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February 6th, 2014

#GneCoDraMo Status Report

Well somehow we’re well into February already, not sure how that happened, so that means that January must be finished and, in theory, Gneech Comics Drawing Month (GneCoDraMo) with it.

The comic has been created; the characters are starting to gel, and I like where things are going. Sometime today or tomorrow I will probably finish pencilling Issue #1. However, if I am to get it to print in time for FurTheMore, I need to ink, color, and shade 11 pages between now and February 14. It’s not impossible– but at this stage it is very unlikely.

For the last few weeks, that had me incredibly stressed. Somewhere along the way I sorta forgot what my real goals were and started fixating on the due date, working long hours, neglecting other things that also needed attention, and generally making myself crazy to meet an arbitrary standard I had created.

Yesterday, I realized I was being an idiot, and decided to take a breath and reassess where things stood. Here’s what I figured out:

  • As an experiment in learning what my limits are, #GneCoDraMo has been a complete success. My long-term production goal, of 8 pages/month with breathing room to do other things around them, appears to be quite feasible. Any more than that, over the long term, is not. I now know what my “mental bandwidth budget” for creating comics really is.
  • As a crash course in writing, pacing, and developing a comic, #GneCoDraMo has again been a complete success. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what a single page can reasonably hold, as well as for the ebb and flow of what a comic’s pacing should be like. You can’t have every page crammed full of stuff, it would become exhausting to the reader– but you have to have at least a certain amount of things happening or it feels like you’re not going anywhere. A single comic page probably carries about as much story progression as two individual comic strips, and if possible (for this project, anyway) should have at least two jokes.
  • As an exercise in progressing my art technique and learning to use Manga Studio: complete success. I love, love, loooooooooooove Manga Studio. Where was it in 1998???

So, yeah– on all of the actual goals of #GneCoDraMo, it was an unqualified success. The bonus item (i.e., having a new comic in time for FurTheMore) is still to be determined, and I would still like to get there, but I’m not going to kill myself and burn myself out on the new comic before it’s even launched to get there. I have a fallback in place already– essentially the first 8 pages as an “Issue 0″ promotional comic– and even if the full issue doesn’t get to print in time, the Issue 0 will be at FurTheMore and the comic will be launched in March.

Life’s good. :)

-The Gneech

Originally published at gneech.com. You can comment here or there.

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