week 7

12/17 - Okay, off to a bit of a slow start will Rufus here. I'm pretty happy with his looks, based on an early sketch for "Kim in Love's" Tonio. A hybrid real-cartoon more akin to Shep than Madge, and I'm thrilled he's not some generic Binkley rip-off (sorry Jim!). What i like about this first strip is that Madge does call him an idiot (essentially) but the strip shows that he is not. I think he may have his idiot-jim shoes to fill from time to time, but I like the more equal footing depending on the situation.

Also of note, for those of you who don't care about the process and my blabbing, there is now an option (see above in header) to simply read the strip without my text additions or the out-takes and such. But I encourage your reading my blabbing in order to harrass me, how else will I learn? Tough love.
12/18 - Whew! Todays' was a bit of an experiment, to see how far the visual could push the gag. I'm not sure I understand this strip, but it made me laugh out loud when i read it. i think that's a good sign that it was a success.
12/19 - It's been crazy the last two days getting personal stuff taken care of, working, doing both strips, etc. But the feedback on the bulletin board has been thoroughly stomach-churningly painful and harsh, I've gotten so defensive and nuerotic at moments when reading it.... and I've loved every word of it. So lovely. And It's really got the gears in my head turning. Thank you thank you thank you.

But it's too late to get started here on a proper response. But one is churning in my head and hopefully I will take the ideas mentioned and address them either here or on the board.

Today's strip... just makes me laugh. What else to say?
12/20 - I'm totally washed out. I'm not sure if I like Beth or have any idea about anything. I've been thinking about someone sort-of taking on the shoes of "dee" from shep and may. But I jut more wanted to clean the slate of Jim today (kudos and apologies to S.Kurtz!).

There was one suggetion (on the board) about Bruno being syndicated, and it's a fair question. But aside from the "only 4 character rule", heh; there's also the fact that in the last year, starting with the dream equence, I've taken it places far beyond what newspapers will print. I mean, just take bruno with almost only heterosexual content, no swearing, no drugs, larger font (meaning less dialogue), no more "double-strips", no "foreign languages", no nipples. Long ago i did submit her, and EVERY editor wrote me back with huge praise, jay kennedy (I think it was jay) even bought a copy (or offered, i think i gave it to him) of the bruno book I submitted. They LOVED it. but they all said that newspapers would never touch it, maybe try to the comic-book market (and comic book editors will simply NOT touch daily strips, although that is changing in the light of Liberty meadows and now PVP). Since then, not having the need to satisfy editors, I think Bruno has gone in a straight line away from ever being mainstream publisheable. My only thought is this, if anyone else there wants to do a (far-more-than) part-time job based on a percentage promoting bruno, I'm willing to talk.

As far as me, well, I'm burning the candle at both ends these days, two strips (plus orders and web stuff) and a full-time job is proving a bit much. Emotionally a bit up and down. Today's Madge was drawn far too quckly, although that was as much because i knew it was a throw-away strip. I feel everything, artistic and otherwise, are beginning to suffer. I feel that maybe i need to step back and just re-think Madge. With both "Shep&May" and "Kim in love", I created the basis of the strip completely, and the strips wrote themselves out orderly and exactly 24. With Madge, I've tried the organic method, which may or may not be working. i just don't know. but this whole Jim, Shep, Rufus issue (and now Beth's involved, plus a panda) is just getting me a bit worried i'm flailing off-track.

I guess i'm just really feeling that madge is a bit soulless (which has also been brought up in board postings recently). Which does't mean it's not syndicateable, but if I'm going to be doing this for years, i need to be captivated by it continually. I don't want a "syndicateable" strip, i want a fucking amazing strip. I mean, what's out there? Calvin and Hobbes? Krazy kat? Early Peanuts? None else come to mind. Truly deeply emotionally engaging strips. I don't want to be them, but i want to be on that list. I heard a quote by jane Siberry on the radio last night, she sang "Because doing things with great care is the closest thing I know of to love."

and now... i go to bed.
12/21 - Chris was grumpy last night. He's no so tonight.

I do have a lot to think about, and I think I'm going to sit down and make some decisions this weekend. We'll see where I stand on Monday.