out of sight, out of mind

Hey, I’m still here. I’m still working hard, still working hard on a comic strip because that’s what I do.
But the work is not ready for prime time; in fact it has 97% chance of failing and never seeing the light of day. Indeed, its immediate predecessor , 5 months worth of work-from April to August 2017–will never be shared-anywhere. And while of course there is some inevitable disappointment in that, it’s something I accept as part of the process and the necessary task of “getting it right”. I fully expect to work another 6 months to a year on this project before it’s shown publicly. And even then, it may not pop its head above sea level. We’ll see.
 “Jetpack Jr.” was never right. “Babyheads” was better-in that it was itself,  fully realized for what it was, a work of parody and satire. But it lacked characters an audience could connect with, and so it floundered. But looking back on it, I think I achieved what I wanted with the strip-well, at least to some extent.Whether or not I was the only person laughing, I don’t know. But  at least I was true to my vision, such as it is.( or was.)
But I don’t feel “Jetpack” ever found its groove–primarily because the lead character was an empty vessel. I never found the right voice for him. Only at the end, when I started playing around with Trump as a character, did I feel I’d found an interesting lead. But there were problems with that too—I couldn’t keep up with every tweet, every egregious act or statement, and it ultimately felt like a dead end.
So, I decided to pull back and retool. The surprising thing is, I’ve found I don’t miss posting.I don’t miss the “likes”. I don’t miss the scramble for an audience, the pressure to be “seen”.  After awhile, as a cartoonist– whose job it is to be part of the daily media onslaught– you grow to think life and work and career are nonexistent apart  from those social tools; that you’re nowhere unless you’re seen on Instagram, FB or Twitter. But the truth is, the work exists independently– and its failure and success– as work–can be independent of its visibility. The work comes first. Why share just to share?  In the meantime, I continue to write and sketch and draw and ink and photoshop and when I think I’ve finally got something, I’ll let it go and see how it floats. It might be 3 months, 6 months or a year. But-if it doesn’t beat the odds, if like most endeavors it ends up a failed attempt at “something”, it’ll remain beneath the ocean with all those other beautiful wrecks, those decayed treasures of the imagination.  Wish me luck.

One Reply to “out of sight, out of mind”

  1. I used to read you when you were still doing Plastic Babyheads. I was one of the few who actually liked Plastic Babyheads. You may remember me from GoComics as Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist. However, I absolutely hated Jetpack Junior, and as I stated on the strip, I decided to stop reading it. Now I no longer use GoComics (I'm one of the many who left the site after the “upgrade”) and after many months I dropped in to see how done of the old comics were doing. I saw you hadn't posted since April and was curious to find out why.As I said, I detested Jetpack Junior, and I think I understood before you did that it was a dead end. There's nothing shameful about abandoning dead ends. I've done it myself in both cartoons and fiction. But if you would start over again with Babyheads, or something equivalent, I would probably want to read it. As long as it didn't involve going back to GoComics, that is.

    Like

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