Toward the Stage V: Progress Update

Hello again, hypothermic reader. You look a little chilly. Where’s that very fetching shawl you were sporting those many months ago?

Since last we spoke, my darling, I have been hard at work doing “the business,” as it were. The script has expanded, contracted, and expanded again to come to rest at a comfortable 110 pages, all of which are pencilled, 59 of which are inked. Which leaves me with 51 more pages to finish. My deadline is now 5 March, which looms very threateningly in the future.

The Author, panicking.

Mercifully, I’m not going anywhere for a while and have no obligations aside from the day job and marriage stuff for a bit. November was spent in a large part on the road visiting friends in Baltimore and Soph’s family out in LA (see below), which cut severely into drawing time. December was spent in a medium to large state of panic, January much the same. I’m taking the last week of this month (February) off from my day job so as to finish what I can.

When the Author attempts to calm himself, he imagines this vista with a slack-key Hawaiian guitar soundtrack. (Note: this is the Santa Monica Pier, which the Author visited with his Beloved around Thanksgiving).

Disheartening though the experience of trying to do 110 12-panel pages of comics while holding down a full-time job, tabling at conventions, and doing Human Family Stuff may have been, I’ve learned much about my process and become considerably faster on the proverbial draw. Imagine your favorite cartoonist whipping through pages of pencils at around 2.5h each and pages of inks at ~3h. When I return to Turmring after this production debuts in April I should be able to rock the motherfucker out with uncanny speed.

Speaking of the production, things are progressing more or less smoothly. We’re set to begin rehearsals on 11 March. I won’t have the entirety of the book inked by opening night, but considering that the audience will each receive a handsome perfect-bound copy of the first 55 pages of the book with the price of admission, I think I may just be able to forgive myself.

From a scene in the latter part of the first half. The lettering reading “snuggles” may or may not make it into the final product.

We’re looking at probably around 80m total run time, with a 15-20m Q+A after the curtains fall. I am grappling with the idea of simply doing the first half of the book–up to the point that the free print edition stops–rather than showing unfinished work. My main concern here is that the first half may not be quite long enough to fill the amount of time that I’m required to fill. What do you think, dear reader?

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