Monday, January 7, 2008

An actual, factual object

I got a copy of The No-Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels: Romeo and Juliet in the mail today from Sparknotes. It feels odd to hold, in my hands, a book I drew without having experienced an intermediary stage of xeroxing and stapling. The trade-off for that, I guess, is that I finished the art about a year ago and the book's just coming out now. Here it is:
Some things about it:
  • It's a little over 200 pages long, and measures 6 inches by 9 inches.
  • The book was originally going to be published with Shakespeare's text on the left leaf of each two-page spread, with the right leaf occupied by the corresponding comics page, but that's been done away with and now it's 100% comics. I figured, back when I was drawing this, that there was a better-than-even chance of that happening. I'm business-stupid, but even I recognize that a 400-page book wouldn't be feasible at an education-market price of $9.95. Plus it'd be too heavy to be convenient.
  • I wrote in the blurb at Partyka that the mantra of the graphic novelist is "If I have time, I should go back and try to fix that," and boy is that ever the case here. The book starts to gel somewhere in the third act, and I'm pretty happy with the look of it by the end, but I made drawings, especially in the first two acts, that I wish I'd had more time to fix, even after I spent a couple weeks in late 2006 redrawing the panels with which I was least happy.
  • I'm glad I did it. I think it made me a better cartoonist, and I got to draw for a living for a year. Hopefully these will turn out to have been good things for me, or comics, or someone someday.

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