I just hit a pretty exciting milestone for my comic project, Year One. I’m working on page 100!
Drawing 100 fully fleshed out, drawn and inked pages of comics in only 9 months is kind of a huge deal for me. From 2010 to April of 2011, I literally drew no more than 30 pages of comics in the entire year, and at the time, that was a significant jump for me in terms of taking my comics seriously as something that I really do.
For a long time, my drawings were just little doodles for my zine. The time that I worked on my zine would be the only time I ever worked on comics throughout the year. I would always qualify them as ‘silly, bad drawings that I just make for fun.’ It wasn’t until last year that I decided to really work on comics as their own thing, outside of my zine, and it wasn’t until April of 2011 that I decided I had cemented enough of my own style to work on a sustained project. That’s when I jumped into drawing Year One.
It’s been a huge learning process for me. Year One has presented me with these challenges:
-setting rigid weekly deadlines for myself and absolutely not letting them slip. In a lot of cases, this meant being a lot less social than I had intended for my first year in Philly.
-drawing consistent characters from week to week and drawing anything other than myself really… which is the only thing I had really practiced before that point
-maintaining momentum and enthusiasm to work on this thing so rigidly and not discourage myself out of it
-setting up rules and guidelines for how I would incorporate other peoples’ lives into my personal comics, with a respectfulness for their boundaries
-but not letting that dictate the story and what I think I need to share to show an honest glimpse of my year. feeling out the space between personal, too personal, and impersonal has been a learning process.
-accepting that this is a story without a plot and that anything might happen in the end, including the fact that it might fail to be interesting or cohesive when read all together. realizing that this is more of an ‘experiment’ and a learning process than anything else.
-thinking of things happening in my real life in terms of story arcs. that’s just weird…
-remembering that everything i’m drawing now doesn’t go away. it’s all cemented on the page. since i’ve been posting them online, it almost feels like once they’re posted, they sort of disappear. i have to remind myself that i’m eventually going to print this and my whole love life throughout the year is going to stick around. haha.