When I finished Dump earlier this year, I decided to lay off doing any longer form comics for a while. Dump was 50-odd pages, and was the sequel to Berserkotron, itself around 40-odd pages. I wanted to have a break from working away on the same story for years, and concentrate on doing shorter pieces. And I have done that over the summer, working on stories ranging from 1 to 6 pages.
An opportunity arose though. A new kind of project for me. I was offered “a regular comic spot” at a website. I thought that sounded interesting, but didn't really know what it would entail. The editor wanted to feature a strip, with open ended deadlines. I put my thinking cap on and came up an idea I thought could work as a serialised comic book. I reckoned I could commit to doing a new page for it every three weeks.
This was approved. I decided to go about this story differently than Berserkotron and Dump. To explain, although I knew the rough shape of those stories and how they ended, I wrote and drew those comics in chunks. Berserkotron was done in six page chapters for an APA, and I put together Dump as a three issue series. When it was time for a new chapter, I just sat and wrote and drew them, then stopped work on it for months at a time in between chapters. I had to reacquaint myself with where I was in the story, details of what had happened, etc.
This time I didn't want to work that way. I was going to sit in a concentrated period and work on the story until I was finished. And so I did. I had some time off work coming up and worked solidly throughout it. First, I put down every idea I had for the story and then started to knit it all together, ideas sparking new ideas as I went. After 5 A4 pages of notes, I was ready to start writing. A week or two later, I had it all written. 50-odd pages once again.
And then came the expected psychological barrier of starting up the mountain. I was working on other comics, doing talks, getting involved in comics related projects, all the time knowing I was gearing up for picking up the pencil for page 1 of this story.
The excitement in my mind took hold today. Tonight I did get started, and that page has been pencilled. Pretty soon, I'm going to be able to introduce my new comic to you. Can't wait!