Tuesday, November 27, 2007

BREAKIN' PENS

What a night!

I broke a flange off my last No.99 Japanese nib on that Quiet Bird-Man drawing. Then I split my last Hunt 107 on a word balloon. I almost stopped for the night, but I found a fresh Hunt 102 — never used! That took a little getting reaccustomed to. I had gotten used to the very flexible and durable No.99.

I actually prefer the line you get with the 102. It's got a bit more shape to it. The Japanese nibs last longer (you can even bend them back after you split them) and they give you a more consistent line. That's actually a bit of a problem for me. You don't get that sharpness you get with the 102. And that means you don't get those scallopped twists. But the 102s don't last long.

Also, my pen holder sucks. The hole is too wide (story of my life). I've got a little masking tape around the nib, but I can't get it to that perfect thickness. It's like I've got it Two Bearsed when I really need that Just Right.

I need to order a few boxes when I get back from Florida.

Anyway, the short of it is that I'm not getting this page done tonight.

Monday, November 26, 2007

THE FIVE-DAY AMBITIONS

Emailed to myself from the office for later posting.

How will I spend my five days in Florida? Six things I can count on:

1. It's going to be in the 70s to low 80s all week. I suspect I won't
do much swimming.
2. Wednesday itself is travel and catching up with the folks.
3. There will possibly be a day of extended family.
4. There will probably be some The Wire watching.
5. I have three mangas to read: Monster 11, Tekkon Kinkreet and
Phoenix 1.
6. The sixth day is the return home.

But somewhere in there is a lot of downtime. Certainly some of it
will be spent relaxing. The rest?

The rest is for four things:

1. Writing upcoming pages of Kaiju Jugoruma.
2. Writing what I'm going to call Untitled Short Action Thing.
3. Writing what I'm going to call Untitled Art Book Thing.
4. Writing what I'm going to call Untitled Graphic Novel.

That's a lot of writing. What I'd like to come home with are these
four things:

1. 10 Pages of Kaiju Jugoruma completely thought out and ready to be
turned into full-on pages.
2. The entire Short Action Thing written and ready to be turned into
full-on pages.
3. An outline for the Art Book Thing worked out.
4. The first draft of the Graphic Novel's opening chapter worked out
and an outline for the whole book.

BETTER PUSHIN' FOR A BIGGER CUSHION

Sent to myself from work via email.

14 pages of EMAW 10 done in about 42 days. That's got me on target
for 50 pages on March 14. I'd love to push that up a bit, but we'll
see if it's even possible. I expect to finish page 15 tonight. That
won't really affect the scheduling much. What WILL mess the schedule
up is my upcoming long sojourn to Florida. I'll be doing work, but
not getting much Kaiju Jugoruma work done. I certainly won't be
getting any completed KJ pages done. I leave for Florida on
Wednesday, and return on Monday afternoon. So, there's any Kaiju work
I get done tonight and Tuesday night and then it all has to wait
until next Monday afternoon. I have given myself an extra day off on
Tuesday to play a little catch-up before returning to the day job.
That's going to shift my output from a one page/three day average
to... three pages/10 day average. Surprisingly, that isn't all that
big a shift and it leaves me in a good position if I do another
blowout week like I did two weeks ago. Actually, it means I pretty
much HAVE to do another blowout week (six-seven pages in seven days)
just to stay at a one page/three day average.

Whoo! Okay, so that's something to look forward to. The REAL trick is
doing TWO blowout weeks after the trip to Florida. That would be some
serious cushion going into the holidays. Putting me just past the
halfway mark as I head into the New Year. But, to put it all into
perspective, it would also mean doing about as much work in two weeks
as I've done in a month and a half. It would be nice to see if I
could do it.

The next thing to look at is the Holidays. Holidays are the worst,
with all the shopping and the time spent. The more cushion, the
better. Of course, it's probably a good idea to knock those holidays
down to as few as possible. I'm sure there will be some sort of
Marcos Day and the Time, so that's one. Then there's shopping for
Christmas. If I can narrow that down to two days, I'm golden. And
then there's Christmas, a day I'd like to narrow down to one this
year. After that, the only concern I have is New Year's Eve. We'll
see if I have to do that or not.

