’s a sample spot, a Clio-winner for “Best Use of Sound.”
And another, for the TV show Matlock, a Clio-winner for “Best Radio Copywriting.”
Paul’s company is still going strong at World Wide Wadio.
I kept going as a freelancer, writing in all media and styles, not all broadcast, not all funny. Here’s a print ad I wrote as part of a hospital campaign. It’s the kind of advertising I believe in.
For that (and stuff like it,) my clients and I won more awards, which I often take as blingy props to the colleges where I teach and guest-lecture. That’s fun.
But, wait! We’re leaving out a big part of my creative journey.
During those ad days, I co-existed in an alternate reality, writing, when I could, stories in my favorite medium of all: comic books.
Comics were my first love, and I’ve written (and sometimes drawn) my own since Third Grade. When the opportunity arose, a few years later, to merge my worlds and write a promotional comicbook series for McDonalds and the St. Louis Blues starring NHL Hall-of-Famer Brett Hull, I said…
“Cool, I’ll do it.”
Yes, there were some excursions into the comic mainstream…
…but mostly bursts of self-published, creator-owned indies.
It’s to that vibe — creating comedy via comics, cartoons, videos — this site is attuned. Or a-tooned.
Throughout my writing portfolio, you can peruse comic highlights.
There are even a few select pieces from my ad past, including the aforementioned funny radio commercials. (One of them for The Simpsons tv show, coincidentally.)
In the blog, we’ll go both into the past. And the future.
In the past, to find odd creations, memories, memorabilia…
…and into the future, as I write and post new stuff before your very eyes.
So you say, “Okay, we get the comics and comedy thing, good luck with that, but will you dip back into advertising if asked?”
Depends who’s asking!
How do you pronounce “Jaschek?” (Good Q.)
Is this the Walt who wrote those Brett Hull comicbooks? (An oddly specific Q.)
What’s the best way to contact Walt? (That’s better.)