Sunday, October 26, 2014

Par for the course.

Good Morning, Kids!

Thank you for tuning in to the latest episode of "Saturday" the book updates.  When we last left off, our intrepid hero India McGreevy was patiently putting up with tedious edits that, while, necessary to make "Saturday" its spiffy-ist, aren't the most adventurous things to talk about.

It occurs to me that talking about edits instead of being able to share exciting new adventures is like tuning in to your favorite Saturday morning cartoon only to find a re-run.  Actually, it's probably more akin to tuning in to your favorite cartoon only to find it's been replaced by a golf tournament.  As a kid, golf tournaments on TV were as much fun as soggy vegetables and dental fillings.

Golf: Where fun goes to die.  Quietly.

It's Saturday morning as I write this latest interlude, and I'm trying unsuccessfully to not contrast my adult Saturday mornings with the ones of my childhood.  The current ones are entertainment bogeys; grocery shopping and floor mopping.  Back in the day, I would sit on the couch eating sugary cereal and watching every brain-rotting cartoon I could find.

Brief aside: My mom was overly concerned that I would eat too much sugar.  The most sugary cereal she would buy was Honey Nut Cheerios, which, on the Dr. Frankeberry Scale of Sugary Cereals ranks about a 2.  Then she would MIX the Honey Nut Cheerios with REGULAR Cheerios so I wouldn't explode from sugar overdose.

(Before & After)

Anyhoo, there I was eating cereal and watching cartoons and basking in my responsibility-free Saturdays.  What I didn't understand is that, while I was basking, my parents were bustling about doing all those adult things (by "adult", I mean the variety that includes tax returns and oil changes, not the kind that includes R-rated movies and beer) that currently bogart my weekends.  They might have even been happy to not have me underfoot for several hours.

In the words of Homer Simpson: "Man, the kids were a pain.  Then we figured out we could just sit them in front of the TV.  That's how I was raised and I turned out TV."

Well, I think I'll honor both kinds of weekend today: First, I'm going to do some unpleasant, responsible things like fill out a tax return and watch some golf.  Then, to wash the sour taste of golf from my palette, I'm going to eat some sugary cereal in my footie pajamas.

 Here's a delightful song by Z-Trip and Supernatural about eating cereal and watching cartoons.  It has adult language and themes (and I ain't talkin' about tax returns, neither), so listener discretion is advised.

Until next time, loyal viewers.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Makes cents.


Thanks for checking in on "Saturday" the book.  I'm still chipping away at the edits.  They're going pretty well.

Normally, this is where I would show you the before and after of a panel I've recently edited.  But how about something a little different this week?  What if, instead of an amuse bouche (or, I guess an amuse oeil), I served up something a bit more...filling?  Maybe you're not just plain peckish this week.  Maybe you're famished.  Hungry like...well, not like the wolf, but like a horse or a hippo.  A hungry, hungry hippo.  But it's not marbles you want.  You're so hungry you feel like you could eat a whole page.  Well, good news:

This is an entire page.  Page two, to be exact.  Or, as Thompson and Thompson would say, " be precise, page two."  It's one of my favorite pages in the book.  And this is the first time I've shown it publicly.

This is India, or Drawsalot Sarcasticus, as seen in her natural habitat.

It's chock-a-block full of all the things that make India the delightful little weirdo that she is: photos, drawings, toys and random objects she's collected like some kind of animal that squirrels things away.  It also served as kind of an ongoing reference for me as I made every page of "Saturday". 

From the very start (as I may have mentioned a million times before), I wanted this book to be as well-drawn, full of detail, and fun as I could make it.  I wanted it to be something that you would have to read more than once in order to see all the detail.  But more importantly, I wanted it to be something you would WANT to read over and over again.  And so I spent a lot of time on this page so I could use it as sort of a template for the craft and feel of "Saturday".

That's an interesting phrase, isn't it?  I "spent" the time.  I never really thought about it before, but it seems accurate, doesn't it?  They say time is money, and if that's right then you do spend your time the way you spend your money.  But time is way more valuable than money.  A friend of mine once said, "You can use your time to get money but you can never use your money to get time."

