Friday, January 7, 2011

The Understanding Monster (preview #1!)

I've been working on a story that I've been hoping to turn into an ongoing comics series.

Figuring out how to get the story to the point where I can actually start from issue number one and begin releasing it regularly, has been a new and strange process for me.

Lately, whenever anyone asks me what I've been working on, I end up giving abstract and evasive answers. It's been hard to tell if its actually turning into a real comic or if I've been on a madman's quest.

The story's been working it's way through a long phase where I've been pretty sure it might be an unreadable mess. Also, the ongoing need for rent and food money has been causing some suspenseful and distracting thoughts. Illustration work and gallery shows have been squeaking me by, but it can be scary.

I suppose the goal of any artist is to be able to connect their imagination to reality in just the right way. I'm trying to make this imaginary job I've made up for myself into a real job without losing touch with the fact that I'm really doing this because I love the craft.

Trying to bring this story together has been mirroring everything else in my life. I've been trying to live and function in the world in a way that feels responsible, while at the same time attempting to let my imagination run completely wild. It can feel like racing in opposite directions simultaneously.

I've been going to work everyday. My New Years resolution has been to keep regular hours (something I have trouble with) and stay as focused as possible. It's already been paying off.

Just yesterday, I felt like I arrived somewhere new with it. The contents of the first issue are finally starting to gel. I don't want to say too much about it yet. The story has lots of weird Science Fiction, personal Myth, and Fantasy elements to it. I've been trying to access the feeling I used to get reading comics as a kid and remember the kinds of stories I used to make up in my head during that time.

It's also a Ghost Story. For awhile I was calling the comic, "The Quiet Family", but I've gone back to the original title I had for it. The Quiet Family still plays an important roll in the narrative though. There are stories within stories.

There's lots of goofy Horror elements to the story as well. I want this comic to be a vehicle that will allow me to explore anything that fascinates or scares me, while at the same time allowing for in-depth character development and world building.

I feel like I'm in way over my head, but creating something that feels impossible, an inch at a time, is the most satisfying thing that I can think of to do with my art. I'll post more about my progress soon!

Wish me luck!


  1. WOW Theo, this is great. I will look forward to watching the process as it moves along. Thanx for sharing.

  2. You are hereby wished luck.

    Judging by Capacity, however, I'd guess that wherever you start the story you will end up being able to connect all the elements in a fascinating way.

    On my LoveSettlement blog I am writing a 100,000 word prose piece 100 words a post. I have no idea where it is going to go. Right now two characters are discussing the intersections of alternate realities, one of them a very recently deceased billionaire mayor, the other a transcendental butler.

    I have a day job.

  3. This looks fascinating and I can't wait to see where you go with it! Good luck with everything!

  4. I'm so excited! Bring it on Theo-man! Good luck luck luck luck luck!

  5. I do wish you tremendous good luck with this, and I trust you to know where you're going with it! Can you do a fundraising project to tide you over?

  6. I'm very excited to see all this. Good luck!

  7. Thanks for all the words of support! I'm still making progress. I'm actually working on getting a studio so I can get even more focused! I'll post more updates soon!

  8. I am watching you, Theo, does that make you nervous? Just joking, but I am truly eager to see what you come up with for this next adventure!

  9. I look forward to see the development of this beautiful project! I really love your work!

  10. Just bought Capacity and Sleeper Car. From one broke illustrator to another... I hope my moneys go towards art supplies and maybe a couple of beverages to last you a few more inked pages. Best of luck in finishing your project! - k.m.f. illustration