Well, hullo there.
Welcome to this week's update of "Saturday" the book.
Progress wise, I've just finished page 34 and have barely started the layout of page 35. Page 35 is the last page of the book. THE VERY LAST PAGE. It's a little scary and a little exciting. Can't wait to be able to share the whole durned thing with you. Of course, even after I finish the last page, I have to do the cover, edit the book, and then find a way to print it. But we're just a stone's throw away. A breath. A hair. A hair's breath. A hop, skip, and a jump. We're close. That's alls I'm sayin'. Close.
In the meantime, this week's update is going to be a little different. Normally, I would tell you what page I'm working on and then give you a panel or two from said page. But having just started the layout on page 35 (did I mention that's the last page in the book?), I don't have anything particularly interesting to show just yet.
So, in lieu of more current material, I'm going to do something I would almost never ever do: I'm going to show you a mistake. I know: you're shocked. But I do make mistakes from time to time. Having made a mistake of any kind, my standard operating procedure is to destroy all the evidence of the mistake and then erase the memories of any witnesses. With a hammer. But this mistake is kind of fun, so I'll share it.
It came from page 29. On this page, India is just returning home from a day of adventuring. She runs into Thelonius on the porch. Thelonius has been conspicuously absent for most of the book and she asks where he's been. This is his response:
Thelonius, it seems, was Shanghaied by an odd little man named Sheldon Snevily, a taxidermist and caterer. Sheldon is partially based on a shop teacher I had when I was a kid. This teacher had the thickest glasses I'd ever seen. I'm pretty sure he could see through time with glasses that thick. He also had no full fingers on either hand. Keep in mind that this was the man responsible for teaching us shop safety.
Anyhoo, I ended up having to leave out this entire segment for a couple of reasons. First, it didn't make much sense and didn't exactly fit in with the rest of the story. But I wasn't actually all that concerned about that. I liked the character and I liked how dark the little mini-story was.
The main reason this part got the axe was space. Every comic, drawing, painting, or illustration is a negotiation with space. It ends up being a little like a game of Tetris where every single piece is a different size and shape. There was a lot more story that had to go onto page 29 in order to keep the book on track. This little expository side bar ended up being, as a good friend of mine says often, "A long way to go for a taco." (There was a lot of effort without much payoff). I took up space I didn't have. And no matter how I monkeyed with the layout, I could never make it work with everything else that had to go on this page.
So, Miles Snevily and the mystery of the disappearing crow had to be chopped off. But don't worry: I dropped it immediately into a jar of embalming fluid. Maybe someday I'll bring it back to life.
BTW: Here was the post script to this little adventure:
Cheers (for reals this time).