New Year’s Resolutions

I didn’t really intend to make a New Year’s resolution this year, but it seems that I’ve done so. It’s not that I’m opposed to the idea of personal betterment or lifestyle adjustments, I just feel that there’s not really any good reason to start things on the turn of a new calendar year when, much of the time, they should probably just be done immediately. In my case, “immediately” for this effort just happens to correspond to a new calendar for 2013.
It also happens to correspond to a segment of a radio program I heard while Lorie and I were driving across Washington to return to Montana in the days before Christmas. Studio 360, a public radio program with a focus on arts and culture, wanted to hear about listeners’ “Creative New Year’s Resolutions.” Since the timing was right, and I was about to start a new project, I figured I’d call in and leave a message to tell them about it.
During 2013, I plan to make an illustrated version of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Well, “illustrated version” might be too vague– I’m converting it to a comic book, or “graphic novel”, if I need to sound fancy. It’s kind of a simple proposal, really: using the poem as a sort of script, I’m going to make a page that corresponds to each stanza of the work. Coleridge subdivided the poem into seven parts, so I’ll be making a set of seven issues. Conveniently, each of these seven parts corresponds rather approximately to the normal length of a comic book: the longest one will be at least 26 pages, while the shortest segment will require only 14. So, I’ll be making at least 144 pages for the project, along with a few extras for titles and whatnot.
So, that’s the numbers, and to get this thing finished before the end of the year, I’m going to have to really be cranking. I’ll need to work at a pace of roughly three pages per week, so I’ll see how it goes. Fortunately, I’ve already had a bit of practice at all of this, since I’ve been maintaining a weekly production schedule for the Tyranny of Pants for nearly a year now. I think I’ll be able to do it, and every time I finish inking a page, I feel more reassured that I didn’t commit myself to some sort of mad, impossible endeavor.
As for Studio 360, it turns out they thought it was an interesting enough idea that they wanted to talk to me about it! I spoke with Kurt Anderson last week, and they’re running a little spot about it during this week’s show. You should listen to the whole episode, of course, because it’s a great show, but here’s a link to the segment in which I appear, which is just a few minutes out of full the hour of the program. It was a fun process, and nice to talk publicly about a project that’s really only existed in my head until I started drawing last week.
“Going public” has had another side effect too: I’m now accountable to get this thing done! Part of the intention of highlighting these endeavors is that the radio show will check back in on the projects throughout the year, so I’m now externally incentivized to continue to make progress. I’m not sure when the next phone call might be (a few months, presumably), but I’m going to be sure to have a whole pile of pages completed by the time they want to talk to me again. Just as being committed to running a half-marathon last summer created a situation that required me to be dedicated to a regular jogging regimen, knowing that someone is interested in seeing the completed work is providing excellent motivation to keep turning those blank pages into inked drawings.
And now I had better get back to inking those drawings, actually. It’s too early in the year to fall behind now!

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *