Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dishful Thinking.


Welcome to the latest update on "Saturday" the book. It's kind of like the hot sheets for this book I'm working on. That is, if the hot sheets only came out once every two weeks and contained almost no useful information.

Anyhoo, how are ya? I'm still chipping away at the edits. I've actually hit kind of an uninteresting part of the editing process. The work is just a little tedious at the moment. But, to be fair, I'm still working on a comic book, so the lowered interest level is relative. Saying I'm at an uninteresting part of drawing my dream project is like saying I've hit a boring part of eating birthday cake with a unicorn. In the back of a dune buggy. Flying through space. It's still fun on a bun.

As for the search for an agent and publisher, well...there's been a bit of a development, but don't get your hopes up just yet. I received some feedback from an agent who was kind enough to take time to read the book. He liked the artwork and the story, but said he thought most publishers probably wouldn't be interested for a couple of reasons. Foremost among them was that "Saturday" doesn't exactly fit neatly into any category.

It's somewhere between a children's book and a graphic novel. It's also somewhere between age groups. When you write a book, publishers want it to be for a specific age group. Publishing is the business of selling books. When books don't fit nicely into a category, it makes it hard to market them. Which makes it hard to sell them. I understand this. And if this ends up being the reason "Saturday" is never picked up by a publisher, no big deal.

Ok, maybe it would be kind of a big deal. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't entertained fantasies of "Saturday" being a big commercial success and me rolling in caviar. Except that would smell terrible and feel creepy, so I'd probably choose to roll in something else comparably expensive, like stamps or Gruyere cheese or something (money is out of the question; it's filthy). The point is that, although I'd be disappointed, I wouldn't have any hard feelings. Publishing is a business, not an art gallery (which are also actually businesses).

But I had a reason for the way I wrote and drew "Saturday". I always knew some of the humor and some of the references and some parts of the story would be a little advanced for kids. There's a reference to "Yentl", for Pete's sake. But that's what I wanted. When I was a kid, my favorite books and movies always had elements I didn't understand (and wouldn't until I got older). But I actually liked that. I love it when you can revisit a book or a movie as you get older and constantly find new things and have your understanding of it change over time. I also think that it's condescending to give young readers material that's easy to understand. It's a disservice to assume they won't get it and to censor in advance.

Long story long: at this point, it looks like I'll be going this alone.

I've compared drawing "Saturday" to making a big meal in the past. It does feel a lot like that. It was fun. And now I want to share it. But making a big meal means using a lot of dishes. Looks like I'll be spending some quality time in front of the sink as a result. I'm not sure if that's a clear metaphor. In this case, the "dishes" are printing, distribution, marketing, shipping, and all the other stuff a publishing company would have done.

No big deal. I'm used to hard work. I kind of like it.

Hey, speaking of dishes, here's one of the panels I recently re-drew (from page 10):



If you made it through all that, it probably felt like doing a stack of dishes. As always, thanks.


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