It’s been a weird couple of months for me but work is progressing nicely on issue six.
Even with issue 5 coming out in January and the pimping that goes on there, I generally like to break at least 50% of a new issue (or at least two of the stories) by June, which I’m pleased to say is the case with issue 6.
A bit of pre-planning meant that while issue 5 was going to print I was already finishing the second story of issue 6. Tonally, the two stories in issue 6 are quite different to the stories that ended up in issue five and, in truth, hark back to stories that appeared in earlier issues – albeit with some of the new techniques I’ve moved towards.
With the first two stories done, it’s time for the next two.
A change in my day job and a change in location have meant that I’ve spent the last few months adjusting to new routines, as one generally does when changes in circumstances occur, but now that I’ve found my groove, I can get back to comics.
A break like this has its uses. Although one might not be writing comics during this time, you can still be thinking about your approach to comics and plan what you’re going to be writing about (if you see a writer sitting around doing nothing, he’s probably just thinking).
Coming back to issue six after taking a break also means I can review the last issue (a bit) more objectively. As I’ve said in previous posts, you “live” with a comic book for a long time before it’s printed.
By the time you take something to print you’re dealing with a comic as a product on an almost literal level – you don’t see the jokes, the structure or the dialogue or any of the fun things the reader is about to enjoy. Instead, you’re seeing something with a page count and dimensions and checking files are in the right order and amends have been carried out.
This is one of the things I tell people when they’re doing a book themselves: you’ve got to be able to split your mind into three very different characters at different stages of development.
The anal-retentive jerk who questions everything at the pre-press stage is of little use when you’re trying to get the germ of a story idea moving. The smug git who holds the printed copy of his book in his hands has to be replaced with the fearful amateur when thinking is to be done about the next book.