It seems fair to say that the two weeks around Marcos' birthday and
Chrismas is going to be a bit of a mess. What would be awesome is if
the office gets the 24th off and the 21st is a half day. It's not on
the schedule yet, but a four-and-a-half-day weekend right there would
be the Boones.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

EMAW 10 PAGE 14

So, I erase all the pencils, and applied a few corrections. Then I cut the page in half, horizontally to fit on the scanner (the page is drawn at 11x14, the scanner can scan at close to 9x12). I scan each half at 600 dpi greyscale with the contrast turned all the way up. I can get pretty fine detail this way (like the driver's beard) and pretty much eliminate most any residual pencil. It also evens the blacks out, balancing the original piece's uneveness due to different applications and eraser (the nibbed lines stay pretty true in the original because of the amount of ink they lay down per mark, but the brush and the Pitt pen lose some depth when erasing).

Then I import the images into Photoshop and rotate them 90° so they are oriented properly. Next, I crop the images to remove any excess white edge and to get them as close to square as possible. Then I bump the dpi up to 1200 and convert them into bitmap files at 800 dpi with a 50% threshhold. Then I convert the images back to greyscale. This gets the files to printing size and pretty much nullifies any marks that aren't ink.




Later, I'll merge the two images into a single .psd (Photoshop Document) page, which will involve resizing them down to fit. Then I'll print it out and see if there are any digital corrections that need to be made (correcting for dust or lines crossing over the panel borders.

After that, I'll add the page to a printer spread and print it out for a dummy book. After checking the dummy book for problems, I'll get to the business of printing the full books.

EMAW 10 PAGE 14 PROGRESS 8

Inking is done. Now I just wait for everything to be dry so I can erase the pencils and do any onpage corrections:


EMAW 10 PAGE 14 PROGRESS 7

Taking a quick break away from the mind-numbing nibwork:



A: My brushes. All sable blends, from #2s to #12s. When I need a brush, I grab the one of the appropriate size furthest to the left. Once I've decided that I've used that brush enough (before it gets clogged with ink or when the next step requires a different tool (whichever comes first), I clean the brush in the kitchen sink (metal!) and put it back in the row on the far right. This way, I give the brushes a chance to dry out before using them again (can't ink with a watery brush).

B: Ink! I've got two 'jars' of ink going at the same time (when I'm smart). The open jar is actually the container for one of those grocery store-bought scented candles with the wax out. This one is running low, and I'll probably clean it out and then refill it with fresh ink. The jar covered in foil is actually a ceramic tea cup. This one is thickening up for use tomorrow. The foil keeps it from evaporating TOO fast, but it doesn't keep it from evaporating totally.

C: Water that I need to refresh. The water is for the Pro-White correction ink. It's actually a watercolor, but I'll call it as i use it. Deuce!

D: Excess bristol from that two-page spread I did last week. I use whatever excess board I have for wiping the excess ink off the brushes and twisting them into points.

E: Barks for shorts! Carl Barks duck pages. I usually have something on the dest (or near it) for inspiration. One of the things I'm stealing and modifying from Barks is the way he'd stagger panels. Instead of a perfect 8-panel grid (for his less adventurous page layouts), he pushes the top left panel a little wider. He then does the same with the right-hand panel on the second tier. And then he repeats for the next two. I like this idea a lot. It really helps guide the eye across each tier instead of confusing it into maybe slipping down.

F: The page in progress. One problem with the nib pen is the amount of ink it leaves on the page. There's a higher volume dropped on each mark than is normally left with the brush. It just sits there and takes a bit longer to dry.

G: My initial cover drawing for this issue. It helps me remember what everyone looks like and helps me not loose track of their clothes and excessories.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

EMAW 10 PAGE 14 PROGRESS 6

The second #2 brush.



Normally I'm ok with whatever sable blends I pick up at the art store. There's rarely any true duds (I do check them before purchasing). Although my standards are pretty low. I mean, I'm buying cheap, store-brand blends, not Series 7s or anything. Still, I got this one particular lot of Utrecht #2s with the absolute sharpest points ever. These two or three brushes are absolutely perfect: sharp, great action... the works.

It's always a pleasure when I come upon one in my run of brushes. In fact, I'd rather use those than a pen — and I can use them for pen-fine lines. Of course, the more work I do, the more often I'll get those brushes. I should take a picture of the brushes to better explain this.

Anyway, the next step actually is the pen. There's no way I'm using a brush for Charles' beard, because the tight curls would ruin the shape of the brush. Also, there's some short, tight lines I need to do, and that wouldn't be the best use of brush.

