I inked page 100 of Uptown Girl-The Lazarus Heart a few days ago. I think I am a little more than a third of the way through the book. The stack on the left is the finished art, the stack on the right is my working draft. The right stack looks smaller and suggests I am more than a third of the way through but some of the draft pages are layed out with such vague descriptions of “________ fights __________” so I know that scene will go on for a half dozen pages or so. I am very happy I am still on track with my 15 pages a month. It’s not always easy to meet that but so far so I’ve been able to. The goal is to finish it by the end of the year and I think that’s doable. Even if it takes me a couple extra months into 2017, I should be able to have it out by next spring. Thankfully I’ve been scanning/Photoshopping/lettering as I go.
I’ve been interviewing for new real jobs and it’s going well. I am excited about some new opportunities. The two opportunities I am most excited about are very different from each other and both will create a pretty big change in my life. Since I analyze and over-analyze everything, I started to think about how either job would affect the rest of my life. One thing I think about is how either opportunity will affect the time I have to draw. One opportunity would require some travel which would really impact drawing Uptown Girl. Working on The Retros seems to be a little more portable. Can you imagine lugging around those two stacks in the photo above from the airport to the hotel? Uptown Girl’s stories use bigger paper and I usually need to look at other pages I’ve already drawn for character designs and things like that. Often I’ll draw a key character and then need to redraw them 50 pages later and I have no recollection what they look like and need to look back. The Retros are a little more spontaneous and quicker to draw.
I’ve said that I wanted to draw Uptown Girl until real life proved that to be impossible. I never wanted to walk away from her because I had to so I made the decision to wrap things up before life required me to. If I get this new job that requires travel, it’s likely that it would really make doing Uptown Girl comics much harder and I’d have to quit doing them. I’m glad I am wrapping things up on my own terms. It’s the perfect time, and the perfect story for her.
I also realized that I am wrapping things up while I still love the characters. I wrote a line of dialogue between Ruby and Rocketman that was very funny and I’m glad I got a chance to write it. These guys still make me laugh and smile. I’ll miss them.