IF for comics

I spent this past week working on Rudyard Kipling's poem If with my students at work. So, it has been on my mind lately. So, it has been on my mind lately. I decided to see if I could adjust it to work for making comics.

IF you can keep your deadlines when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust your creative vision when your collaborators doubt you, But allow that they might know what they are talking about too; If you can give an artist the time that's needed, without becoming frustrated, Or using twitter, don't deal in bickering, Or being reviewed, don't comment back, And yet don't have too slick a web page, nor too high-brow a blog:

If you can pitch - and not make pitches your master; If you can blog - and not make blogging your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; (no change) If you can bear to read the things you've posted Misquoted by a-holes to make you look a fool, Or watch your dearest project crumble, or be deleted, Only to open a new file and start again:

If you can throw lots of money into printing, promo, and travel, And stake it all on one single con, And have the turn-out be lousy, and then do it all again, And barely post a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and brain, To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!' (no change)

If you can speak on panels and not be a douche, Or talk with big name pros - and still geek out with fan-boys, If neither tweeting foes nor well-meaning friends can hurt you, If all fans matter to you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of script written, or panel drawn, Yours is the world of comics and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a comics creator, my child!

Last Weekend: Brushes with Celebrity pt 2

Last Sunday, Bekah and I went to the House of Blues in Boston to see Rancid.RANCIDRancid is my favorite band. They have been forever. I have actually lost track of how many times I have seen them. Lots. A few years ago, when I was working in the first version of Rapid City and Bekah was coming out to visit me from Ashby, I hung around outside what was then called The Avalon hoping to talk to Rancid before they played that night. There were a few other people hanging around out there. Tim Armstrong came out to talk to us and sign stuff. I gave him an ashcan preview and told him that my comic was largely inspired by his music. He thought that was cool and put my name on "the list" to come and see the show that night. I had already seen them the night before with Bekah. That was the only time I saw them two nights in a row.

Anyway, back to last weekend. Bekah and I loved the show. I wasn't just talking when I said that my comics are inspired by their music. Every time I see them play I get a billion ideas crashing through my head. We waited near their bus in hopes of catching them after the show. I brought copies of Rapid City 1-4 to give to them. It was pretty exciting. There wee a few other people also waiting around while different crew members and stuff loaded out. We waited. A long time. Bekah said

"All I know it's 1 o'clock, and they ain't never showed up and... I watched a dozen people go home form work."

So, we went home. I had the next day, Monday, off of work. I went back down there. The show started around 6:30, so I got there around 5. And I stood there. In the sun, and the rain, and even in the hail. And I waited. I knew the buses. I knew the doors. I knew the time. So I waited and I watched.

I never saw Matt come or go either day. But I met him and shook his hand last year.

I saw Lars go by, but did not recognize him until he was already gone by.

I saw Tim go past once. Too quick. Again, back to the bus this time. A young girl called out to him and he very sincerely told her "Not now. After. After."

I knew that I couldn't wait until after. And the show had already started inside. Tim's band The Transplants would be taking the stage soon. Running out of time.

I positioned myself for the most best eye-lines between the bus and the stage door.

A few minutes later, Tim came off the bus and i called out to him. "Hey, Tim."

He stepped right over and I told him about how I had met him before and about the earlier comics. Then I showed him the books. He saw the comics, and that it was rainy, and he pulled us all (me, him, and his small entourage) under an awning so that they would not get wet. I showed him Kav and Micah's cover to issue 2 and said "That's Maxwell Murder!" I think he was impressed with that. He told someone else who was standing there, like he was proud of it...

That's Maxwell Murder!

I gave him the books and he said "I love comics."

And that was it. I gave the comics I made to the musician who inspired me to write them.

Maybe he read them. Maybe he didn't. Maybe they are being passed around the tour bus right now. Maybe not. Either way, I felt pretty cool.

Kav's new project

That's a nice looking page, there. I am so used to seeing you draw people in regular, domestic, situations... You really nailed the crazy cosmic grandeur at the end there. Wow. Though, I gotta say, the clouds in panel 4 seem weak. Drawing wise, they do not look as good as the rest of the stuff on the page, and dramatically they are not living up to their potential. This panel shows this craft crossing the threshold into space. The clouds in the atmosphere represent that moment of adventure. So, what are they telling us? They could be foreboding, welcoming, triumphant, mysterious, ethereal, crowded, lonely.... this panel, and these clouds, could do a lot to tell us about how we are supposed to feel about this space flight. But as it is, all I am seeing is "fluffy". This whole thing looks cool, though. I look forward to seeing more of it. -Josh

hmmm...food for thought josh, as always-those clouds should look doom-filled....here's another couple panels-ps this respite from RC is bringing up some artistic inspiration.  Not saying it's better than RC just after hammering out 6 issues the change is percolating stuff....