< Piro >
Tuesday - September 2, 2003
Y'know, I swear I can feel it when writer's block or artist's block is coming on. There is this little voice in the back of your head that is like an advance scout, whispering that there is trouble ahead. Sometimes, of course, there is no warning at all. That is usually when both are ready to take you out.
My most recent slump, the one I have just dug myself out of, has more to do with positive things than with negative ones, I think. In fact, I think it's partly in reaction to the successful culmination of months of hard work and worry revolving around finding a new publisher for Megatokyo. Finally, to have things all positively worked out with both my old publisher and my new publisher (Dark Horse Comics - see my last rant for more info on this) feels, well, pretty good. It's a good kind of feeling that actually makes me feel somewhat more secure, more confident in my work. I almost feel like... my work might not be that bad after all.
That, of course, is when both artists and writers block slams you the hard in the face, rips you out the window and plummets you five stories down face first onto a gravel driveway. Sometimes I think these 'blocks' actually use your own inertia against you, having to do little more than set you off balance, gravity and inertia do the rest.
Well, writers and artist block are a normal part of doing this kind of thing. In fact, it's really just a manifestation of the barrier that keeps everyone from doing this kind of work. It's not because most people can't, its because most people don't stubbornly fight it day after day. Most people have better things to do with their time. ^^;;
Y'know, it also occurs to me that comic/manga artists have it worse than other creative types in some ways. Sometimes I suffer from artist's block, where I can't draw worth a hoot. Sometimes its writer's block, where I can't write worth a damn. The bad days are where you suffer from both, and you just want to grab your hair, rip your own head off and slam it against the wall repeatedly. That's when you go to Target and by a new entertainment center cluster for your TV in the living room and spend Saturday putting it together.
I guess the two kinds of blocks are similar, really. Comic art is this hard to define balance between words and drawings. They work best when they work together, each part conveying something to the reader. In fact, I find that there is a real back and forth between art and writing - often it is the words that inspire the art, which turn around and inspire the words. They bounce off of each other a lot, really. There are no real rules about how the two interact, it's a bit like pulling things out of thin air - only sometimes the air is thinner than usual.
Having said all that, I'm really not that far behind. Wednesday's comic is done, and I'm working on Friday's right now. Since monday was a holiday, I decided that I would take the extra day to try to get a strip ahead again. Like I said in my comments, I really would like to be a little more consistent with the story for the rest of chapter four - there is a lot going on, and I want to wrap it up well. That is, if I don't get slammed too hard by the Terrible Twins again. :P