I realized this morning that my brain is all over the place today, so I thought I’d write a little about all the things I am thinking about lately. Writing tends to help me sort stuff out so we’ll see if I feel better after.
So here goes:
I wondered when this was going to happen but I thought of two new Uptown Girl stories over the last few days. What’s funny is that they are perfect Uptown Girl stories. Perfect for the characters and for their world. I really want to write them, but what would I do with them? The next Uptown Girl book is the last one. I suppose I could try to work them into the larger story but I can’t see that working out. Another idea is to just do two shorter stories and just collect them in the next book as bonus material.
I do think of new stories all the time, but as my creative energy will shift from Uptown Girl to The Retros over the next year or so, I try to make the idea work in the Retros world and so far I’ve been able to do it, but not these two ideas.
As I was driving home the other night I was thinking about the next scene I was going to work on for the book that evening. I just wrapped up what feels like the second act so I think I am on the home stretch. The book is really…ah, taking everyone out of their elements for good and for bad. Rocketman gets what he always wanted, and Uptown Girl gets what she didn’t know she wanted until she got it but who knows if it’s the right thing for her and Ruby’s life is just a disaster right now. It does bother me that Ruby is in such distress for most of the book but this does feel like a Ruby story. She will have a happy ending of course.
Anyway, with so much happening to the characters I started to think about how readers will react to the book. After 10 plus years and thousands of pages of comics, I felt obligated to give Uptown Girl and her friends the ending they deserve with a story. It’s an epic, funny story with action and drama. I hope readers will like it and will feel satisfied, especially those readers who’ve been there from the start.
But then, what if the book is lousy? What if it sucks? What if people see it as a jumbled, inconsistent mess? What if I go out on a bad note? What if there are plot holes that I don’t see? What if the motivations for the characters are weak? What if…a billion other things? I am worried about this these days, I hope I can give Uptown Girl a final story that the characters are worthy of.
So yeah, that’s the Uptown Girl stuff.
Onto The Incredible Retros!
On Sunday morning I wake up early and work on The Retros. I usually don’t do any drawing, just scanning, lettering and coloring. I get excited seeing this come together and I am really happy with how this turning out. I think this will be a great project in the post-Uptown Girl days. I feel pretty confident that people will like it, which is not something I felt when I started Uptown Girl. I knew I liked Uptown Girl, but I didn’t know if anyone else would, which is why I’ve always been surprised and grateful by her fans. With The Retros I feel there’s a lot to like, the characters are fun to write and to draw and I think that energy comes through the work. I can usually tell when a cartoonist has their heart into their work or when they’re just phoning it it. I think the comic will surprise a lot of people but still feels like something I’d do. Think of it like how Futurama is similar yet different than The Simpsons and still feels like the creation of the same cartoonist.
Anyway, fueled by coffee and optimism, I am tempted to start pitching it to publishers and editors. I probably won’t, I want The Retros to find an audience and see what happens. But all morning long I’ve been tempted to email Disney and ask how to pitch to them. And here’s the thing: I know that is a stupid, improbable and impossible thing to do. Disney does not have a section on their website that reads “Click Here to Solicit a Project”. That is not how Disney rolls…in fact, that is not how any studio rolls. But when you’re fueled by optimism and you are confident of a project’s potential, you just want to get something going. I thought about just emailing Disney through their generic contact page just to see what happens. I’ve never been turned down by Disney before and it’d be fun to get shot down even before I even launch the comic. Bottom line, I think The Retros has a lot of potential and I think you guys will really like it.
So yeah, that’s what’s up with me today. What’s up with you?