I am wrapping up the first Retros story line soon. I just scanned in page 230 the other day and page 206 is getting posted tomorrow. I wanted the first story line to wrap up at 240 pages and I think it’ll work out. If I did my math right (which is entirely possible I didn’t) , the 240th page should post in mid-November, roughly a year after the series started.
I’ve been working on the Retros for a long time. Like…8 years now. The team (both creative and the series itself) has gone through a few changes, but I am amazed that I’ve stuck with it for so long and the first book is almost done. I haven’t finished anything that wasn’t Uptown Girl in…well, over ten years.
Uptown Girl has been my primary creative project, and part of my life and pat of me for a long, long time. As the series gets closer to ending, I am realizing how weird life will be when it ends, and how much Uptown Girl has been a part of my life for so long. Over the years people would refer to me as ‘The Uptown Girl Guy’. It’s not a bad thing, it’s good that people knew who she was. I suppose soon I’ll be ‘The Retros Guy’. There are worse things to be. I’ll be a new me, I guess. Uptown Girl was never the well known, popular series I had hoped it would be, but it was nice knowing that people were familiar with her. I can only hope The Retros has the success she had. In the end, sure, it would have been nice if Uptown Girl had been a little more famous but knowing that people read her adventures, care about her and are sad that the series is ending tells me that people do love her and can a cartoonist ask for more?
The Retros will be collected in book form, along with the one-shots I’ve done over the last year sometime next year. The book, which doesn’t have a title yet (suggestions would be appreciated) will either be out in the spring or fall of 2017. IF the last Uptown Girl isn’t done by the first of March, I’ll put out the Retros. If Uptown Girl stays on track, then the Retros will get bumped to the fall. I want the Uptown Girl book out in May and finishing by March 1st will give me time to have it proofread, edited and the cover completed. Wrapping up after March 1st is pushing it.
Uptown Girl SHOULD stay on schedule. I just finished page 182 last night, wrapping up an action scene that spanned over 20 pages. Spoiler alert, a character died, making this the second death in the book. I think I’ll be able to wrap up the bulk of the story this year and spend a few weeks next year on a few pages I need to go back and add in. Barring any major setbacks and if I get the story done by March 1st, I fully expect the book be out in May of next year.
The good news is that I can see how I can wrap this book in about 40-50 pages. The concern for a while was all about timing and how many pages I could complete by my deadline of March 1st but the story itself is all coming together. Bad guys are going down, alliances are being formed, hatchets will soon be buried but there are broken hearts, betrayals and reunions still to come. Here’s an edited page 182:
I can see how things will end and although the story itself is turning out differently than I had expected it, the epic-ness and the drama are holding up. I wanted some big character moments for Uptown Girl, Ruby and Rocketman and they each are going through some big things. I wanted to see what would happen if they had to face challenges and life events but not necessarily be able to go through them with help from others. Usually in Uptown Girl stories one of the characters goes through something and the others are helping them but in this story everyone has something big happening and are pretty wrapped up in their own lives. I suppose in a way, this is a story about not taking people in your life for granted. It’s about not knowing what you have until it’s gone.
It’s about the power of friendship.
And I suppose that’s been the theme of Uptown Girl as a whole for the last thirteen years.