EMAW 10 PAGE 14 PROGRESS 5

After the #4 brush:



That #4 was actually losing it's point, so I shied away from doing anything too interesting with it. The #2 I'm hitting the page with now is super sharp, so I'm going to try to do as much with it as possible.

EMAW 10 PAGE 14 PROGRESS 4

So, we did about a full day of Suave. Marcos did most of the actual work, but Kenny got the rest of his stuff down and we goofed off a bit. Some of that might make the cuts.

Then I was back here and back to comics work. Here's the first inking pass with a number 2:



Usually, what I like to do is get some ink down on every panel, starting with the upper right and then down the page like I'm reading it manga (because of the left-handedness). But now there's ink on the entire surface. Like when you try to activate the canvas in painting.

Since the panels are small, and the spotted blacks aren't overwhelming, I probably won't go above a number four brush on this page. But that is the next brush. Fill in those blacks and get some serious coverage down. Then I'll probably switch back down to another number 2, then the nib for tight details.

I haven't decided how I'm going to go about the backgrounds yet. Since there's not much room, they're only indicated with a few lines. I might go in with the Pitt pen or I might do it with the nib. Either way, I'd like to keep them light on the details.

EMAW 10 PAGE 14 PROGRESS 3

I'm a man of letters! Check it out, complete with typos:



I'm gonna finish my coffee and let my hair dry a bit before heading out into the bitter bitter. This might be the last of the big 2007 Suave sessions, and I want to get in that shit. Also, I want to give my hand a few hours rest before heading into the inks.

EMAW 10 PAGE 14 PROGRESS 2

One last shot before calling all knights:



Now for a little Lonar and his battle-horse, Thunderer... because sometimes even the King didn't try. Then it's Little Nemo in Futonland.

BIRTHDAYBIRTHDAY

So, this turned out to be a pretty good birthday. I got some big comics, watched some The Sweeney, I finished that page that's dogged me all week, and I've gotten deep into the next page. I don't think the blueline shows up in this picture, but I am actually slightly further along than it might look:



Even though I've loaded up on Urasawa, Beto, Matsumoto and Kirby (oh noes Sonny Sumo!) and am still pretty immersed in old-school Sienkeiwicz and Druillet, I decided to cover my drawing table with Carl Barks for inspiration. I'm severely Barks-deficient, but I wanted to get some of that Duck into my system. First of all, I had a sort of Phoney Bone/Scrooge McDuck/classic animation pantomime I wanted to get across. Second of all, I just wanted to get some master osmosis (even if SOME people don't think he deserves more than a brief mention when discussing the Masters of American Comics — I guess he was no Caniff...).

Friday, November 23, 2007

EMAW 10 PAGE 13

Happy Birthday to me! One year older and miser.

Page 13 took a bit of time because of all the perspective — the mind killer. And then I screwed it up a bit too! So, I'll have to fix some of that up. Pages 14 and 15 should go faster.



As a gift to myself, I went to the Jim Han;ey's 30%-off sale. THat's a hard deal to beat. The store was actually not nearly as crowded as I feared. It was more like a Wednesday than an inpenetratable mob. Picked up the third 4th World Omnibus, that Tekkon Kinkreet brick, Monster 11 and the third New Tales of Old Palomar. Now THAT'S a haul. Should keep me pretty occupied while I'm on my epic trip to Florida.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

EMAW 10 PAGES 2-3B?

Just a look at the final drawing without the bad script:

EMAW 10 PAGE 2-3?

This is a quick approximation of what pages 2 & 3 will look like, but I'm thinking I might do something different with that text. It didn't do what I wanted it to do and looks more like a mess.

BREAKFAST BLOGGING

So, I'm eating breakfast and going through the blogs in the sidebar when I read Brian Nicholson's post about a new Usher (feat. Fabulous) song, "(Dat Girl Right There) is way weirder than any Timbaland song I can name.

Intrigued, I went looking for it and found a streaming file over at the Vibe blog.

This is a fuckin' POP song. Seriously. You know those extra-special pop songs that are so weird and so unique that no one expects them to be huge hits until they are and it all seems so innevitable, looking back? The sort of pop songs that come out amid a mess of banal formula and shock everyone off their feet? The sort of pop song that will make people in the club go crazy AND make Kenny actually consider putting the track on a jukebox in a bar? The sort of pop song that makes me go nuts for it? Think Missy's Supa Dupa Fly or Prince's Kiss. Think Hot Dog Love, to toot the Suave Prospects horn.

The production is the kind people would be afraid of doing anything with. It is that ridiculous. And it's an USHER song. I admit that I really enjoyed that last Usher tune he did with Lil John and Ludcris, but this is whole other fish.

(edited, because I wrote Fabulous instead of Ludacris. OOPS!)

PROGRESS 5

It's quarter to 4, so one last progress update, including my heaviest use of ProWhite to date:

PROGRESS 4

Closer and closer...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

PROGRESS 3, NO RAEKWON

So, I took that Progress 2 picture before writing that unexpected review. What the spread looked like by the time I finished that Lex Diamond piece:

PROGRESS 2 AND THE LEX DIAMOND STORY

I forgot to add ink to my jar last night. Had to add it today. Now it's a liitle too thin for my tastes. I'm still working. But I'm tsking my time, hopin' for a little thickens.



*****************************************

I've got my Wu-Tang Poker Mix goin'. All the Wu-Tang in my library. All day. So, what happened to Raekwon? Man, if anyone said that Only Built 4 Cuban Linx was the best Wu-Tang album, you could argue the point but you'd have to respect the choice. It's certainly in the top tier (along with Enter the 36 Chambers, Return to the 36 Chambers, Supreme Clientelle, Liquid Swords, Tical and Nigga Please). But Immobilarity?? The Lex Diamond Story??? When did he go from being The Chef to being The Fry Cook? Dude needs a Fishscale or Grandmasters.

The Lex Diamond Story:

Pit Bull Fights is just nearly a true burner. Nearly. King of Kings has a solid beat, a weak-ass lead-in rap by Havoc and an embarrassing chorus, "All around hungry that's us." It'd be great if Raekwon sounded hungry, but he just sounds like his sugar's low. Missing Watch sounds more like a Fishscale warmup. No, a More Fish warmup. The second strongest track is be All Over Again. Of course, it's a 'weren't we great one time' rap. Clearly, this should've been the first song on the album, even with it's Kanye-bitin' sample. The sample works, but it's a huge disconnect from the lyrics. Somehow writing a tribute to the RZA's vision with a remarkably un-RZA sound seems pretty far off. But that particular weirdness is fine. On Clientelle Kidd is the best thing on the album. It's got a hot beat and great work from Raekwon, Fat Joe and Ghostface. Smith Bros. is fantastic, but it starts with a nerdy guy asking if Raekwon will ever again match the greatness of Cuban Linx. We're at about the halfway point on the album and it's clear that it won't be happening here. I'm not sure if it's to his credit or not, but Raekwon just dismisses that as his goal. Robbery is fine if you're looking for a just-below-par G-Unit track. Pa-Blow Escablow would be a perfect filler song on a greater album. It shouldn't be a highlight. Inspectah Deck seems to be the only one who listened to the Muskateers of Pig Alley beat. It clearly needs his more melodic flow. Raekwon just sounds flat and confused. Masta Killa sounds like this was the beat he first tried to rap on. Ice Cream 2 is ok, but it's a sequel to a classic now with a leftover beat from Jay-Z. Hood is better, but it's one of those 'done with it' songs. Take the posse out of Planet of the Apes and Wyld in Da Club, and you got some decent Chef raps. Once Upon a Time is real nice, even if it's another track Raekwon seems to be guesting on. I'm not even addressing the pointless skits.

So, there's almost an EP there that would have people salivating a full-length. Instead, it's a full-length that sounds more like something Raekwon's friends had to drag him away from the side of the pool to make. And who were those friends? Look at these production credits: Mizza, Crummie Beats, Mercury, AndyC, Smith Bros., Emile, Zephlon... it goes on like that. The name most noticeable in it's abscence is the RZA's. Not that you NEED the RZA for a classic. But Pete Rock? The Neptunes? Mathematics? Inspectah Deck? Just to name a few people that would've been available in 2003. Yes. 2003.

There were two years between 36 Chambers and Cuban Linx. And four years between each subsequent solo Raekwon album until now.

Now it's going to be 5 years. At one point, we were going to get Cuban Linx II this past summer. That didn't happen. Is there hope for the album? FUCK YES. Co-production by RZA and Dr. Dre??? Additional production by J Dilla and Mathematics? Guest appearances, not by Ice Water, but by GZA, Ghostface, Inspectah Deck, Busta Rhymes and John Frusciante? Old heads? Sure. But the RIGHT old heads.

