In my year-long to-do list (yes, I have one of those), March is labeled “Kismet”. My goal for the month is 50 pages, penciled and inked, though probably not colored. That’ll give me a year of weekly updates. It sounds like a lot, and it may end up being an unrealistic goal, but I’m starting to realize that sometimes it’s good to challenge myself. And it’s been awhile since I’ve regularly, consistently done comics. I’m sort of curious how fast I’m going to be once I settle into it.
I know it’s technically still February, but I started penciling tonight, so hey! Progress bars.
1 / 50 pages. 2% done!
0 / 50 pages. 0% done!
0 / 50 pages. 0% done!
Status of the me:
I’m going on vacation! \o/ … to visit my sister in Ithaca, New York, from Oct. 1-24. So I will be kind of intermittently available; I have no doubt I’ll still be online quite a bit, but I will probably be slow (slower than usual, I mean) responding to comments, emails and whatnot.
State of the books:
I have ordered proof copies of the Freebird book. I’m on track to have copies available the first week in November. Sadly, I’ve missed the deadlines for the local holiday bazaars (… fail, self, fail). But unless something horrible happens with CreateSpace, I should have it available in a few local stores and online by November. Sequential Tart interviewed me for their November issue; I will link to the interview when it’s up!
I’ve also been working on the Hunter’s Moon book, and have realized there is a lot less prepwork to do than I’d thought. I actually typeset it back in 2008 … so really, it’s just a lot of miscellaneous work to update those old pages and make sure they aren’t riddled with inaccuracies. I’ve done updates and corrections on a number of pages since then (fixing typos, changing titles …), and I need to find a bit more filler and proof all the text to make sure there are no references to parts of my website that no longer exist. I still don’t know for certain what I’m putting on the cover, either. But it’s not like I’m facing a blank 360-page document. I think I’m going to shoot for a February or March release date; that’ll let me get through the holidays and then focus on it in 2013.
Now if I could just figure out why I can’t seem to draw pages, despite knowing (at least in general) what I want to put on them. Is there such a thing as artist’s block?
Well, first of all, Sun-Cutter is not going to resume on Monday. The Kismet LJ feed CLAIMS that there is a new page, but it’s a glitch (mine, not the computer’s — I had a page set to update today and forgot, so it was only up for about 5 minutes ’til I discovered and pulled it).
I do have two pages done, but I want a bigger backlog than that, because as I have learned over the last six months, I don’t seem to be able to switch gears between fiction and comics very effectively. And most of my creative energy has been going into fiction lately (and this will continue for the near future). So, long story short, without a bigger backlog of pages, I’m just going to be right back in this exact same boat before too long. In order to get a chunk of pages done, I need to carve out a week or two that’s devoted to doing nothing but the comic, and I wasn’t able to do that in July. And I would be looking at another updating interruption in October anyway, since I have travel plans that month.
So, rather than stopping and starting all over the place, I’m going to tentatively (but optimistically!) aim for resuming updates in November. If the autumn gets away from me (as it so often does; it’s one of the busiest times of year), then I’ll push it back to January and make Sun-Cutter a priority in 2013.
In the meantime, I have the Sun-Cutter archive on my website and also on Tumblr now.
Also, THE SPAMMERS HAVE FOUND ME, so I’ve got the WordPress blog set to accept only comments from registered users right now. I’ll open it up to everybody when I start using this blog more, but if I’m only updating once or twice a month and don’t really have many people reading this blog, the hassle of dealing with the spam isn’t really worth it.
… in all its 340-page glory. \o/
It’s not linked from the main page yet; I’m still figuring out what that end of things is going to look like. (I think that I want a single front page for all the Kismet graphic novels, which then links to each novel’s individual page. So I still need to build that.) And I might add another layer of menus at the bottom of each comic page with links to the main page and whatnot. But basically, this was today’s project and I GOT IT DONE. I think this calls for a glass of wine. *pours*
Things I have learned today:
- Internet Explorer is DEMONSPAWN. (Well, okay, I already knew that, but I got to the point where I was so baffled at how to get some of my div tags to be compatible with IE that I just broke down and used tables. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.)
- Linux shell scripting, on the other hand, is awesome. Once I got my page template and CSS in nice working order, the entire 340-page archive was generated using a single while loop (in batches, so that I could swap out different SSI menus).
- The Mac has tools to do a batch filename find-replace! How did I never know this before?
I’ve wanted to get the HM archive on my own domain for a long time, and now it’s there — ad-free, bare-bones, safe and permanent as long as I pay my web hosting bill. I don’t know how to do a lot of fancy pro-quality things with HTML, and my general website design aesthetic is still stuck in 2002 — but I can do basic functional web design and I’m pretty happy with it.
The rest of my July website To Do list, not necessarily in order:
- Portal page for the Kismet graphic novels.
- Locally hosted Sun-Cutter archive (probably based on the HM page template, except with a white background).
- Finish getting Sun-Cutter up on Tumblr.
- Downloadable versions of Hunter’s Moon (PDF and HTML).
- Some sort of gallery.
I’ve been working on my Icefall Studio tumblr – there are now individual pages for Sun-Cutter and Hunter’s Moon, and I’ll upload the Sun-Cutter pages in batches (scene by scene) ’til I get up to the current pages.
HM is definitely not going on Tumblr in its entirety. There is just too much of it, and Tumblr is not an good interface for reading through old, long webcomic archives. For a new comic, though, I think it might work out well. And if it doesn’t, it’s only an experiment and I haven’t lost anything. I definitely want to get the HM archives up on my website; that’s on my July to-do list.
Right now, Sun-Cutter is on hiatus. It will return on Aug. 6. (This is tentative, subject to my being able to get a backlog of pages ready by then.)