W I D E A W A K E
Eyes Wide Open
June 15, 2001
Past and Present
There was a time when I just wanted to stop it all. That was yesterday. Or was it the day before? Or the day before that? I can't remember. But there was a time when I just wanted to throw away the pens, move the desk into the basement, and zombie out to the tv. Happens daily. Sometimes less, but usually daily. And when I do shut out the desk lamp, and cap the pens, and push in the desk chair, and snag a cold soda and plop down on the sofa and turn on the idiot box, well, it doesn't take long before I get edgy.
It's difficult for me to be nonproductive, but that is precisely what I was for a period beginning in December 2000 and extending through April 2001. I became relatively nonproductive. I'd recently returned from Mid-Ohio Con, and had recently stepped down as layout artist for Sean's The Waiting Place, and I was soon to change residences--to go from living alone to sharing a place with someone. And I'd barely made any progress with Altercations. So there was a time when all of these events culminated kind of simultaneously and I found myself unable to draw. In retrospect, I think it was a very good thing for me creatively. I'd been drawing and working pretty much nonstop for five years. The "break" I was going to give myself in 1997 lasted not even two weeks. So, I think I needed it.
I now feel comfortable drawing again, and I think the work I'm doing has improved if only by a notch or two. I want to improve always. Stagnation is boring and when I look at other comics and see stagnation in the creators' talent it saddens me. There are, of course, many artists who have reached the plateau. They are as good as they are going to be and that is fine because they are outstanding in the field. But there are many more who have clearly not achieved this. And I would be quick to put myself into this latter category. But unlike many, I am trying to improve my skills. I am making a conscious effort to overcome my weaknesses and to be the best I can possibly be at this given time. Which brings me to Altercations.
It has been nearly a year since I first did the storyboards for this 120 page project. Ten stories, each varying in length from 10 to 15 or so pages. Each telling a single story, each story set in a different decade. Ten individual stories that form one unified whole and present a history of the super-hero in the 20th century. And having drawn the first two stories, I see the difference in style, in accomplishment, be it ever so minor. I see that I have begun a process of slowing down. Initially, I took this as a sign of not really wanting to do this project. I think, however, that it is rather a sign of not wanting to rush the project. Self-publishing, unlike publishing through a major comics publisher, is not bound by schedules. As such, a creator can work at his or her own pace to produce a work that is representative of his or her finest abilities. So while Altercations is going to be a work that will take considerable time to complete, I would rather it be right than be rushed.
The New Site
The new site has been in the works for a while. Lee Atchison of Webslayer Designs and Sequential Tart has, I believe, done an outstanding job at providing me with a site that I can maintain and update more or less on my own. This is good for a variety of reasons, the least of which is that I won't have to pester her quite so much.
I would be remiss not to thank my pal Jay Weesner for his help as well; I owe ya, man.
In days and weeks to come I intend to voice my opinions on various topics, not the least of which will be comics and the industry past, present, and future. To those visiting for the first time, welcome. To those returning to this site, I hope you like what you see.
Comments are always welcome. Write to: David
to voice your opinion.