Sunday, May 9, 2010

The ayes have it: Bone stays in schools! And thoughts on craft, again.

This is old news by now, but I just realized that I never followed up on the reports of Jeff Smith's classic BONE being threatened with expulsion from a public school library.
Wisdom prevailed. Bone is in.
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund intervention proved unnecessary, but I'm still glad i renewed my membership.
Follow this link to Jeff Smith's commentary on the issue.

Here's some video of Jeff inking on his follow-up book, The Power of Shazam!
In this book, Jeff uses the Captain Marvel story as a vehicle to revisit some similar themes in a very different way.

Watching Jeff ink, I wonder about my own process. I know this is manipulated for the camera, but even so, the control of someone who Has It Down is both inspiring and intimidating.
Of course, Jeff has done close to 2000 pages, and that's just the stuff that's in print- Bone, Shazam!, RASL, and assorted pinups.
I'm not sure what my page count is. Let's tally what's been in print:
Gay Comics: 2 pages
Ink Tantrums #1: 24 pages plus covers
Tranny Towers: 35 strips plus about a dozen editorial strips for trans political magazines
Speedy Ricuverri #1: 24 pages plus covers
The Street Giveth: 12 pages of art and covers
published online: The Surrealist Cowgirls #1 (14 pages) and The World in Love (24 pages).
short stories: The Road to Heroism, Lassie Come Home, Musically Midwifing Death: roughly 30 pages
in progress: another Surrealist Cowgirls story (4 pages in), TranScending (14 pages done), A Private Myth (11 pages done), Mother Was a Lovely Beast (2 pages done).
That's roughly 210 pages.
Reed Waller told me once that it takes about 400 pages for an artist to become comfortable enough to be adept at craft. I think I'm about halfway there. With all my fits and starts at this stuff, I don't think Jeff Smith will be staying up nights sweating about competition from me.
But bit by bit, I am honing my craft.
And I'm glad kids can go to school and read BONE!

Original Art Sundays # 40a: The Street Giveth, cover, p. 3

The good news: the next page of A Private Myth is completed.
The bad news: I will not post it till tomorrow or Tuesday, as my students need my attention tonight. They're taking online exams, writing papers and wrapping up discussion boards in my Comic Book History class.
To tide you over for a couple days, here are some earlier pages of The Street Giveth, The Street Taketh Away. I'm offering the cover and p. 3.

My energy was way up for these, along with my confidence. The script for the second half of the book needs minor revisions, and the art for some of the early pages needs tightening, but overall I'm quite happy with this work.
New page of A Private Myth in a couple days!