I put in my 2 pages today (3, actually), and then, for the heck of it, I entered a contest on the internet.
(Yesterday, alas, my progress on Hat Trick was a couple of cards written for the card box seed. I had to stay out of the house while it was fumigated).
The contest is to replicate the following image in one’s own style:
And here is my entry:
This marks the first time since I moved to Minnesota that I did an illustration start to finish. All the drawing I’ve done ’til now has been concept work or draft work. And, as I won’t have a book draft ready to produce for a good while, the pattern seems liable to hold.
So, right now, I’m taking notes on blank playing cards.
There was some German sociologist who got the bright idea of keeping his notes in a box and numbering them 1, 2, 3, 2a, 2a1… etc… and allowing clusters to develop naturally. When a cluster got large enough, he could turn the cluster into a book. In this manner, he published some 80 books in his adult lifetime.
I’m neither a sociologist nor a great respecter of sociology. But I hypothesize this method can result in superior books on my part if I just do card notes for whatever I feel like tinkering with, and then ‘harvest’ clusters of cards to convert to my current bookmaking workflow. An Awesome Moments cluster has already started to develop.
Which brings me to my current labors on Hat Trick.
Hat Trick 2: Night Mare Nightmare, AKA Hat Trick 1: Night Mare Nightmare, consists of two parts. Part one is a story about Arthur Rabbit as a child, and is almost mapped out. Part two is the proper sequel of Hat Trick 1: The Death of Arthur, AKA Hat Trick 0: The Death of Arthur, and wraps up Arthur’s struggle with the Night Mare. The idea is to make the second book a worthy sequel to the first book, while at the same time making it able to stand alone as a comic book and to serve as a new, better foundation for the series.
Part 2 of Book 2 is not well conceived and planned. Up til now, my method of storymaking has been to plow ahead and see what I come up with, albeit I do start with the climax in mind, so I have some assurance that the story will work, and I do typically lay out an act-based plot structure before writing.
I have been considering planting HT2 it in my card case and harvesting it when it grows ripe, just converting my entire workflow to this new zettelkasten system. However, now I have a better idea. I will finish the mockup for part 1, plant the second story in the card case, and start seeding the card case for whatever I feel like. When Part 2 is ready to harvest, I’ll mock up the rest of the comic.
The result is Hat Trick 2 has been changed from definitely my next book to probably my next book.
My next book is whichever ripens first.
I will keep this blog updated with the statuses of the seeds in my card box. By way of example, the Awesome Moments cluster is currently about 15 cards, including 6 concept pages. The Hat Trick cluster has nothing, but over the next couple of days, it should grow quite a bit.
So, last week was rather pathetic. Monday, nothing. Tuesday, nothing. Wednesday through Friday, the bare minimum amount of work.
This week, on Monday, I got three pages storyboarded. I was pumped. We were finally picking up speed.
Tuesday I had to help my brother make hay all day. No problem. I’ll just spend all of Wednesday working on the comic.
Wednesday, the tent housing all my belongings blew away in a strong wind, leaving my stuff out in the elements. I spent the whole day trying to recover everything, all of Thursday making more hay, and Friday recovering.
So we went from six pages in a week to three. Not good.
I need to re-evaluate my workflow and goals and bring them in line with reality. I have a couple of thoughts on this, but they are going to wait while I develop them.