Well, it's done...

sort of.
I hit about a thousand and one snags while I was doing this. The latest was last Monday, seven days ago, when I started to tone all these pages.

Long story short, I don't know what happened to the original files (some of which were from two or three years ago, maybe longer), so I had to scan all the pages and tone them again.

A longer story that I might go into later would be why this is being printed in two parts and that we're only ever going to be printing the second part. But I digress.

This is almost, completely finished. Because I don't have the original files any more, I have to go back and type all the lettering on the pages. I have a cover and pinup to do, but those are just the icing on the cake. I'm almost not even concerned with those because one drawing stuff like that is easy to bang out, it's when the same amount of paper needs a hundred things all over the place that I get bogged down. Like the panel above. It's about the size of a post-it. I had to cram a lot of stuff in pages. Speaking of which-

When I completely finished with this, I'll probably type up a bunch of stuff about it. All the stuff that comes to mind.

Ah, but it's not done yet. I almost made my goal of having it finished by today. I think my failure was adding weekends while I was planning, but not realizing I wouldn't have weekends to work on it when it came time to.

I'd say this thing should be totally finished by at least the end of the week, maybe sooner. I hate the computer side of this stuff, and having to tone that much stuff all in one go was a hellish nightmare that I knew was coming. Glad to say I emerged pretty well intact.

The stuff that's left is the legitimately fun stuff.

Funny Faces

The program I use for tones is weird. When you're in the program, it doesn't show you the exact tones that will be there in the end, the program can't process that many little dots, it just sort of shows you an example of what they'll look like when they're exported. So you're sort of seeing a guess until you export the tones and open them with photoshop.

Sometimes the dots will fall in unexpected odd places. I thought this was funny, so I took a screenshot.


I meant to put this here yesterday.


Lighter in hand.

Also, I noticed this today-

I've done that for a while- cover up logos, but I guess I never gave it much thought. It's always bugged me that companies will put their logo all the **** over something, to the point of making it an eyesore. That's bugged me since I was a kid. I never understood how car dealerships got away with permanently tagging cars they sell. If I ever buy a car new from a dealership, a stipulation will be that there's no dealership tattoo on it- unless they cut me a huge advertising discount.

I have stamps and stickers I put on my things whenever there's an obnoxious logo staring me in the face. When I started to print on these, I started printing over their logo and "label". (I also think it's dumb to label something what it is- I don't know why paper companies print COMIC BOOK DRAWING BOARD on top of the comic book drawing board. You wouldn't buy a rug that had RUG stitched into the front of it, unless you're an unfunny hipster who thinks it's funny in an ironic way.)

It takes about 6 second to stamp out the logo, but I think it brings the page together, in an intangible, never going to be seen on the finished product kind of way.

More on this later, I guess.


All the pages for this are drawn. I just finished the last one. They still have to go all the way through the production process, but they're all drawn. I have, I believe, sixteen pages to ink, and I'm pretty sure that I'll end up toning all the pages, even the ones that are already finished, over again.

I also have a cover, pinup, and all the interior design stuff to finish.

So that's sixteen pages to ink, twenty two or twenty three pages to tone, a cover and a pinup. And inside cover stuff.

I have twenty days. That feels like plenty of time to get this done.

Crapload of trading cards

Well, I've got a crapload of these now.

It was a really good deal that I couldn't pass up. I wasn't too confident about the quality for the price, so I only ordered a medium batch, but I was pretty surprised at the quality. Black and white line art is kind of iffy to print, especially the tones on something small like that- the printer will print bands across the tones almost always.  I was surprised that they meant 600 dpi when they said it (usually when cheap printers say they can print 600 dpi, they can really only print around 350, tops).

Like I said, this was a really good deal. If I had known that they were going to print this nice, I would've ordered a huge batch of them. But if I need more I can always order more from the company, they'll just be a little more than they were this time.

