So I forgot how to draw Jack's face.
Normally that sentence wouldn't mean much of anything, but it's pretty important for me. I forgot how to draw the face of the main character of a comic I've been trying to create for over three years now. Something that, for a while, was my entire life. Everything I did revolved around character design, world building, working on my art, reading comics, trying to learn how to lay out a page, more character design, changing my drawing style a few dozen times, more character design...and somewhere in there I lost the fun of it.
About six months ago I lost all passion for it. Not just Dead, but drawing in general. I used to love sitting at my laptop drawing whatever for hours and hours on end. I pushed aside games (which are a great love of mine) I pushed aside friends, family, everything, just so I could draw. I had fun with it. But after a while, after deciding that it's what I want to do for a living, I lost all passion for it. I'd go days, then weeks, and then months without drawing anything. I let myself blame it on work or life or art block or any other excuse I could. And from time to time I'd admit to myself that no, it wasn't those things, I just didn't care anymore.
I look at the Dead cast and now I just see work. Something I have to slog through so I can take a break later and have that fake feeling of accomplishment. I look at the file for the scripts and just stare at the empty space that needs filing after the first chapter. I can't think of anything new for it. I can't bring myself to care about it, I can't find the fun that used to be there.
So I'm getting rid of it. Not Dead, but the script. The designs, everything. I'm not starting completely from scratch, I've already got a few pages posted and I'm not restarting again, but I'm not going to follow any set rules of how I'm going to do it anymore. If, one day I wake up and feel like the particular page I'm working on should be just a slightly refined sketch, then it will be. Black and white? Sure. In a completely different style? Absolutely. I'm not going to have the script all laid out and meticulously planned to the very last detail, because that's not how I work. I'm going to do the same I'm doing for Sky; write it when I plan to start drawing it, or even as I draw it. Let each panel inform the next instead of trying to fit it into an ideal I'm never going to achieve.
I know I've got something with these idiots. Something that could be compelling and fun and engaging that I'm burying under details and the need to follow some weird set of rules that don't actually exist. So I'm going to see where it goes. I'll hit the main points I've always had in my head, the key elements to the story that really matter like, uh, the title. But I'm not going to do what I have been because it's obviously not working.
We'll see where I am in a year and I guess I'll reevaluate then. See what else I need to change, if anything. Who knows, maybe Dead will be posting regularly and Sky will be half completed. Or maybe I'll have given up entirely, or still be in the same half-posting rut I've always been in. We'll see.
Anyway, here's a really rough sketch of a couple panels from the next page. To the one person who's read the original 8 pages of Dead I did two years ago, this may look a little familiar. At least a couple panels.