Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Shhhhhh!

In October of 2004, Mark Maynard suggested that it would be cool if I turned one of my stories at the time into a comic for his ink & paper 'zine, 'Crimewave USA'. I said, "Surrrre. No problem!"

And that was pretty much that until I received a package from Mark a few weeks ago that contained a nicely assembled book of some of the comics that he had done for an Ann Arbor newspaper and a pleasant "Happy New Year" card that also said, "So, how about that comic you said you would do for Crimewave?"

My mind raced for a second upon reading it for two reasons: First, it was kinda implied that he was holding off publication of the 'zine on account of me. Second, "When the hell did I write that story?"

That's right. I had an entire year and two months to get the comic done, and I hadn't even started it. Didn't even know where in my archives it was. Hell, to be honest, until he mentioned it, I'd forgotten about it entirely. It's very obvious that I don't work well without some kind of concrete deadline.

So I emailed him, asking what the status of things were and when he would need it by. On January 10th he wrote back and said, "OK you have two weeks. Can you fit it in one 8.5 x 11 page, or do you need more?"

I replied that I should be able to fit it on a single page, but at the back of my mind I was thinking, "uh oh..." I don't think the entire text of the original story would have fit on a single 8.5"x11" page at 9 pt. type and 9 pt. leading, much less drawings along with it.

That meant rewriting.

Plus I didn't know what style to do it in. Should I go the tried and true "Half-Assed Comics" route? Should I do something with the cut paper look I've been working on? A bit of both? Something else entirely? Is that a tumor throbbing behind my eye? So, naturally, I did what I always tend to do when I feel overwhelmed. I put it in the back of my mind and hoped it would be sorted out by pixies.

Stupid pixies.

So I spent all last weekend, the final weekend of my deadline, stressing about it, mostly in my head. For a good chunk of the weekend I couldn't work on it because of other engagements that couldn't be postponed. When I found myself with a tinch of time I couldn't kick start the drawing bits of my brain. I WAS however able to re-write the story to a size that should fit depending on the style I used.

Long story short (HAHA! AS IF!) two late nights later I managed to finish it. Right at the squeaky edge of the 14 day deadline. As of this moment I still haven't heard back from Mark, although I did send the files off to him. Overall I think it turned out pretty good. I had an email waiting from Mark this morning and he said he loved it and it will definitely be in the next issue.

Now, of course I can't show you the full comic. That would be unfair to Mark. I'll show a piece, however – a tiny piece – and if you would like to see the rest I encourage you to buy the next copy of 'Crimewave USA' once it is printed. After it's printed I'll show another teaser piece and provide a link to the where you can order it.

Here you go:



Does that leave you wanting more, or what?

6 comments:

Derek Knight said...

Elvis getting kicked in the nards ALWAYS leaves me wanting more.

Also: dude, those aren't pixies.

ottoblotto said...

Yes, about those pixies, where can I get some? I need a lot of sorting.

PS Thanks for visiting.

Heather said...

I love the cartoon - I showed it around today to co-workers and parents. They all enjoyed it.

Andy K said...

I didn't know Terrence & Phillip were zombies. I thought they were Canadian.

Kathleen said...

Okay, two reasons for me to pick up the next issue of Crimewave...

Anonymous said...

This is actually much more detailed that what Collin submitted to me.

-Mark

"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."