Can you read
this Raekwon interview at Hip Hop DX
and NOT get excited about the freakin' album? And check out the Wiki! The album is 200% done! 200%!!! At first, I was nervous about the title. Stillmatic was very good, but it was not Illmatic. Tical 2000 was definitely not Tical. When Ghost came back big, he called it Fishscale, not Supremer Clientelle. But then I remembered two things. First of all, the last time Raekwon came up with an original title, he called the album Immobilarity. Secondly, Cuban Linx is heavilly indebted to the mythology of The Godfather. And everyone knows that The Godfather II was just as good as the original.

So, despite a decade of disapointment, I say, bring me your Cuban Linx II!!! DO IT!

THE SPREAD SO FAR

A progress photo of the new page 2-3 spread:

LIKE A LITTLE GIRL INSIDE ME

That's how I'm giggling while I work on this spread.

Giant heads with a number seven brush. Maniacs with a number two. Flying bunnies with a nib.

ALREADY INKING

I'm already inking the double-page spread. So far, it is the most ridiculous thing I've ever drawn. And — considering that I've drawn and published a drawing of a giant, man-eating plant offering up the ass of a terrified lion to my own exposed tumescence — I think that's saying something.

EMAW 10 NEW PAGE 1

In true Earth Minds Are Weak fashion, I've decided that I needed a new begining. A bit of framing sequence picking up at the end of EMAW #8. Here's the new page one:



I'm in the middle of working out the double-page spread that will be the new pages 2 and 3. It's a 22x12.5" drawing. Actually the largest double-page spread I've ever done. And one of the largest drawings I've ever done. And it will be crazy. If I pull it off, crazy good. If I don't, crazy terrible.

Friday, November 16, 2007

EMAW 10 PAGE 9

259 to go!




Ah, the Crazy Stevens. We hardly knew ye. One night of pencils, lettering and borders. One night of inks. 16 freakin' panels all up in your. It's certainly no worse than my worst pages before. That one panel is a little whacker than I'd like, but it just points to a deficiancy I've long had.

One of the things that facilitated this page was the pencil. An H with the tip flattened ahead of time. It gave me the hard and thick. An unbeatable combination. Or is that a very beatable combination? Damn you, metaphor!

Also helping was the ink looseness for kinetics. I'm particualrly fond of Steven's right shoulder (our left) in the far-right panel of the second tier. That was a sweet mark.

Inspirations have to go over to Osamu Tezuka and Matt Kindt for this. MW and Super Spy are the books in the mind right now, and I could see both their ghosts screaming speed and quality in my face. Half of one and 6 of the other right.

Of course, Matt Kindt is very much alive, but you know that dude's got his very own ghost already.

And, for the record, MW might be a minor Tezuka work, but I think it was really just a few hundred pages short of Ode to Kirihito. If that makes any sense? And it definitely felt less like I was being punished for reading it than the first volume of Buddha did (maybe that wasn't the best book to start with). My biggest problem was with the ending. Why on Earth did the cop think his plan would work? Was he reading the story?

And the first question I've got for Tezuka is, "What do you have against upwardly mobile young men in glasses?" The second is, "What's with the Catholicism?" The third is, "How do you rape someone into loving you?"

With MW in particular, I want to know how I can get that cop's hair. Man, Japan must've gone nuts when Brian May stepped on their shores.

In some strange way, that sort of reminds me of my second biggest problem with the book. Getting that balance of two people struggling over a worldwide conspiracy/threat is a tough thing to do. I'm not entirely sure even Hitchcock managed to do it. I'm thinking North By Northwest, here. The threat just never felt big enough for me. Even if the MW was just a macguffin, then the personal story never felt like the stakes were quite right. I liked Yuki and could identify with him, but I never felt worried about him like in that scene in Strangers on a Train when he's trying to reach through the sewer grate. And I had no idea what to make of Garai. It's hard to say just what he was trying to do, even though he repeats it constantly: Save Yuki's soul. But how?

Still, all the depravity and dog-drawings and female impersonation and deception and brief cosmic sex scenes and brilliant schemes laid out by Yuki and clear (if never transcendant) linework and murder murder murder keep the damn thing moving so fast that I didn't have any problems until the last act.

MAIL THIEVES?

