I turned 27 today, and I’m going through a 1/3 life crisis. I’m not positive I want to draw long epic comics all my life. I think I’d rather write long, epic novels and draw fun, shorter comics that are lower-stress. I’d hate to drop Dark Wings and Ashes, but I’m realising that at the pace I work, I will never finish them- especially Dark Wings, which is an insanely long and detailed story. I’m already writing Ashes as a novel- I’m currently working on Chapter 7 (out of I’d say around 20-25 chapters). I think I like writing better… Not sure what I want to do. I’ll soon be taking a loooong break from Eryl and work on the new Laiyu project (which is something in-between comic and novel) and try to figure out what I want to do.
I’ve mentioned this project before. A novel that’s structured more like a comic, relying heavily on visuals, but written out in prose. Well, to show how serious I am about working on it, it now has its own website on FL Studios! It probably won’t start updating until 2015. Maybe a little earlier… but I doubt it. I want to have at least 2-3 chapters finished first. But until then, I’m going to be posting concept art and previews on its website. I’ll also occasionally ask for input on character designs and such. I plan to do some sketching tomorrow for the main villain’s design, so check back soon for that and leave some feedback on what you think of him. Right now you can just poke about Laiyu’s page (what little of it there is- just click the ‘Laiyu’ link to the left in with the other projects), and if you have any questions at all, feel free to ask!
*Cue screams of despair*
Jeez, I feel like a horrible jerk announcing this the day after saying comic updates are uncertain. Way to confirm everyone's fears, Lee.
Dropping Epic Fail was inevitable for me, though. I only draw a strip once or twice a year, and it felt like just one more pressure I didn't need. I'm already attempting to update two story comics plus work on my novels AND have a half-comic half-novel project called Laiyu that I want to work on as well. That's a heck of a lot of self-created stress. Having a humour strip was just one more burr digging into my brain screaming 'Why aren't you working on me?!'
Oh yeah, and I hate fanfiction. Even though I always considered Epic Fail to be farce, not fiction, it doesn't change the fact that I am using characters that don't belong to me. I am becoming increasingly upset by how much attention fanart and fiction get on the 'net compared to original endevours. It's not fair that people who steal ideas and characters from someone else should be praised for their work while those who strive hard to do well with their own unique ideas that they put so much energy into coming up with should drown in obscurity. Fanfiction is theft. Nothing more. Unless you have direct permission from the creator to use their ideas, you are stealing. I am also against selling fanart, as oh so many artists do, because that it theft as well. I already pulled all my fanart off of deviantart because I didn't like that they were wildly popular while my original work went ignored. I did fanart just for me, just for fun, but wanted my originality to be the focal point. It wasn't, so I got rid of the offending fanart.
Fortunately, on my website, readers have come in for my original work and not for Epic Fail. Still, I cannot help but feel hypocritical by having a farce comic out there when I so oppose the idea of fanfiction. I don't see the two as the same thing, but many people do.
So farewell, Epic Fail. We knew thee well.
I'm back from my trip to Chicago. We were delayed by both weather and bad colds and so ended up staying 3 extra days. We finally got back on Wednesday and I'm still wiped from the trip. I'd like to say this means Eryl will update in a few days but…. Well, problem is, I'm finding it hard to get any artistic inspiration of late. It comes in bursts which then dwindle for weeks or months before suddenly coming back. I'm trying hard to draw, but I find it almost impossible without that flaming passion I used to always have. I don't know where it went. I don't want to keep moaning that it's depression, because then I just sound angsty, but I am aggressively pursuing treatments for that monster. I'll be starting to take a happy pill soon, and I really hope that will help since I am possibly suffering a chemical imbalance as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In good news, I have had an increase in my writing inspiration. I have been writing more and am working at being more productive on that front since I feel I have a much greater chance of publishing a book over a comic. Not to mention the fact that it's so much faster to write an epic saga than to draw it.
So now I'm going to come out and finally reveal what the 'secret project' I keep teasing about is. It's a novelised version of Ashes. It's been both fun and frustrating translating a comic into a novel. The two mediums are so different in mechanics that I've needed to change, rearrange and expand on many parts of the story. But so far, it's been going pretty damn well. Sure, I get blocks on scenes often. I have to erase my preconceptions for my own story. I have to forget what it conveyed visually and try to think of how to explain it in words instead. And its been a very satisfying challenge to tackle. And the best part? It's already about 1/3 written, and is way ahead of the comic. If I can get serious about it, I may finish it this year and start looking for an editor to help me polish it.
If this turns out, though, it does means the future of Ashes the graphic novel is shaky at best. I'm not positive I want to keep drawing it if I can write it instead. I don't know yet, though. It really all depends on how this project goes, so don't panic, my comic friends. But right now, writing is making me happier than drawing. And when you suffer from chronic depression, you need to focus on the things that make you feel a little better about your life.