I've been thinking a lot about time lately.  I've been thinking about how valuable and precious it is.  And how I want to spend mine.  Mostly, that's with people I really like.  And it's also on this book and other things that are fun and interesting to me (and hopefully for you, too).  If time really were money, "Saturday" would have cost me like a gabillion time dollars.  And I don't regret a single penny of it.  Every time cent (red or otherwise) was well-invested.

I'm going to leave things there.  Thank you again for spending some of your time with me.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

More sob, less Schwab.


Ready for the latest on "Saturday"?  Of course, I'm using the phrase "the latest" fairly loosely here.  Admittedly, there's been a bit of a dearth of new information lately.  Mostly because I've been editing and looking for potential publishers and that's not a speedy process.

Writing and drawing "Saturday" was like a super fun, interesting road trip.  Every day there was something new to see, to think about, to explore.  And I was super happy to have you as my road trip buddy.  Remember how great it was?  We gawked at the unfamiliar surroundings flashing by outside the windows,  sang at the top of our lungs when that one Phil Collins song we both love came on the radio, and you were totally cool about bailing me out of jail after that thing that happened at Six Flags.  I loved every minute of it and was happy to spend it with you.

But if writing and drawing the book was like a road trip, editing and looking for a publisher is like taking the car in to the tire store and waiting in the lobby while they balance the tires.  There are, like, fourteen people in line ahead of us.  The place absolutely reeks of new rubber and burned popcorn, the magazines are all from eight years ago and the television is playing infomercials about hair plugs.

Suffice it to say, it's not quite as much fun as the first part of the journey.  The thing is, you can leave if it gets too awful.  But I have to stay with the car.

It's still kinda interesting, right?  For instance, check out the evolution of this panel from Monday morning.  Here's the original recipe:

And here's the extra crispy version:

Ah, Mondays.  Where the lovely serenade of weekend pleasure is obliterated by the staccato noise of obligation.

"Walkin' Around. Some kind of lonely clown.  Rainy days and Mondays always get me down."

I've added The Carpenters to the list of things I love un-ironically, along with "The Golden Girls" and Gordon Lightfoot.

Anyway, I'll just be here at the tire store if you need me.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Edits, Charles Foster Kane, and the Bay City Rollers.


Thanks for stopping by the latest update of "Saturday" the book.

It's possible you're a stranger and have no idea what "Saturday" the book is.  Perhaps you stumbled into this tiny port from the mighty sea of the internet whilst searching for something completely different like "Saturday Night" by the Bay City Rollers.  But since you're here, let me give you the skinny: "Saturday" is the graphic novel I've been working on for a few millennia.

More specifically, "Saturday" is a graphic novel about a creative little girl named India McGreevy.  When India's creativity is poked, prodded, and taunted into submission by a dismal week, it takes her parents, a tattooed mechanic with a prosthetic leg, a traveling circus and the world's largest crocodile to put things into perspective.

Progress-wise, I'm pert near finished with the book.  Yes, most of the editing is still in front of me, but in the overall scheme of things, the editing probably only represents about 10-15% of the work.  Which is pretty cool.  Of course, those numbers don't take into account the work of finding a publisher and such.  But I'm taking the ostrich approach as far as that's concerned, so there's nothing to worry about.

In the meantime, here's an example of the editing process:



Subtlety tends not to be my forte.  "Saturday", after all, has dinosaurs, robots, octopi, jet packs, a circus, a mechanic with a prosthetic leg, and the world's largest crocodile.  But the changes in this panel are pretty subtle.

Why even bother with them, you may ask?  Well, before I began "Saturday", my friend Jedediah Leland and I sat down and wrote our "Declaration of Principles"  Crud, that was Citizen Kane.  Ok, then, I'm bothering because I have a dedication to my craft, respect for my audience, and a mild (severe) case of OCD.

So there you have it.  Looks like I'll be doing this for a little while.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.