Monday, November 27, 2006

Food From the Sea is done

I feel like I just ran a mini-marathon with this, but I finally finished my Food From The Sea story for Flight vol. 4 with the above cover image done today.

Making this story was very important to me for many reasons, not only because the fable I conjured reflects feelings I have about the comic industry, my professional life, and the way people interact in general. But because it encouraged me to have faith in my own abilities, and to understand that I hadn't "lost it" while working on Sorcerers & Secretaries. "It" meaning my inner fire that loves writing about broader issues that have to do with things greater than simple love stories. Despite trying my best to inject S&S with personal things that I certainly enjoy and morals that I feel are important, I do miss drawing more mythological settings and trying my best to tap into themes that are larger than life. Or at least... that feel larger. I love romantic comedies, and I love the little world I created with Sorcerers. But I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that's itching to dive back into some real epic fantasy! But I think if you've been reading my blog that's kind of a given. Doing this short story relieved some of that tension, so I'm grateful for the experience. I can say confidently that it really is one of the best things I've ever done.

Alas, more lessons to learn as a comics monk. Graphic novels require patience, and my editor and the people at Tokyopop have been more than patient with me! Despite Food From The Sea putting a bit of a dent in my S&S production schedule, I have enough time to catch up and continue to the end on time. The lovely script is waiting, and it is lovely. The only thing that's still up in the air is the ending of book 2. I have several different endings written out, each one conclusively satisfying but each one leaving the reader with a different feeling. I'm saving my choice for when I get there. I'll let the story decide which ending is right.

I'll also post some preview pages for Food From the Sea soon...

Today, Kazu found out that his godfather Juni passed away. I'm eternally grateful to the man for being a positive influence on Kazu as a person, and inspiring him with all kinds of great cartoon and animation books at a young age, so I feel like his actions are still affecting us in a way. Thank you, Juni, for looking after Kazu.

Life otherwise is generally good. The wedding dress is indeed ordered, and it's beautiful. Kazu's finger is healing okay for those interested! And Kazu's Amulet is about the most wonderful intermediate fantasy I've seen since A Wrinkle In Time. I may be biased (heh heh~), but I really really can't wait to have that book in my hands and also to see what other people think of it. I don't think any one person has made a comic this grand before, and I think it'll blow people away!

Also... we got a Christmas tree! It's fake, of course, but we had a ton of fun decorating it and putting it up the day after Thanksgiving. The star on the top reminds us of The Golden Compass, so we get all giddy looking at it. Well, I do at least!

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Life is a bowl of cherries

sometimes making comics feels like this:

but at this very moment, I feel more like this:

It's the first time I spent all day in the house in a while, I kind of forgot what it's like! Things have been busy with travel, guests, and "Food From The Sea". I have nine pages left to color for the beast, then it's back to easy-as-pie black and white S&S! It's taking me forever, but I feel like I'm learning a lot.

Thanks to everyone that stopped by to say hello at Stumptown, Portland was a lot more fun this time around without the pressure put on the city to be the best place to live. It was great seeing everyone, and seeing some of them AGAIN for the amazing 3 Trees/3 Flowers show at Nucleus. The turnout for the show was amazing and I had a wonderful time. Everyone staying at our place and everyone I met at the show (and afterwards) were such sweet and talented people. I still get all mushy when I think about how awesome everyone was and how lucky I am to meet them. I even got to play Mariokart with Tadahiro Uesugi (click the illustration link at the bottom. You won't regret it.)!

It's always bittersweet when new and distant friends come and go, but I'm also grateful for the short time I have to do work before I have to leave for four days to visit family. Hopefully by the time I get back, my wedding dress will be ordered!

Speaking of ordering, everyone should go order Jen Lee Quick's "Off*Beat" Vol. 2. The story just gets better and better! In the mean time, enjoy these photos. Time for some sleep so I can get up early and paint more fish!

click here for pics of Stumptown (courtesy Erika)

click here for pics of the 3 Trees/3 Flowers show (courtesy Vera)