Jeffrey Lewis (Back When I was Four)
The Wombats (Let's Dance to Joy Division)
The Flaming Lips (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots)
Just about done with the first issue here. After weeks of working at high gear, happy as anything, happier than I've been in ages really, the situation abruptly turned as I got to the inking stage. It wasn't a horrible place to be, certainly not as bad as some places I've been in recent memory, but the proximity to those ugly times induced a bit of panic at first. All the tools felt alien in my hands, and no matter how closely I studied books on their use and how other artists dealt with them, when it came down to actually using these pens and brushes and inks, I was completely flummoxed. The most frustrating part being the speed, or extreme lack thereof.
It's like being on those moving sidewalks at the airport. You're not in any hurry to catch your flight, you know you'll make it but adding a little more pep to your step makes the going feel that much better, zipping past the generic art on the walls, past other travelers, easily, breezily.
Then you hit that gap between moving sidewalks and BAM, you have catch yourself, you worry about tripping, you try to balance your teetering suitcase as the wheels catch on the carpet. And then the world is no longer flying by, you're part of it again, and the clock is ticking.
It's boring, tedious, precarious and unforgiving. Not a place I like to be.
And to go from tentative brush strokes back to steady confidence penciling the next batch of pages is not as easy as all that. I spent most of last week stuck, staring at my board, drawing here and there but not getting into that groove, feeling the minutes and hours tick by.
I'm now getting inking help for this last set, a flashback scene, so it shouldn't disrupt the continuity. It's a good compromise, hopefully one that will help establish some kind of truce with my brain as I learn to incorporate new skills into the routine.
Despite the hiccups, I'm really happy how it's turning out. The colourist, Charlie Kirchoff has been sending me pages and they look amazing. Can't wait to see this on the shiny paper stock. It'll be one pretty book.