Thank you to everyone that has sent me or Kazu messages of congratulations and well wishes. A lot has happened since my last post. The wedding came and went at breakneck speed. It was without hesitation the happiest day of my life, including all of the stress and busy-ness that comes with wedding preparations (four hours of sleep a night!). I got a chance to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and express to everyone important to me how much Kazu and I are in love with each other.
I'm still in awe of how perfectly everything came together pretty much at the last minute. Everyone involved from family to friends put so much effort and fun into making it a heavenly day. Even though I never dreamed of getting married when I was little, let alone spend time daydreaming about a perfect wedding, if I had it would've turned out exactly as it did. I feel like it's the beginning of the rest of my life, and I can't wait to see what the future holds!
A lot of photos from guests of the party have been uploaded, but I picked a couple favorites that you can see here. (Above photos courtesy of photographer extraordinaire, Eric Wu.)
Two days after the wedding, I got a call from my editor telling me that book 2 of Sorcerers & Secretaries was due for printing the following Monday. In a massive last minute effort, Kazu and I toned about 100 pages of comics in a week. We had great help from pretty much anyone that would give it to us, including the online toning team of Dee, Olga, Nicole, and Laura, as well as our friends Ben and Alan.
After toning everything, there was a discrepancy with the lettering of the book. With Kazu's help, I managed to double-check and re-letter almost the whole book just last night, with the book being sent to printers today. Hopefully it'll turn out okay!
It was interesting having so much help while finishing up S&S, especially from Kazu. We're always discussing the problems with the process of making comics, how draining and lonely it can be. Working with Kazu and having so many people helping out, though, finishing up the book was a total blast (especially working with Kazu! We make an awesome comics team). It made me realize the importance of working with a group of people, and that it is possible to do so without chopping up the roles so clearly into a factory-type process like in traditional superhero comics (one person's an inker, one's a colorist, one's a penciller, etc.). The sort of organic process of many multi-talented hands pushing for a single book is something I'd like to try again with my next project.
Whether comics are published in book format, in serialized floppies, or on the web, I'm beginning to realize that it's not about the format the comics come in that makes it so difficult. From my side, it's more about what goes on behind the scenes and the energy put into the quality of a project. I think when you see book 2, you'll be able to tell the difference it makes when you work with a group of people. It seems so obvious that two heads are better than one, but in graphic novels usually everything is done by one person. I wasn't used to the idea of sharing comics duty with others at all. My comics were my babies! But if I'm going to take this seriously as a career, I think I need to learn how to build a strong group for making these things. Now that Kazu and I have a studio space we share with other artists, collaboration springs up naturally and it's so much better than working alone. I can't even express what a world of difference it makes.
My goals for the next book are to push myself to make the most quality material possible, and to learn how to delegate better, something I learned from watching Ben conduct business at Nucleus.
It's been a crazy, maddening, hectic, but ultimately wonderful two weeks. I got married, completed my first published work, and moved into a studio space all within the same month. I've only barely caught up on sleep today (stayed up for 72 hours straight finishing up S&S), so forgive me if this blog post is kind of tired-sounding! My plans now are to help Kazu paint Amulet, rest up a bit, and start planning my next project, whatever it may be. I can't wait!