Thursday, November 15, 2007


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.


Blogger Marcos Perez said...

your'e already faster than tomine!


1:41 PM  
Blogger Justin J. Fox said...

Just wait till you see MY shortcomings! Ba-da-boom!

6:20 PM  

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