G A N Z E E R . T O D A Y


Insomnia hit yesterday instead of the weekend, so I found myself up till 3:30 AM. Not working exactly. Given that I typically start my day at around 7:00-8:00AM, I can seldom function past the 2:00AM threshold, but my mind is still abuzz and much thinking tends to occur.

Woke today at 7:00AM and have been a zombie since, despite the 4 cups of coffee I've downed. Still getting some penciling done, but it is a slow drifting affair. Not full pages or anything, just bits and pieces of additional material that need to make their way into the chapter. It may only be a mere 20 pages, but it's a dense bastard, with some pages including 3-pages worth of material in them.

I suppose that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, unless you see the sneak peek I posted a couple days ago.

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There's probably room for a regular anthology called KRACKLE collecting an assortment of comix that include panels utilizing the “Kirby Krackle”. Getting the rights to all the comix that would go in it though would probably be a nightmare.

Inbox has climbed up to 90, and this cursed chapter is turning into an eternal pandora's box.

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Good morning. Off to pencil and ink 3-5 pages worth of additional material for a chapter I thought I'd have finished by yesterday already.

Energizing music and podcast recommendations very much welcome.

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I think it's fair to objectively state that THE SOLAR GRID is experimental comix. Not because it's what I set out to do as much as formal experimentation is one of the things I just really get a kick out of. But even still, I'm also accustomed to doing just the right thing for the task at hand (or so I think), so all the storytelling choices I make—however unconventional they may seem—are devised specifically in service of the story, and not just because they'll “look cool”. It just so happens that the story I came up demands a lot of creative solutions. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Although the limits of pictorial storytelling are amply pushed throughout chapters 1 to 4, I think chapter 5 (teased above) is shaping up to be my most experimental comix to date.

I think I mentioned how little I enjoy the process of digital-coloring, but today has been a joy. Likely aided by my glass of La Fin Du Monde and the beats of LCD Soundsystem (Losing My Edge is very much speaking to my soul these days.)

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Notice anything wrong with this page?

Bottom tier. Second panel from the left.

Missing. His. Fucking. Shoulder. Bag.

It is for this reason that the making of comix should be reserved only for the young. And also why having an editor is a good idea.

FML, back to the drawing board.

(Actually, I just noticed another missing thing from panel 1. FML x 1000.)

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And that's a wrap for Chapter 5!! Well, almost. Finally done with color separation sheets (12-hour work day today!), now to apply noted colors in Photoshop, followed by lettering.

It feels like I shout “it's a wrap” 3-4 times in the process of creating these chapters.

Sometimes the only reason I want THE SOLAR GRID to do well is so I can afford to bring outside inkers/colorists/letterers on board, that's all.

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6:00AM start today. Have color separation sheets for two more pages (typically about 6 sheets per page), and gray/halftone-sheets for four.

Hoping to finish them all today, before getting started on a page for an anthology-like book tomorrow.

No music or podcasts necessary, it's raining outside.

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It may be a bit early to start thinking about things like endpapers. For most publishers, they tend to be an afterthought, that's if they're considered at all (Obviously not the case for the rare obsessive-types. Yes, I'm totally talking about Chris Ware).

I've actually had the idea for the these endpapers since kickstarting the project some 3 years ago. At the time of course I thought the project would be one book. Two years in, and additional research into production stuff, it became clear that it would have to be two books (presented in a single slipcase for Kickstarter backers). Rather than repeat the same imagery across all four endpaper spreads, I came up with one continuous scroll that would be divided into four different endpaper spreads.

The above two for what will become Volume 1.

These two for what will become Volume 2.

I drew these towards the end of 2017, after having just moved to Denver. If I remember correctly, these took me about a month to complete, which—I'm sure even by Chris Ware's standards—is a ridiculous amount of time to spend on endpapers of all things. I'm glad I did it though, because it'll really set the tone for the story the minute you crack open that cover. Also, I had the opportunity to utilize these drawings for an art show based on THE SOLAR GRID.

“Business”-wise, it may not seem like the best utilization of time, but from an artistic stand-point (stupid, stupid artistic stand-point), I think the win is on multiple fronts!

Although the art for these endpapers was completed two years ago, I've only gotten around to putting together these mockups now, primarily because I'm in the negotiation stages of bringing THE SOLAR GRID to a particular Euro market by the end of 2021, and production deets are already being discussed.

We'll see how it goes.

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Redrawing a few panels that need redrawing. I hate backtracking, but certain things are just gonna haunt you too much. I think I'm pretty good at letting go and moving on most of the time. You have to pick and choose your “battles”, and it's like that everyday, regardless of what the task at hand is.

Generally speaking, when it comes to comix, I'm a big believer in the overall page being far more important than each individual panel, because it is the overall page that is “the piece” really. It's okay for there to be a panel on that page that won't blow the viewers' eyeballs out of their skulls, just so long as it doesn't ruin the overall page for you. And it can take looking at a thing more than once to know if it's worth redoing.

Too much time lost today figuring out some technical video/sound stuff. Have it down now, so might get to shooting some video content already. Maybe next week.

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I've had the idea for this bizarre color palette for my Mars sequences for several years now. Having finally got here, having finally applied my ideas, I'm now starting to have second thoughts.

Definitely hiring a colorist if I ever need colors on another book. And letterer too.

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