Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Two weeks of wheel spinning. The work on Alpha Test is not nothing, but I’ve made zero progress on Hat Trick 0.
I’ve stated in the past that I have moved from a habit starting and leaving off projects to a habit of getting them done. And that is what 2019 indeed looked like. But 2020, I’ve looked like my old self, minus the emotional disorder.
Doesn’t mean I’m going to give up or lay down in die or stop making things. Just means I gotta stop bragging about traits I thought I’d acquired, but it turns out I haven’t.
I think come All Saints day, I’m going to switch from pretending I’m working on Hat Trick to a smaller project. Take a definitive month off. I may make it just part of my workflow, only to spend a month on any given project. If project A is not done at the end of month A, I switch to B, and then switch back to A at the end of month B. It might be a way to harness my twitchy/flakey instincts and make them work for me.
Lost all of last week. My tent was well suited to my working at a slow but steady rate, but now winter is making overtures.
By the weekend I had settled on converting the basement into an art dungeon. And then I injured my knee, rendering large quantities of stair-climbing inadvisable.
My knee is just about good enough now that I can start building my art dungeon tomorrow. However, I also have a lot of busywork to catch up on unrelated to my comic, so my objective for this week is to catch up on responsibilities, and maybe, hopefully get a page or two done. My ultimate objective is to handle all my potential excuses so that I have no excuses remaining next week.
Up til now, my policy has been at least two pages a day, Monday through Saturday. Sunday, I am forbidden to work on my current project, every other day I am forbidden to work on anything else until I’ve met some minimum amount of progress.
I am, at this moment, considering designating Saturday as a deliberate consumption day.
That is, part of the creative process is taking stuff in. Reading books. Watching movies. Recharging the creative batteries. Art is a conversation. Listening, as well as talking, is important.
I have not been listening deliberately. I have been listening randomly, and when I’ve gotten burnt out. But I have the latest Dresden Novel queued up, and some old pulp westerns nobody’s heard of as well. And I’m thinking, why not spend every Saturday studying instead of producing? Since I can.
I’m gonna try it for a couple of weeks and see how it changes my momentum.
The right-hand page seems like a good one for ad purposes.
This week I kept a steady pace. No sudden jumps forward, and the only missed day was yesterday, due to an early morning medical appointment, which is the first time I’ve skipped a day for totally legitimate reasons. Here’s what my storyboard folder looks like:
I strongly suspect that I can make my panels and text a lot smaller. Fit more story into less space. I’m not going to do it for this book because it’s better to finish than to risk stalling out by starting over.
Ideally, I would have made a small book of 20-30 pages at this scale, printed it, and then made the judgement call. But that’s not the way it worked out this time. I’m making a big-ass comic book instead. God help me.
This week, from Monday through Friday, I completed 10 pages and paneled/lettered 2 more. Here’s the tail end of that. If you want to see all the pages, you can drop $2 at SubscribeStar or just wait for the book to come out.
That’s an average of one two-page spread a day, although the average is off because I had a birthday to celebrate this week. I’d like to kick that up, but I’m happy to be hitting what I feel is a bare minimum.
Specifically, I’ve gotten in the habit of finishing each session by paneling and lettering a two-page spread ahead. This is a low effort, ‘finishing touch’, and it allows me to begin the next day with pictures (the fun part), and a strong sense of momentum already in place. I’ve heard of authors writing a chapter a day, but each day it’s the second half of today’s chapter, and the first half of tomorrow’s, just to make sure they remain motivated to write tomorrow. And Hat Trick did stall out at a chapter break, so I think I’m going to continue using this trick.
October is coming. I had hoped to have the storyboard done by October so I could run a crowdfund to produce the comic. But it looks like I won’t be.
Anyway, I need to go rescue my chickens from my kids.
I’m aiming for 4 a day, 6 days a week, but I’ll not complain so long as I move forward. Slow and Steady wins the race and all that.
I’m thinking of stopping and producing that page 40 splash. It’ll be good to add to my morning tweet rotation, and as an advertisement for the book.
We are now solidly within the overlap of the first Hat Trick Book and this comic, which is meant to take its place as the beginning of the series. I’m walking carefully, trying to retell the same story bit from a slightly different angle, trying to make sure everything needed to enjoy Hat Trick is present, but the people who own the first book don’t feel like it was redundant, or they aren’t getting anything new.
In the first book, this section takes place in rain. That was a considerable pain in the butt to draw, and I’m considering just quietly pretending that never happened in the comic.
I’m also minded to work on a new idea: St. Patrick’s Breastplate, illustrated by me. But we’re going back to the iron law: one project come hell or high water, all others only once I can report project on the one.