Waiting for the last of the ink to dry on the next page so's I can go in with the eraser and a little bit of white paint.

So, I thought that my netflix might've been lost in the Oscar can that is my apartment, seeing as the site claimed to have shipped four dvds on Halloween. Two week is kinda ridiculous for them. I've only half-assedly searched for the dvds though, since I haven't really had time to watch movies.

Then, today, I found four dvds waiting for me in the hall (we've got mailmen averse to putting the mail actually IN the mailboxes here). I cracked'em open and found out the were not the four Grindhouse discs I was expecting. They were four discs of The Sweeney. Wha' hoppen? Did I misread my queue?

Nope. It appears that I returned the four Grindhouse dvds the other day. Rate Your Recent Return wanted to know what I thought of Deathtrap. There was no option for, "it was two weeks too long and three weeks short of the things I've generally come to expect from a movie." Somebody watched my movies and sent them back to netflix.

I can understand someone grabbing the wrong envelopes. I've done it. Even opening them without thinking. It happens. But at some point they must have realized something was amiss. Like when they didn't get the movies they requested. Or when they saw there were a different number of discs than they ordered (most people ARE on the 3-a-time plan). OR when they got the exact same movies a day or two later. At some point, my benefit of the doubt gets stretched to thin...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

SPEED

Bore your friends to tears in five long hours.

So, today, I found myself obsessing about Scott Pilgrim and His Get It Togethers. I was checking out Bryan Lee O'Malley's productivity (a graphic novel a year for five years) and was just absolutely depressed to hell. There was one small, bright spot in my research. While there was usually less than a full year between volumes, his latest took 18 months to produce. FINALLY old age was starting to get to this monster of churn. Then I read the AV Club interview he just did. Apparently, it didn't really take O'Malley 18 months to get it together. He took a six-month vacation from work before starting his 216-page beast. So, it only took him about a year to do it.

216 pages in 12 months? That's an average of 18 pages a month. Or 4 and a quarter a week. Not taking into account any production issues and whatnot. Let's just pretend that he finished drawing just as the book headed to the shops, sitting there on a truck leaving the Diamond Distribution Center, dotting the last eyes and cranking page through a manual press. Let's pretend that's the case, because the alternative is even more depressing. It involves page rates in the five-six a week averages.

Now, I don't know if he's got a day job (he does have at least a little tall Hollywood dollar), but he does have 5 graphic novels out there and he's been pretty damn successful with them. And, of course, there's illustration gigs. And, original arts (fewer than I expected). But, hey. I could not have a day job too. In fact, I didn't back when I was his age when he did his first graphic novel.

Why I start shit too late is another matter altogether, though.

Anyway, the jist of the rant is one I'm always getting on about. I need to start working faster. Like, seriously faster. I went a week between posting pages 5 and six of the new issue. Actually, trolling the archives, it looks like a week has been all too normal. I've done 8 pages in one month. That's about two a week.

Things are getting better though. I've posted three pages in this past week. And I've got full pencils done for a fourth.† There's a short Suave session tomorrow, but I should have the next page up Friday night. Hopefully, I can get at least two more done over the weekend.

Thanksgiving is shot, but at least there's a three-day weekend in there. And no birthday plans yet, so I might have three FULL days. The following week, I'll be in Florida for 5 days. But there's stuff I can do while I'm there.

I'm sure Christmas will be a bust too. No plans on going to the company Christmas party though. I left the first miserable and throwing up all along 14th Street. I left the second miserable and throwing up in Union Square. This year, I don't even have a reason to go at all. So, that's a free night. Still, this is the way life intrudes.

So, here's the deal. This past year was The Year of Getting Better. 2007 is wrapping up,* and I do think I've gotten better. Not as good as I'd hoped, but better.

2008 is now The Year of Crank. Three pages of EMAW a week. I can't average fewer than three pages a week. Some weeks might be slower, but that just means I need to pick it up the following week. THREE PAGES A WEEK. That's three 52-page issues of EMAW. Issues 10-12 need to come out in 2008, and I should be well into issue 13 by the end of the year.

If I were to hazard a guess, that would put me about 2/3 of the way through Kaiju Jugoruma. But I won't hazard a guess. But if I did, that would see me finishing the story in early 2010. It's hard to imagine doing anything for that long...

