Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"My Freelance Career went to Nowheresville... and all it brought me back was this stupid Head-butt..."

It's been awhile,eh? Got a bit lost in the day-to-day grind and forgot that I had an actual avenue to release some steam through.
Very hectic around the home front... had to usher in a new roommate on very short notice. This was accomplished, but I'm still unsure as to the wisdom of my decision. I've never lived with a woman before that wasn't a romantic partner... so the ensuing awkwardness that followed her arrival was quite new to me. So far so good though... while it isn't much, a little help with the rent is always welcome (even if it comes with certain sacrifices).

So... work has been VERY slow as of late. Frighteningly so,..to be precise. I have some money still coming down the pipe from my last teaching gig at the Museum (After-School Sculpting Symposium for High School students at the Museum of Natural History), but aside from that and a small Calligraphy job in the wings... the subtle sucking sound of the "income vacuum" is growing louder. However, one good thing that has come from this recent Freelance defecit is my current progress on my next Heavy Metal strip...

The pages are flying by at a surprisingly decent rate (for me, anyway) and I'm finding myself strangely pleased with the resulting imagery. This is not to say that I think the pages are bursting with artistic merit... far from it. It's pulpy comic book style storytelling at it's most basic... dramatic angles, high drama, graphic action... all the stuff that I used to relish in the books that I read in my youth. Standard fare... nothing special. Occasionally, I may find a glimpse of something greater in one of my panels... but this hopeful discovery soon fades as I bury that happy accident in a page full of necessary but pedestrian transitional panels that help to further the story. I'm happy though that the book looks consistent and the characters seem to strut about their environments with convincing weight and verve.

I'm at page 22 now in a projected 33 to 35 page story. Pages 1 through 19 are already inked as well (with possible completion of pages 20 and 21 coming this weekend) and scanned in for placement into Photoshop for coloring and Illustrator for dialogue bubbles and layout. I guess that makes me around 1/3 done... geez.

My new roommate keeps asking me how I can be so sure that Heavy Metal will even run my story once I've finished it...
I haven't really got a good answer for her... but if my past track history serves me, they've already printed 2 of my earlier efforts that were vastly inferior to this project. I even spoke to Mr. Eastman himself (Magazine Publisher and Editor-in-Chief) a few years back about it at a convention... he offered to print the thing along with re-prints of my earlier stories as a trade paperback. I'm sure that he's long forgotten this discussion... but I'm hoping that the quality of the work will at least merit a print run in the regular monthly Magazine if not a trade.

I still have the first printing of the the first issue of the ridiculous "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" book that made Mr. Eastman so goddamned rich in the first place... perhaps that small past gesture will resonate loud enough for the boomerang to head back in my direction...

I'll be waiting.


CamChes said...

I hear ya about the trials of freelance..
Mr Follender! I thought that was you. Cool stuff. I'm eager to read your new Heavy Metal bound story. Are you planning on checking out MoCCA at all? Its a prett cool event.
Keep your stick on the ice, and hope to see you soon.

Justin Leigh Leiter said...


Hey, well I guess you do have a blog! Great to see you puttin' some stuff up on 'net...latest page looks sweet. I'll have to come back and read all your posts when I get home later.

I might have written some stuff a bit prematurely on my own blog in response to your post..so forgive me if I got anything wrong...maybe we can touch base for a lunch/dinner or something one of these days.

- Justin

Dan Springer said...

Great head-butt drawing- let me know when it comes out in Heavy Metal.