Since 2001 or so, I’ve occasionally published silly comics about ROCKET & PROFESSOR, but I’ve doodled the characters even longer than that. The few comics I’ve actually completed belie the fact that I’m always drawing the characters, and thumbnailing & planning stories. Real life sometimes got in the way of following through, but lately I’ve been trying to assemble a fraction of these scribbles and notes into a plan for a 96 page full color book.
To call it a GRAPHIC NOVEL is way too grandiose for the silliness I have in mind, but hopefully it will have a somewhat coherent narrative shape. Taking all the pages I’ve published so far and combining them with new material, I hope to weave it all into a meandering story, telling how Rocket & Professor came to live and work in San Fiasco. Even at my best, a 96 page full color book would have been a massive undertaking and in my current reduced circumstances it is a very ambitious project indeed, but will make a wonderful physical therapy project so I’m committed to working my way through it. Comics are a fiddly and demanding medium, requiring many skills together; writing, drawing, composition, design, acting, coloring and so on. If I can pull this off and manage to make new left-handed artwork that is compatible with old pages that I drew years ago with my right hand it will be huge, and I’ll consider myself well and truly back. As a professional cartoonist at least.
The old stories were laid out on a 3-tier page of typically 6 panels. When I did my Sephilina color comic book a few years ago I found that a FOUR tier page worked well, because by cutting each page in half they could be cleanly displayed online. I’m planning to do the same thing with this book. The RE-laying out of pages is fiddly but I think it is worth the effort, and gives me a task I can do while my drawing skills return. Hopefully by the time the layout and coloring of the old B/W pages are complete I will be ready to tidy up the thumbnails of the new material.
It will take me years to chip away at this project, and in the interests of getting something complete sometime soon, the 96 page tale is broken down into 6 parts, and they are sub-divided into 6 to 8 page chapters. So with any luck, I may get something short completed within the next year.