Title: 1522

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2005

August 2005


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Title: 1522

August 30, 2005
12:01 AM

Ugh. What a day. I’m feeling pretty drained at the moment – I spent all day wrestling with just getting monday’s comic done, and that left pretty much no room for Tuesday. I actually came home, and without even intending to, fell asleep on the couch. I’m tapped out right now. So, as it stands for just the moment, I’m a day behind. I’ll be working on tuesday’s comic tomorrow, and then I’m going to attempt to get back to caught up again in the next few days.

I’ll make another post tomorrow when I get to work. I’m too tired to really think right now.

Title: 1522

August 30, 2005
12:01 AM

Okay. Now that I’ve had time to finish the comic and get it up, and get a few moments to rest my brain, here’s that update I promised last night. Would have just written it last night, but I was tired, and would have just muddled through it. Hell, I might still do just that. :)

The long and the short of it is, as of Monday, I’m voluntarily taking myself out of the Daily Grind Iron Man Competition.

When I initially got into it, it seemed like a novel idea. 20 bucks on the table, go up against some other cartoonists, see who lasts the longest. At the time, I was spotty on most monday updates, or at least I felt I was. I thought the grind would be a nice way to kick my butt into gear and keep me from missing a day. Plus, I saw that Steve Troop was in it already, and it was going to be fun to go up against him.

But lately it’s been taking its toll on me. Not because I have a hard time getting a comic done every day – I can do that. But I’ve noticed that my motivation has been completely misplaced. I’ve been so worried about getting a comic up when I’m, say, at a convention, or out of town, that I notice a lack of quality sometimes. And many times, I’ve found myself just dreading doing the comic – that’s NEVER a good thing for me.

The thing is, according to the rules of the grind, I could just draw any ol’ comic, and as long as it conforms to the “two panel rule”, doesn’t contain photos or other peoples’ art, and various other sorts of caveats, it’s an acceptable comic. I COULD do that. But I refuse to. I could draw two panels of stick figures, string in some senseless or wacky dialogue, and it’d count. But that’s not true to the initial spirit of the competition. And I feel like I’m driving myself crazy trying to put out the best comic I can, while some people in the grind are just conforming to the rules… it’s not an even contest. It doesn’t dictate anything about quality, so even though MOST of the other cartoonists in the grind are committed to putting out high-quality work, the fact that some get by with five minutes of effort is enough to make me stop and think “why am I trying so damn hard? What am I trying to prove?”

I’m not decrying the contest, by any means. I still think it’s a great idea, and there are quite a few people whom I’ve become aware of and fans of that I would never have found without the grind. I was hoping for a nice forum community where the cartoonists participating could engage in friendly discourse… but that kind of fell through. Oh well. And in some cases, I feel like the effort I put into getting Real Life out every day falls short of the effort a few of those guys put into their comics. What it all boils down to is that I’m not really getting what I was hoping to get out of the grind, so rather than be a stubborn ass and just keep in it for no reason other than bragging rights, I’m just going to forfeit gracefully.

One thing I want to do is take a week or so, and just take a break and get my head in order. Lately, I’ve found myself not enjoying doing the strip the same way I used to. My thinking is that part of it is because my purpose shifted to getting a comic done come hell or highwater just for the grind, rather than doing it for me. I’ve said time and time again throughout my years of doing this – if I ever feel like I’m not doing this for myself, something’s wrong. Well, something IS wrong. And I need to fix it.

So, starting monday, I’m going to run a week, possibly two, of guest comics. I recently found a CD where I’d backed up all those comics I solicited a while back, but I’d also like some new submissions, too. (Send any guest art submissions to my posted e-mail address, with the subject line “GUEST STRIP”. Comics can be any height, but need to be 530 pixels wide.) I’m going to be using the spare time to purge my brain a little, take some time for just myself, and maybe catch up on a few projects that have fallen behind as of late. (like getting that elusive Book 2 started) I’m going to finally GET OFF MY ASS and start working on The Forge again. And near the end of it, I’m gonna get back into the swing of things and hit the ground running. I’m going to re-energize myself. This will be a good thing. I promise.

*slaps a 20 down on the counter* I’m out.