Three weeks and three comic strips. So far, so good. This one took me all of 11/2 hours to write/draw/scan. I’m also working quite diligently on drawing the 42 pages of Chapter 2 of BLINK: So It Goes. Those pages take quite a bit longer for me to write/draw/scan. If I can stay on course with what I’ve been doing for the past month or so, I think I’ll be able to finish drawing the chapter around Thanksgiving. Then there’s the (long long overdue) Kickstarter rewards/commissions that I need to work into my schedule. I’m sure that I can figure out how to accomplish those things eventually (as well as doing all the usual day-to-day life stuff). Of course, that’s all dependent on my remaining sane.
When I’m out and about working on Blink, people who take a look at my original art often comment on the detailed nature of my work. “How long did that take you? It must have taken forever.” Well, sometimes, it seems that way. It usually takes me anywhere from 10 to 15 hours to draw a single page of Blink. Sometimes it’s less, but when you factor in all the time spent writing, sketching, drawing the layout, then getting to the final pencils and inks, and then scanning, clean-up, tones, digital lettering… 10 to 15 hours might be a conservative estimate. I’m sure you’ll notice that I don’t do very many online updates on the progress of the book. I’d like to, but I’m way too much of a perfectionist and sort of want to show off stuff from the finished product. (I’m only about a third of the way done with the second chapter of So It Goes).
On Monday, I thought about a way to keep Blink in the eye of the reading public. Every so often, I come up with (or overhear) little ideas for quips, insights or whatever that my Blink characters can say. But it’s stuff that’d be more apt for a comic strip, rather than a graphic novel. I’ve done Blink comic strips in the past, but I approached those more like mini-comic pages of the comic book, rather than simple comic strips. That meant that each strip took me a looong time to create. If I was going to go back to making a Blink comic strip, I’d need to keep it simple so that I can stay focused on the ongoing (and time consuming) creation of the graphic novel.
And so, I have developed the Blink Sketchbook Strip. The first one took me all of an hour and a half to write, draw, scan and clean-up. Nothing fancy. Nothing time-consuming. Just a simple comic strip. It’s a challenge for me to keep it this simple, but if I want to do this thing on a weekly basis (which is my plan), then I cannot spend much time on it. I also can’t let myself worry about whether it’s good or bad. I can’t get caught up in details and I just need to do it.
Yesterday, I celebrated another year around the Sun. Thanks to all those who wished me well via Facebook, Phone and In Person).
To celebrate the day of my birth, I did one of my very favorite things to do: I made comics. I began working on the final art for the second chapter of BLINK: So It Goes. (I'll be sure to post samples of the work as I go along.) Afterward, I reflected on the time I've spent on this fine Earth and what I have accomplished thus far. I'd like to think that I've done okay.
This morning, I happened upon ZEN PENCILS (via the BuzzFeed website) which is a web comic by Australian illustrator, Gavin Aung Than. Gavin turns inspirational quotes by wise/ intelligent/ compassionate people into wise/ intelligent/ compassionate and inspirational comics.
The comic that drew me to his site adapted a bit from Neil Gaiman's commencement address at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. After reading it, I followed Gavin's advice and stopped what I was doing and watched it. And then I read it. It's damned good. (Cripes, it's Neil Gaiman! Of course it's good!)
And now, I'll stop futzing around online and follow Neil's advice (there's plenty to be had) and make a few mistakes ("...make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes...") and I will Make Good Art.