May 8th, 2015

smokin'

Eltingville Uber Alles

Today we sent the text pieces for the Eltingville Club collection to editor Daniel Chabon at Dark Horse. I wrote an afterword, a short introduction to the Northwest Comix Collective story from Dork #6 and another for the Welcome to Eltingville pilot. Sarah helped me bang my typing into shape, of course I had problems on figuring out what to say and got worked up over it. It wasn't too bad, but it should've gone more quickly. I never can say goodbye easily. Or hello. Or pass the salt, for that matter.

Sarah also finished assembling the pin-ups of the Club members I did for the book. Some folks at Dark Horse have ruined their eyes and brains proof-reading all the comics (whoa, momma, what a piece of work that was), so it looks like other than writing captions for the art we're including from the animated pilot, all the work's done for the hardcover. Yay.

From what I understand it's going to be 11-12 months before it comes out, owing to having to completely reschedule it. But it's pretty much all over and done with, and I'm pretty much free of Eltingville.

It feels really good.

Eltingville was a difficult comic to work on, if comics can be said to be difficult work. You know what I mean. Always apologizing, that's me in a nut's shell. Sorry!

While writing the text pieces I revisited some old comics and the Comics Journal interview I did with Tom Spurgeon in 2000. Disheartening to read about my problems and issues at the time, because I still write and talk about having the same problems and issues now. The positive in that is that I'm dealing with that stuff a lot better than I was back then. The negative is that I'm still having to deal with it at all. My productivity is a mess, my confidence is on a pendulum, my hand is in worse shape than ever, my career's in worse shape than it was fifteen years ago. I might talk less than I used to, at least I hope so. That interview's an albatross around my neck and always will be.

And yet, I'm happier nowadays. Mostly. Less unhappy? Family, working towards getting my head together and gaining some small measure of self-worth can do things for a person. Slow going, though. I turned 50 a few weeks back, so I figure I'll have my act together and do some great work in about twenty-five years. Stick around!

In the meantime, I'm jumping back on the commissions I've owed a few folks for way too long. Drawing has been tough, to be honest, so has typing. I have to take breaks after a short time working. It sucks. I'm working on setting up some writing gigs, so far with decent results. I'm working on two 10-page licensed stories, then a text piece for a project, and hopefully some of the things we're pitching around will stick. I have two pitches sitting with a publisher, one of which I'm putting on the back burner, the other I'm revising. Sarah's taking her turn on a pitch for a project we're hoping to co-write. I'm discussing other pitches with two other publishers and we're still talking about a non-comics thing with a studio. I have one drawing gig coming up, a cover. Something's gotta shake out of that mess. One hopes.

Besides that, I'm hoping Jill Thompson will be able to get back to Beasts of Burden and finish off the next one shot, she completed about eight pages for it last year. Our last one-shot was nominated for an Eisner, much to my surprise, I think it's the first time I got a nomination in a "mainstream" category. We'll get creamed, but I welcome the free press and it's good to know some readers out there are still thinking about the series. I think about it every day.

I started some gag strips but haven't been able to work on them much, between the schedule, our ongoing house de-cluttering and the stupid hand thing. One of the 10-pagers I'm writing required a ton of research and planning, so that's been taking up time. I'm happy with the concept and hope the actual script does well by it. We'll see how that goes. The house de-cluttering has been good for us but also eats up a lot of time, everything's still two steps forward and one back around here. At least we make some progress. Our de-cluttering schedule is heading to books and toys soon, and that's going to be a tough couple of days. I have too many comic book books and vinyl pop culture widgets and something's gotta give. We've been donating stuff, dumping stuff, recycling stuff, trading stuff, giving stuff away and filling boxes with stuff we'll be putting up on eBay. It's slowly paring things down. It gets easier with every weekly session, and I've been shedding books in batches before we actively hit the category. But it's still going to be hard. Like a lot of people, I'm pretty wrapped up in my stuff, for good reasons and bad. We should all have such probelsm, I guess.

Well, the hand's telling me to log off. Hope everyone's doing okay out there, and had a good Free Comic Book Day and good non-funnybook times as well. Stay tuned for more exciting first world work and home dilemnas, right here, sometime soon-ish.