What Happened?

Oz Commission
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
I'm performing my administrative duties on Penciljack today and something hits me. I don't care about comic books any more.

I don't care who's drawing them, who's writing them. I don't care about web comics or comics being made into movies. I don't care about the theories and studies of graphic novels. I don't care about comic books being seen as a cultural barometer. I don't want to know what Wolverine or Iron Man or Hulk are doing. I don't even care about the stories I've come up with. I don't want to make them into comic books.

At least right now.

I came to this realization a couple months ago when being at the grand opening of a local comic store on Free Comic Book Day sparked absolutely no interest. It rekindled no love. Last night I was finishing up this comic panel for a client when I realized that I have no love for it. Creativity seems kind of a chore lately. I'm supposed to be helping run the ASJ41 webcomic and yet I can't bring myself to update the production list. I've got a smattering of my own strip ideas, uncolored robots, undrawn hoboes, and myriad story ideas waiting to be realized and yet I don't want to do anything. I don't feel like drawing, I don't feel like writing, I don't even feel like watching TV.

Must be the middle of summer.

I don't mind picking up commissions and will gladly knock them out when they come up. I like getting paid - finally getting paid - for something I like doing. Maybe the remuneration is causing my muse to ebb. I'm waiting for people to tell me what they want rather than doing things for myself.

As with the 100 Artists Project, I'm very in tune with the idea of starting something and then just watching it evolve. I've been at the helm of so many projects, most of which never amount to anything, that I think I'm burning myself out. I see people like Len and Adam and Eduardo constantly drawing and being innovative and productive and I get a mixed sense of "Not now" and "Why bother."

Here's some of the projects I'm working on or ideas I've had:

* Doing a sketchbook full of robots, seven of them adding up to 700 total drawings and then selling the sketchbooks

* T-shirts showing caution sign type figures playing childhood games.

* Make a coloring book of robots.

* Make more robot t-shirts.

* Do a second issue of the comic book I started years ago.

* Do a comic strip based on the life of an artist who has a robot best friend.

* A Doctor Who "Time War" comic or script.

* A Fifth Element prequel script.

* More customized cartoon portraits; robots, faeries, elves, pirates, whatever.

* The PJ Member Poster

* The ASJ webcomic production

* The PJU webcomic

* Writing an episode for ASJ.

These are just a handful of things that rattle around in my head. They'll change from week to week. This time last year I was heavy into Albatross 18, so much so I was designing a character and sketching out course designs. Since then I haven't even played the game. I don't know if it's a focus thing or just me losing some creative juice. I can't do much of this at home because there's not a lot of time and most of this requires time. I have time at my day job, but I can't in good conscience use that time for creative endeavors. I'm afraid of how much I abuse that as it is.

Mrs. Austin got on with the Pflugerville paper yesterday. She's not only the latest addition to their freelance photographer bullpen, but they also mentioned that they liked her byline writing enough to be a reporter. So she's now on with two local papers. I couldn't be happier for her.

I think that partly makes me want to just stop what I'm doing from time to time and just cruise through life. I see a lot of people doing what love doing for a living and I read a lot of sites centered around the freelance life, how to make it, how to survive and such and it makes me appreciate how hard that life is and how I'm in no position to do it.

Mrs. A sent me a link to a local group that meets up once a month (or so) and exchanges ideas and concepts about robots. Their group's charter says they welcome everyone from artists to engineers, but I know that I'd feel totally out of place showing up to a hall full of BattleBot designers with my little sketchbook of cartoon droids. It illustrates a confidence I still don't have in my craft and probably is a leading cause to my current funk.

Yeah, yeah. This is a "Woe is me" post. I've got nothing much more to talk about. Well, I do. There's the new Transformers cartoon that looks like crap, the Indian Jones movie has finished filming, Karl Rove won't have to testify to congress, a bridge collapsed in Minnesota, Futurama is coming back to TV...but honestly I feel scattered, spread thin and these things are only of a passing interest.

Oh wait, I haven't had any coffee today. That explains it.

Carry on.

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