Back to Work

Sun 1/31/2016

Well, Claire and I have survived our first two weeks as new parents. It has been amazing, watching Suzanne change and grow. I guess she put on a whole pound last week? Crazy! Sorry I don't have anything more profound to say about this experience, but I am really tired right now... We have been getting about 4 hours of sleep a night for the last two weeks, so my brain is not exactly firing on all cylinders at the moment.

It's strange being a freelancer because my "paternity leave" could technically last as long as I want it to... the only problem is that when I'm not working, I'm also not making any money. So on Monday, which is also somehow February 1st, I'm going to get back to work on a few projects. I'll still be spending a lot of my time taking care of Suzanne (and Claire while she continues to recover) but I'm going to try and start getting a few hours of work done each day, instead of just a few minutes, which is all I've been able to manage these past two weeks.

Speaking of working... a week or so ago I grabbed my ruler off of the little cardboard rack that is attached to my drawing board and it cracked in two. There is a rubber band that goes across my ruler to prevent it from falling off the rack, and I guess each time I have grabbed it, it pivots on that point, causing a bit of tension. After doing this who knows how many thousands of times, the ruler finally snapped at that exact point - precisely at the 7 1/8" mark.

I stole this ruler from my best friend Gabe in 2000, when we were both theatre majors at Oberlin College. Gabe was a year above me and had already taken the set design class, and thus had been required to buy an architectural scale ruler. When it was my turn to take the class Gabe lent me his ruler, which I never returned. To be fair, Gabe never asked for it back because he was mostly involved in acting and directing, whereas I focused on set construction and design and went on to use this ruler to draft hundreds of technical drawings.

I used this same ruler to mark out my first page of comics, after reading Understanding Comics for the first time and I have used it to rule out just about every other of the 1500+ pages of comics I have drawn since.

Maybe it's just my tired mind, but it somehow seems significant that this ruler snapped right as I was slogging through the hardest stretch of "Draw Comics EVERY Day" I've had since I dedicated my life to comics in 2002. I am very proud of the fact that I made it through these last two weeks without missing a day. Even if it was just 15 minutes in my sketchbook, I kept drawing comics.

I replaced Gabe's ruler with the exact model made by the same manufacturer, except that it is made out of solid aluminum. Just as it is 1,000 times stronger than the plastic ruler, so is my resolve to continue drawing comics EVERY day. Mark my words, I'll use this ruler to measure out the panel borders on Phase 7 #100 someday!

3 comments on this entry

Alec I love that picture of you drawing with Suzanne! I am also very inspired by your aluminum ruler. I'm very good at sitting down to draw when I have a long period of time, but pretty bad at sitting down when I know I have less than half an hour. Inspired by you, I am going to start working on that!

Glad to hear it, Maia! I think you'll be surprised by how much cartooning you can get done in 15-30 minutes. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Alec Feb01

I admire your ability to create and manifest the resolve to make such an assertion: that you will use this ruler to draw the border of issue 100.
I have no doubt that you will make good on this statement.
I have little trouble making assertions about my productivity; however, I have no small amount of trouble mirroring your resolve.

Jason Renzi Feb16

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