November 15th, 2013

smokin'

The Sleeper Awakens, Release the Krakens

Spent the last few weeks finishing up an 8-page block of Fun Strips and some Eltingville Club stuff. Beast of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers got some more lettering tweaks, but it's all set, so, hey, March, 2014 for sure. We had a very nice Halloween. Caught my daughter's cold last week while working on a piece for the CBLDF, got sicker, got a little better, finished up the page, got better, (re)watched a few episodes of Kolchak, The Night Stalker, read Inkheart, got a little less better, should be more better tomorrow, so back on Eltingville tomorrow, straight until we finish that sucker up and shoot it in the head.

I'm very excited and also very nervous about finishing up Eltingville after all this time, especially since I don't really ever properly end any of the stuff I have a say in:

Milk and Cheese - semi-retirement
Hectic Planet - limbo
Dork/House of Fun - ongoing, although published sporadically (ha ha)
Kid Blastoff/Biff-Bam-Pow! - more limbo
Beasts of Burden - ongoing, until we get it done (...)
Fight-Man - I can't end it because it's not mine, so, it doesn't count, so shut up

I quit the Murder Family, then I brought them back, and I have a final strip idea, so who knows where that's not going. The Devil Puppet's in limbo (probably a good place for him). I dropped Phil, The Disco Skinhead, but he gets a cameo in the next round...all those one-joke bits of business keep popping up again, no matter how one-joke they are (or how little business they do). Nothing really ever gets cleaned up and put away for good in the House of Fun. Except for Furious George, okay, who I dropped because so many people were also doing things named "Furious George" in the 90's, and it was lame, but again, with me, you never know. In my weaker moments I'm apparently willing to dip into any inkwell again, no matter how Higgins-ass weak the ink down there may be.

The only extended series I've been involved with that was intentionally wrapped up was Bill and Ted's Excellent Comic Book, and that's only because we knew we were getting canceled with enough time to humanely put the book to sleep. If it was my own project and my own call the project would still be sitting with a non-ending at #12 in Overstreet with a potential #13 always just teased out of reach in interviews, long-promised stories never achieved, existing somewhere in the wings of a far-off corner of the Comic Book Phantom Zone.

This is why it feels so weird to me to finally -- after 20 years or so --  be finishing up The Eltingville Club. After making comics professionally for about 27 years or so, this is the first project of my own that I'm finishing up on my own terms, something most creators do much earlier in their career, something many creators have done many times over by my age. It was never the way I worked, or the way things worked out, until now, so, this is a new experience for me, heaped on top of the mixed feelings I get finishing up any extended gig of importance (to me). I'm not trying to make more of it than it is, I'm not hating on myself but I'd be the first to say (and here I go) that this isn't the end of a big deal comic from a big deal creator, and these aren't big deal characters making big-deal money that most folks want around forever (certainly not me, brother). But they've had a run, better than most small press things, and they had a solid shot at a cartoon series, and they made some folks laugh, and some other folks angry, my little monster children. Who I'm going to put out of their miserableness. So, yeah, it's a strange feeling.

If only wish the end could be quick and painless, for my sake as well as theirs. But I'm not as fast as I was back in '93, and the eyes aren't what they used to be. On the other hand, that first Eltingville comic looks like a blind raccoon drew it with a dirty twig during a seizure. So, at least these last pages will look a lot better than those first ones.

Okay, I'm off to kick the last of this cold with a decent night's sleep (fingers crossed). Latersville, kids.