October 2, 2008
As of 1:55 p.m. Mickey Free: The Graphic Novel (the magazine version) is finished and ready to be sent to the printer. Really hard work and I must commend Robert Ray, Meghan Saar, Abby Goodrich and Paul Hutton for putting in long hours to bring this puppy into the pound.
Speaking of the pound, it cost $751 to "board" my dogs at the vet for a week. Don't know if that's high or low, but it did produce a Yikes! from my spouse when I told her.
Speaking of my wife, she's taking me to a marriage seminar (perhaps as a treat for finishing Mickey Free, or perhaps because Mickey Free is emblematic of our relationship).
But, I digress (yes, I'm quite buggy from the deadline-heebie-jeebies).
It all started with a petty comment from a punk kid who allegedly said, when viewing our PDF prototype which I sent out to a dozen people: "In no way is this a graphic novel." This ate at me to the point I woke up at midnight, the night before last, and whipped out 11 more scenes. Yes, I said 11. Worked on this painting for four hours:
The Top Secret Writer said to me on the phone the night before, "You've got to do Sheriff Reynolds with the watch standing in front of the stagecoach at Riverside Stage Station as the nine Apaches are being loaded on the stage with Eugene Middleton on the box and Hunkydory Holmes behind him." To which I said, "Paul, it took you 12 seconds to say that, but it's going to take me a long time to execute that. Do you know how hard it is to draw a stage with the harness—all by itself?
Anyway, I finished that scene at four in the morning, slept for two hours, got up and decided I needed to draw a couple follow up scenes of Bachenol attacking Reynolds. Here's one of them:
Not a bad likeness of Bachenol either. The punk kid who dismissed our entire effort implied I didn't know how to do a comic, which really grinds me. So At about seven in the morning, I whipped out this sequence:
On a roll, and in the zone, and more than a tad buggy, I proceeded to whip out these paintings:
The "Clang!" is for the punk who thinks this old man doesn't get how comics work.
Got home at six last night, went right to bed and got up this morning and went into the office at seven (missed yoga, don't tell Kathy). Input all of the new imagery and, working with Meghan and Robert we went through every one of the pages and fixed and plugged and fretted and edited everything until we got to the last picture and Robert Ray said, "This is a 72 dpi jpeg which you obviously scanned for your blog, but forgot to scan as a tiff for the magazine. We can't use it."
So I went home at ten and turned my studio upside down looking for the original, but couldn't find it. Asked Robert if he couldn't schmooze the 72 dpi image to work and he said no. I said, "How much time do I have?" And he said, "I'll give you until 1:30." So I went back home to my studio and whipped out a color version of the last scene (the original image was a scratchboard) and came up with this:
Finished it at 1:35 and rushed back to the office, scanned it and Robert Ray put it in place at 1:55.
Can't wait to work on the longer book version. This 20-page-excerpt was really hard to do. So much information to cram into such a small space.
"If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done."
—Old Vaquero Saying
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