Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Hours

Well, that was the opening eight pages of Mermaid Fire Brigade. Not quite chapter one--more like the prologue. I'm setting the table. Three mermaid friends, thinking about finding jobs. I think it was a fun opener.

I told you yesterday I was thinking of breaking it up into pieces, well that was Part 1.

I have to level with you all, I'm swamped. You probably guessed it from my missing week earlier this month. This summer is very, VERY tight, time-wise. I have three books due out in 2012. One I finished last month. The next one is due July 5th and the third is due in September. These are fun books that I'm very excited about. But I'm going to be working very hard to meet those deadlines.

I need to do two final pages a day, every day from now until September (two full graphic novels' worth--over 250.) Here are a couple of pages from the book I'm working on now. It's a historical graphic novel. Non-fiction--although you can see there are some silly touches, talking animals, people disappearing into smoke--it'll make sense when you see the final book in 2012. This one is about the Civil War navy--I don't want to be more specific (but history buffs can probably guess what story I'm telling from these panels.)

These are the grayscale versions--the finals have a layer of color (blue in this book) that adds extra depth. For some reason, Blogger isn't letting me show the extra color layer. Anyway--I need to log two of these a day. Plus the handful of book covers, chapter openers and other jobs I have lined up this summer. And, of course, the kids are now out of school. Which, when you work from home like I do, is a real productivity killer. (note to self: research summer schools.)

So you can imagine how hard it can be to finish all that stuff, then start on a fresh page of a blog comic around midnight. Like I said, I'm swamped.

I'm not sure what the solution is yet. My priority is the contracted books (of course.) At the same time, these books were born on the blog (the one above sold because of my Lewis and Clark comic.) So I don't want to neglect the blog. I think I need to post simpler stories. Mermaid Fire Brigade was WAAAAAAAAAY too complex for my current work schedule. It was almost like doing a THIRD page after finishing the two for the book. It'll be back, but not until this current graphic novel project is finished.

Bear with me. I'm figuring things out as I go. I don't know if a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule would work (just for the summer!) or even a Tuesday-Thursday...or maybe just a simpler drawing style (PINNIPED PARTY style!) I don't know. But I will continue to post stories and fun stuff--even if the schedule is a little different for the next three months. Who wants to check their computer every day in the summertime, anyway? It could be like a nice vacation for all of us.

Sorry again for the rocky patch. First the missing week, then Mermaid Fire Brigade cutting off eight pages in. I'm not sure what my summer hours will be. But I'll keep you posted.

Now I've got to get some sleep--I've got more pages to finish tomorrow. Enjoy the Civil War Navy sneak preview. I'll start something totally new tomorrow.


Q said...

Are you asking us to have patience?? Horror!

Good luck.

Jed Henry said...

Wow, I was just entertained by HISTORY! Way to go, Nate!

Lizzie said...

Pinniped Party III. That's all I'll say.

Mike Blake / Monisawa said...

2 finished pages a day? On top of cover, chapter headers and chidlren book illustrations?! Wow...good luck.

Opaleyz said...

Yes, good luck! That is quite a lot. And I'll look forward to seeing Carlos and the mermaids sometime in the future :)

I for one will be happy just to continue seeing your work--even if it's only once or twice a week. I'm a relatively new follower to your blog (started during the month o' covers challenge) but plan to stick around. Would love to see more potential cover ideas and the theme-picture posts (where we were able to suggest ideas) :D

Meredith said...

I'm excited to read this! I love nonfiction graphic novels. Good luck with all of your deadlines!

Nathan said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone. I promise to keep thing rolling here on the site.

Sarah C. said...

By the way, dig the burns on Mr. Ericsson

Helene said...

History is WAY cooler when there are talking animals and people who disappear into smoke. It looks entertaining so far.
Good luck and may the Force be with you!

Rachel Q said...

I agree--who does want to check the computer every day in the summer? I usually check my fav blogs (like this) once or twice a week and just read what I missed. Work on your priorities and your fans will still be here.

Good luck!