In addition to three pages a week, I want to be doing about two pages a week of some other things that have been rolling in my head. That's p[art of the reason I need the crank. I keep bouncing other ideas out of my head in an effort to focus. I needed to just to get a hundred pages out this past year. But I need to get 156 pages out this year. And I want to get 260 pages done so some of these ideas don't get lost in the ether. Let the countdown to Infinite Sadness begin.

†I've got more done than this now. I'm writing this during breaks, not instead of doing the very thing I'm talking about.

*Technically, The Year of Getting Better ends in February, I think. Eh, February is just January's uglier brother anyway.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

EMAW 10 PAGE 8



I need that on a t-shirt: "WE'RE TOTALLY GONNA ROCK YOUR — dammit."

Catching up again! And nothing says catching up like a full-page spread. Boo-YA!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

EMAW 10 PAGE 7

Oh, Sweetie!




MY WIMMINZ!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

EMAW 10 PAGE 6


Sunday, November 04, 2007

MORE STUFFS

I just posted in the comments section of Dick Hyacinth's blog. It really was meant to be a two-three sentence response to the fix Vertigo meme going round the internet, but it sort of turned into an essay. What is wrong with me???

I should have some more up at the Fan Art blog later today, but Kenny has stepped up and done a great Silver Age DC piece. Check it out! Poor Star-Baby.

And I'll be starting the next page of Earth Minds Are Weak once I have lunch. During breaks in that, I'll be getting to at least one important email that's been waiting a response.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

DEUCE MORE!

Two MORE Fan Arts up at Comic Book Fan Art!

This time, it Julia Wertz's The Fart Party and Adele Moss & Leslie Bloomfield's Hecter the Collecter & Peter the Insect Boy!

I'm nearly wiped OUT! Must rest a bit.

EXTREMIST OF BLOGGING!

The weekend of EXTREME blogging continues!

I've posted two new pieces of fan art over at Comic Book Fan Art! This time it's Box Brown's Bellen! and Matthew Reidsma's High Maintenance Machine!

And now I'm about to start on TWO MORE! EXTREEEEEEEEME!

MORE FAN ART!

Starting close to home, I've posted two more pieces of fan art over at Comic Book Fan Art!

Go see my renditions of Carl is the Awesome and the One-Armed Guy from True Crime Fiction.

This is turning out to be a lot of fun to do. And it feels like a great way to warm up the drawing arm in this bitter cold. Also, it's nice to just do something else outside of my normal drawering day.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN AGAIN???

August 27th was the last How Did This Happen? post. What I'm still calling November 2 sees the long-awaited return of the world's GREATEST online reverse-narrative corpse jam comic.

The latest panel is tremendously large. Set up extra monitors on the side for megafex!!!!!

Also, be sure to check out the latest addition to the Cliff Face familliy of blogs, Comic Book Fan Art! You'll have an emotion you did. This should be the biggest weekend in blogging here at Cliff Face central, so keep your eyes peeled like Emmas.

Friday, November 02, 2007

NEW BLOG!

You can never have too many blogs, I said one time.

The Cliff Face gang have created a new group blog open to anyone who wants to participate!

Comic Book Fan Art is a new blog dedicated to the long-time tradition of Comic Book Fan Art! It all starts with an 80th Happy Birthday salute to comics objectivist and all-around awesome cartoonist: Steve Ditko!

More up this weekend, and a return to other blogging duties as well. Welcome to the full plate!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

EMAW 10 PAGE 5

16 panels! Super-density!




Man talk about some Mary Sue action. I show up TWICE on this page. Old Justin and New Justin. That's how we do.

Gran Patron is supposed to be the ultimate of Patrons. And Patron is like the ultimate of tequilas. The cheapest bottle I could find online was about $140. Five double shots is close to half a bottle. That's $70 dollars in shots at cost, before 100 years of inflation. Before bar markup. Now, I'm sure there are laws somewhere about doing shots of the stuff at all, it being a sipping tequila and all. But that's how the girls do.

In the backgrounds, there are other stories going on. In a bar, everyone is part of a different play. Also, there are ads for True Crime Stout and Estibrau, the beers of the future.

On paper, I was starting to worry that all the patterns and patrons were starting to obscure the compostions (such as they are), but I think they hold up ok here. Working this small and tight is good for strengthening the compostions. At least that's what I wish she'd said.

I shouldn't also point out that the whole point of this page was to do the bow-legged joke. It wasn't the point story-wise, but it was the grain of sand I rubbed in an oyster to make this pearl necklace.
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