Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been busy with the holidays and processing edits on the first 20 pages. Getting ready to start chapter 4 after the New Year.
I decided to go to a meeting for aspiring comic book creators in NYC. I agreed to it and then forced myself not to think about it. Meeting new people is difficult. Throw in the fact you’re opening up about something close to you, something you’ve placed a lot of work into and it can be a bit nerve-racking. If I pulled anything away from my art school critique experiences its that the usual annoying personalities will be there-but hoped a few good eggs show up too.
I was not disappointed to see both groups well represented.
One guy, a screenwriter and not an artist, (maybe he misread the description of the group) was putting together “high concept” storylines (his words) that would instantly sell. He just needed to find financing for the projects. For example basketball players abducted by aliens to fight an intergalactic war- totally high concept right (not sure what that phrase means)? After looking at my work he attempted to recruit me to draw storyboards and when I told him my graphic novel (not a screenplay) involved a school shooting he informed me it wasn’t high concept enough. Hollywood would never pick it up. I wanted to ask him if I needed more aliens (I’ve drawn several basketball players in “Sacco” already- so I had that base covered).
I also met two guys that were in the beginning stages of their graphic novels. One was a writer and had a friend who was handling the artwork. The story-line was dark and the art matched it perfectly. The other person didn’t bring any material but could articulate his plot with great clarity and made his idea sound intriguing and not a simple one line blurb.
The screenwriter panned their ideas as low concept also.
Next week’s wedding is in Chicago. Which means time to see the baby bro! He’s 30 years-old and missing his front teeth. No, he’s not a hockey player. My doppelgänger knocked them out with a beer bottle.
In the interim I’ve started drawing with blue lead. I stumbled upon the fact that they sell blue mechanical pencil lead (even on amazon)- which surprised me. The lead should be invisible to scanners if they are set to black/white. But some sources contest that point. I hope it does work, because I suspiciously believe erasing the normal lead (that scanner typically pick up) damages the ink.
More so, due to actively preparing written material to send to publishers I am tinkering with placing the graphic novel online. I would love to publish it. But it will be three years until I finish and the reality is if I can’t find a publisher it will mostly likely surface here anyways. Also most indie comic cartoonists don’t make that much money. I have a decent job and can draw in my spare time. I’m lucky I can do this. It would be great to be paid for it, but this industry is built off people who love the media and love making it- not dollar signs.
When I first began “Sacco” it was to open avenues for future illustration assignments. But now I like telling stories with images. If I get an illustration job- great! If I get a book published- even better! Nonetheless, Illustration-wise, drawing 250+ pages has definitely helped my process and placing myself on the regiment of two pages a week has really sped up my delivery time. (It used to be about two weeks for one illustration- one!)
Erin’s Wedding in Wisco this weekend. I’m still dragging my feet here- only finishing two pages in three weeks. I feel like a snail. But after this I have three weeks until the next wedding so six more pages will get done and then seven to go (or three more weeks).
Why is it still hot, New York? 92 degrees today, really? Fall hurry up!
Nervous Wreak City. I’m planning on visiting it this weekend. I heard the weather sucks there but after the week I had at my day job I might as well get hyper-critical about my drawings and buy a one-way ticket to NWC.
From my recent frolic in Central Park with my old friend Blair, I was reminded of an interview with Shane Carruth, the creator of the films Primer and Upstream Color. His first film, Primer, he made for under $7,000- but during the process of putting it together he had nervous breakdowns almost every three weeks. So much so, he came to the point of possibly scrapping what film he already had finished due to the stress.
Being an artist and working alone is hard. You are your own motivator. And unfortunately you are the last person you want to trust to keep you motivated.
My remedy for this?
It’s much easier to be like those fitness gurus who place motivational signs in front of their treadmills like “Run Fatty Run!” or “One last mile!” And that’s what I largely attempt to do.
Instead of tossing everything out I recall what Craig Thompson said at a book reading. Things become clearer perspective-wise once you finish the work- but you must finish the work first. Just imagine if Shane didn’t finish Primer, the world would have lost such a great film. So even though I don’t feel like drawing at all right now I need to look to the post-it on my computer that say: “Run Fatty Run!”