An Open Letter to David Petersen, Creator of ‘Mouse Guard’

mouseguard winter

Dear David Petersen,

The first time we met was at Free Comic Book Day a few years ago, up in a little NH city. Just a small little moment in time, as all our encounters have been.

After what seemed a long line of people asking you to sign TMNT covers, we finally got to meet the creator of Mouse Guard. Your eyes seemed to light up as we gushed about our love for your creation, like a mom being told her kids are super amazing and kind.

We were a young nerdy couple, playing MMOs and reading comics together. I never cared for the superhero universes too much, and Mouse Guard was such an amazing story, with such attention to detail in the illustrations.

My partner always commented on your killer line art skills as an inspiration of his, and how he would study your panels. He taught me to appreciate comic art and all the work and dedication that goes into a finished product. Gaming was more my style, and I never got into the superhero comics.

Mouse Guard was something we could appreciate together.

open letter to david petersen
When our little family met you at Boston Comic Con, B was six months old, sleeping, all wrapped up on my torso. You mentioned how awesome we were for bringing him. This time our eyes lit up, as we all joked about raising the next generation “correctly.”

Your panel on self-publishing that day again inspired my partner. Your story of how you brought drawings of mice to a convention, and listened to the calling to turn them into something more, creating the Black Axe… all of it.

I remember him listening intently to your words. Soaking it all in. Here is a guy who did it.

Last night, you wowed me again in your AMA on Twitch. It wasn’t the footage of the “sizzle reel” or the impressive set models. It wasn’t even the immense grace with which you answered the same questions over and over that made me write this letter.

It was your heart.

During the AMA you touched upon internet bullying when you talked about the opinions people have shared with you, and also the emotional burdens of life. You talked about impostor syndrome and how so many people feel it, even Paul McCartney.

My partner watched as you opened up about your mother’s condition and the amount of energy it takes to care for a loved one in those situations. You got vulnerable about your feelings, and I’m so thankful and grateful that you did.
It’s so important for men, like my partner, to see other men open up and be vulnerable. It’s so important to create a space to talk about emotions, and you created that for him last night.

His grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s. It was hard for him to deal with, and it’s something he doesn’t talk about. I can think of, maybe, a handful of times in our 14-year relationship.

During your AMA, he opened up about it in chat. It was a small moment, and he will say it’s no big deal.

But trust me, as his wife… it is.

So keep doing you. Take the time you need to take care of you and your loved ones first, and remember that in doing that, and sharing your own personal story, you are creating change in the biggest ways.

And when this small moment passes, we cannot wait to see what you’ll do next.

May the Guard Prevail!

Jenn Mac

Watch the AMA here.

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