I try to order stuff like this when I see a sale or a good deal. This stuff's outrageous at normal price. I think one of the online printers stopped sending me ads for free stuff because I kept using them. I think I got about four or five $5 orders for $100 worth of stuff before they stopped sending me free offers.

If anybody has an offer for free Vistaprint postcards or business cards, please forward it to me. They've stopped sending them to me. They only send me 25 and 50% off offers now.

Also, these cards are why this drawing wasn't very detailed- it was only going to be printed very small.

I'll be officially starting this book in twenty days. Boy, that seems strange to think.

Hope I do a good job of this.


I thought this turned out okay.


Well, I finally got around to unlocking and updating the other blog. But as you may be able to tell, it will be updated extremely sparingly. And that's the project I'll start on fairly soon. By the beginning of next month.

I felt like I needed to distance myself, or at least my name, from the project. So I gave it it's own website. And that's the website (VanderHugeStudios.com) that will be printed on everything instead of the one that's my name. I guess I figured that my name being on something once was enough.

Thinking about it, at some point I probably assumed that I'd have to self publish and that's what formed the studio. Maybe not so much a real need, but a perceived one.

But anyway, that's why I thought I needed two sites. One for me for whatever I might want to do, and one as an official, dedicated studio site. One for personal and one for business, I guess.

I'm going to try to post something every two or three days. Now that I have time to think, and do things, there should be no reason I can't. And I feel like I need to prove I'm doing something.

I never noticed till now, but drawing talking heads goes by pretty fast. I've got 27 days to finish this thing. This will be a good gauge to measure myself up. I've got one and a half pages left to draw, then sixteen to ink, then at least that many to tone, plus a cover, a pinup, and get the whole thing ready to print.

Toning that many pages at once is gonna be a nightmare, but I think I can do it. Mostly because it has to be done.

I noticed this today when I made toast. I can't tell if it's from about 700 years into future, or, made to survive the apocalypse.

April Fools'

Or- A Schedule Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

Tonight is my last night working at a hotel. Hopefully, forever. There are a few reasons why.

Firstly and most importantly, it was a waste of my time. I mean, I know I was getting paid, but having this job was putting me more and more behind from where I wanted to be in life. I know I may never get to where I want to be, but working was making it nearly impossible. I was getting further and further behind.

Starting now the Calamity comic is first priority. It HAS to be finished by the end of April. Solid deadline, no buts.

Then, starting May, I work on a long book. A little more than one hundred sixty pages altogether. My guess is just drawing it will take at least a year and three months. I'm not worried about publishing right now. Self publishing is the plan. I've got a printer for the book, quotes, and convincing samples from them, so that's already taken care of if need be. But, honestly, I think there are some far crappier writers and artists getting their crap published, so I'm giving myself at least a thirty percent chance of not having to self publish. But I'll out-of-pocket it all if I have to. We'll see.

So, that's the plan. Quit my job that pays, then work for more than a year without getting paid for it. Genius!

The other big thing was that I had to work a couple nights every week, which might not sound like much, but having to work a few night shifts, then evenings on top of trying to have a normal life will wear you down eventually. I hated having to regather and compose myself over a day or two to regain my mental faculties, instead of just having them to begin with. I feel like I've been suffering from a 40 point mental handicap for the last eight months or so. And after a few days getting myself adjusted back, as soon as I was back to feeling almost normal, it was time to work nights again and the cycle started over again. Endlessly, forever.

So, I quit. And now I'll soon be back to doing nothing but drawing, for the very long, foreseeable future. I don't know what'll happen when I'm done though. This is a pretty huge leap, so utter failure is a very real possibility. But at least I'll have tried. And, I like to think it's my style that I'd rather have a glorious failure than a lukewarm success.

I just came off from one of my last night shifts, so it's a little hard for me to properly compose myself and my thoughts in an orderly fashion. So, I'll leave off with what I like to think is an appropriate, though perhaps overused, quote from the man who is tied (with Lincoln) for my favorite president, Theodore Roosevelt, from his speech Citizenship in a Republic-

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.