Damn. Some nights are just frustrating. Days too. Not in a “general life” sort of way but in a specific “the drawing I’m working on came out crappy” kind of way. Failure is not a fun thing I tell ya.

I’ve been working on a comic for a new website I want to put up. I haven’t worked on many comics in recent years and the one I’m doing now is experimental in its structure and storytelling. It’s been slow going. It doesn’t help that I don’t have exactly what I want to do, in terms of it’s presentation and integration with other web media, completely nailed down yet. I told you it was experimental. It also didn’t help that I tried to rush my own process. That never works out for me. Except sometimes I have to work fast. Changing speeds can be helpful. Knowing the difference between working faster and rushing is the tough part.

I’ve been working on this comic for a while. This is the third version of it as I’ve tried to suss out exactly what format I want to work in. Print and the web each have their own considerations especially since a normal comic is vertical and a computer screen is horizontal. That’s a fundamental difference. The web can also be much more non-linear. So I’ve worked up and drawn a half dozen pages in a couple of formats. I’ve finally decided on a horizontal size and page layout. I’ve also had to redraw each page two or three times as they story transformed.

I have been trying to get the first eight pages written and drawn all winter. I thought I finally had that done and then would be able to move on to finishing them with ink and color. After ink and color I plan to work on integrating prints, video, and paintings into them. That’ll really be a challenge.

And let’s not even mention the lettering. It’s taken me weeks to figure out what I want to do with the lettering because somehow everything I did looked bad to me. I want a lettering look different than your average web or print comic. But what exactly that look is took a while. But at least I figured that part out.

I had pages two through eight done and was working on page one (it’s been a weird process) when I thought I was there. I put together page one from a variety of drawings from previous versions. Usually at this point I had been completely redrawing the page after transforming it form an earlier version. But I got tired of doing that and though I could go to the final inks on page one without any more drawing. I was wrong.

I just finished the final inks on page one and the page is not right. It’s a failure. I should have redrawn it because even through the drawings were in a pretty finished state after being drawn for earlier different page layouts they were now in a new context. In that context they needed further work. My impatience made me miss that important fact. Context always matters.

It’s a tough feeling when you look at a bunch of work you did and realize it all has to be redone. It’s even tougher when you know that you should have realized this at the beginning of the process. It’s my own damn fault! That’s my frustration tonight.

At least I have been having some fun with the cards I’ve been making. They are playing card size and I’m going to be using them for promotion. I’ve been making some new drawings and taking some old ones and printing them out, double sided, on my printer. Then I laminate them and cut them out. I even bought a little cutter that rounds the corners of the cards. They end up looking kinda neat. I think I’ll make more of them. But first I have to redraw that damned page. I can’t look at it right now. I’ll wait until morning. Things always look better in the morning.