Friday, February 28, 2014

Third Chapter Now Finished...Where Do I Go From Here?

To paraphrase my daughter, that is one big kitty.

We were about due for a cliffhanger ending. Of course, that's in terms of print. If this was a regular comic book, you'd have to wait a month (or more) to see what happens next. Thanks to the web format, the next chapter begins Monday....hope you can stand the suspense.

I've always had the overall story sorta figured out, and now I have all the basic building blocks aligned and know where everything is supposed to go, with only one big exception. One of the characters is arguing with me about where they finally fit in to the story; other than that, all I have to do is write the details, lay out the pages, draw the suckers and get them on the pages in time to the crazy pace I've managed for the past six months. Two more chapters to go aand I'm finally beginning to believe I can pull it off.

You may have noticed the ads at the top of the page; if you are not familiar with Project Wonderful; it's a cool web advertising system recommended to me by one of my heroes in web comics, the inimitable Danielle Corsetto. I may add some other ad boxes in the next few days, time allowing (what are the chances of THAT?)

Finally, I hope the city of Kyoto will forgive me for what's about to happen. I used to love giant monster movies as a kid (Mothra gave me nightmares after I first saw it) and I used a lot of reference photos to try and get as many details right as I could. That being said, my mind DID start to wander as I was doodling all thoes buildings, so I started to add in a few extra items. ET, phone home!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy Birthday

Today would have been Jeffrey's birthday; the second since he passed just before his 53rd. He would have been 54 today.

I'm preparing the last pages of the 3rd chapter of this story, and the end is in sight - I know how most of the story fills out from here. While the pace has been tough to keep up, I'm now pretty sure I will be able to finish this story. I'm beginning to wonder about the next one, which is already taking shape in my head.

A number of unusual things have happened while I've been writing this. As has been described to me by other artists, the characters start to take control of the story and at times it seems I'm just writing down what they tell me to. A number of plot lines have changed completely because the "people" involved didn't like the direction I was going in.

The best thing, though, is that Jeffrey has stayed fresh and alive in my mind for the past year. Master Jeffrey was officially started as a one page, one time thing for Magic Bullet, but now he's evolved into something a little grander, and one that I hope will last. I still don't know if Jeffrey would approve of everything I've done with this, but for now, I'll just be grateful that he's still enough in my thoughts that I can bother to ask the question.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


As the area (I'm in Virginia, outside of DC) poises for yet another big snow, I can't help thinking about Jeff and how he worried about snow. Anyone with Jeff's aerodynamic had trouble if there was more than 8 inches on the ground, and he lived in Pittsburgh, which will probably get well over a foot tonight.

Jeffrey's biggest lament was to wonder how he would survive all by himself, but I would remind him how many people were around to support him. The Metzgers, who would come over and dig out his car; the various helpers at JSS who would come to check on him and make sure he had enough milk and TP, and the resident assistants who made sure he had heat and running water. I would sit on the phone, sometimes three or four times a day, just helping him remember all the people in his life.

I think we all forget sometimes about the old "no man is a n island" adage, and how much we all need to take care of one another. Indeed, how much we ARE being taken care of, no matter how alone we sometimes get. Take a minute and remind yourself of that, and while you're at it, remind someone else that they're not alone. Stay warm.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Yortzeit is the Jewish ceremony remembering someone on the anniversary of their passing. Prayers are said, and a candle is lit. Not much beyond that; there are other things to do if you want, but the point is to not let their memory fade. We used to light a candle for people's memories in church, but you don't see that any more. I guess fire regulations don't like all those unattended flames.

Jeffrey passed away one year ago, and it still seems like yesterday that I was talking to him. I guess it's because the story is keeping him alive for me, and for that I'm grateful. I'm not sure how he'd feel about the book; hopefully he's be amused, and I'm sure I'd have to explain some of the jokes and events that take place. Part of me really wants to know what he thinks, and part of me wants to avoid the thought because it will make it that much harder to finish, but for now, I'm just grateful that I don't have to light a candle to picture him.