The holidays were really good to me. I got to see my Mom and brother Tim, and had some good time off. It gave me time to think. I let off a lot of steam on poor Kazu about how frustrated I was doing comics, and I was about ready to quit. In fact I was telling a few friends how I was going to try doing something else for a while.
But I still had book 2 to finish, and I didn't want to do it with a defeatist attitude. Still, the ending was really frustrating me. It was 15% off the mark, and there was no way I was going to just keep drawing blindly, hoping it would work out in the end as I usually do. No one had read chapter 3, or chapters 1-3 all at once yet and given me any substantial feedback. This was really self-imposed. I didn't want to bug people about it, but this time I was really stuck. So I reluctantly forced poor Kazu to read it for me. After reading it, we had a little story meeting and with a simple sentence he fixed all the problems I've been having with the last three chapters. I can't describe how happy this made me, because not only did it make me excited for S&S again, but it also lifted all my fears and doubts about being a comic artist. Silly, isn't it? I didn't understand it until I had a chat with Jen Quick about our profession. As a graphic novelist, these works aren't serialized and you spend most of your time in your imagination without any reaction to your work but your own, the days can become depressingly lonely. I think this was at the root of my negative feelings about comics lately.
I feel so lucky to be with someone that can understand what I'm going through, and I need to remember to share my work more often with close friends and family (and my awesome editor!). In the least, it will give me a feeling of collaboration so I won't thing I'm flying solo all the time.
With a renewed enthusiasm for the characters, I was inspired to do this cintiq painting of Nicole and Josh waiting for a bus in Flushing, Queens (in my imagination, not accurate to the real Flushing!). I always want to do these kinds of images, but am either too lazy or lacked the confidence to give it a good try. And really, doing this painting didn't take me more than a day. I feel like I'm learning good lessons doing this series, and there's nothing else I would want to do right now than work on it.
By the way, according to amazon book 2 of Sorcerers & Secretaries comes out June 12th.