Letters to Holly

Thursday, March 18

Sketchy Progress

I stayed home sick Wednesday with a sudden head cold. I ate Vitamin C pills and yogurt, and Your Sister bought me the delicious 99-cent frozen pizzas that I adore. I actually napped. I hate naps. I feel better today, but I ate that I missed a day of drawing.

Something I realized when working on this hero minicomic: I usually don't draw this big. Even when I draw on art boards, I tend to pack the comic page with too many panels. This time, I deliberately made bigger, fewer panels per page to leave room for the dialogue. It's made for panels wit lots of space inside for backgrounds and people (and they'll get covered by word balloons), and it's made me draw in larger strokes.

I'm getting down the basics of the panels and moving on to the next page. My backgrounds will need tightening, but that can be done right before I ink. I want to come back to the pages with a fresh eye and catch the problems before I declare them ink ready.

Here are the small sketches of two pages and their accompanying larger, tighter drawings. I ned to add shadows and flesh out the backgrounds.

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Moving Picture of the Day
This made me laugh up my medicine.

Tuesday, March 16

Introspection and Toil

We take turns making dinner. Always have. This changes only when the other is buried in work, illness, or existential morass. I made dinner last night, but it wasn't a real dinner. It was ruben sandwiches.

Ruben sandwiches are messy to make, and the best people to make them are diner cooks. They have a big, flat cooking surface that was probably built greasy. It doesn't matter if the sauerkraut tumbles out or the dressing spills. Me, I get neurotic about the innards becoming outards. I work delicately. I baby the sandwiches when I flip them. I make it more work than it needs to be.

Then I feel guilty over the size of them. They are slivers of sustenance. They are credit card-thin. I make two of them for each of us. This can't be my attempt at making a supper: Two-dimensional appetizers that are ready in 20 minutes. It's not equal work. I must construct delicious tower for my baby mama.

I continue to work on the comic. After two pages, I see that I am timid in my panel structures. I must flesh it all out more. I must push. I'm glad to realize this now, at this point. The comic is telling me what I need to do. I'm glad to have this much progress and yet have enough time to adjust and correct. I'm also delighted to be making a 20-page comic.

Picture of the Day
I'm developing this kind of collaboration.

Monday, March 15

Weekend Funtime

About those FaceBook pictures of me:

I dropped by Toys R Us Thursday to see what was marketed to the youngsters. I like to keep track of the designs and franchises. Sometimes it's surprising. An entire aisle, for instance, is devoted to pro-wrestling figures. I had no idea demand was that high for them. The toys for the recent Star Trek movie collect dust as do those for the GI Joe film. You never know what's gonna be a hit with kids.

The push for the new Iron Man film has begin, notably with the toy helmet in those photos. The previous version was a faceplate held on by a stretch band. It's blah. I noticed the new full-head helmet and played with the sound buttons and light-up eyes, and thought it was cute or kids. If I were eight, yes, I would beg for this. But I'm much older. Back on the shelf it went.

The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a good fit for the shelf with my lucha masks. It might not, however, fit my head. I mentioned the notion online, and the reaction was unanimous: Dude. DUDE! I went back the next day and bought it.

I got it home convinced that when Your Sister returned from Charlotte, she would see me wearing this toy and resolve to never leave me alone again. (I also considered buying tiny ones for the cats to wear as she walked in the door.) She got back home earlier, and with no warning, and I had to reveal the contraption quicker than I planned. She loved it. Even wore it. The next day, I put on my suit, and she took pictures of President Rocket R. Science. The helmet now sits on that shelf, bookending lucha masks with the Vader helmet.

Your Sister weathered the trip well, and she recovered Saturday night while I attended local roller derby. It was a blast, and I think it allows Asheville's various subcultures to mingle in good humor.

Still adjusting to the time switch, but I'm able to start the hero minicomic. I showed the panel sketches and script to Your Sister, and she seemed to enjoy it. She found no major plotholes, and I put pencil to artboard Sunday. My first panel was a perspective-heavy establishing city shot, and it was no fun. If that's the most difficult panel I do -- and I suspect it will be -- I'll be fine the rest of the way. The convention is two months from today, and I can do this. I can really do this.

What I cannot do is see one of my favorite authors. Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Haunted, Lullaby) will be in Asheville for an intimate reading and autograph session, and I shall be at prom instead. It's not horribly disappointing. I won't regret our last public outing before Roo's birth. But this is the second time I've missed out on a Malaprop's appearance because of a prior engagement. I guess this balances the toy helmet.

We bought larger clothing for her Sunday at Target. While she was trying on outfits, I shopped for socks and found some nice deals. I also found a pair of socks that may have been returned. The label was damaged, and the socks were dirty and worn. I suspect someone traded out the socks they wore to the store with this pair on sale. I remember working retail and discovering little schemes like this. She gets winded easy now, and we walk slower. She makes time to walk as much as possible. She simply goes slower now. We are looking at budgets to see which insurance policy Roo will join and how long Your Sis can stay home from work.

In a fleeting moment of regal largess, she suggested I have buffalo wings last night. I was to eat them Friday before she got home, but she returned early. She hadn't eaten supper, and I took her out. Last night, I had the wings. Eh. It's not something I would have weekly anymore. Maybe I picked up Your Sister's disinterest.

Picture of the Day
Could be a new t-shirt. I didn't make this.