Thursday, August 26, 2010
I'm supposed to not be doing unpaid/exposure jobs anymore. It gets me in big trouble with my girlfriend. I'm a hopeless addict, seized by a furtive need to put pictures to other peoples' scripts. She's seen me do dozens of these things over the last ten years, and heard me wheeling out the same (increasingly hollow) justifications: "it'll be good experience...", "You never know, someone might see it and offer me some paid work..." etc etc. I'm aware that I have a problem. Truly I am. Although the fear of my beloved's withering gaze is enough to keep me on the straight and narrow most of the time, when I do crumble, and crumble I always do, it's mainly down to my absurd inability to remember just how long it takes me to actually do the damn things.
Anyway, so there's this 'fairytales in the future' comics anthology that's been in the works for a year or so, marshalled by Chris Stevens over on Digital Webbing. That's right: fairytales in the future. Straight away you sense that the abstinence/participation battle in Nelson's poor brain was only ever going to go one way. And then Chris (evil pusherman that he is) delivered the killer blow: an invitation to illustrate the update of 1001 Nights, pencilled in as the opening strip in the book.
My resistance went majorly kaput due to Tara Alexander's lovely script, which is an out and out love letter to the joys of comics (and by extension the timeless clout of good storytelling in general). Especially appealing was the sweet, subtle human love story running throughout; I knew I was going to relish trying to nail something of the weird, delirious awkwardness that ripples through your head, heart and gut when Crush at First Sight occurs.
If the script wasn't enough, Farel Dalrymple, one of my favourite (and no doubt everyone else's favourite) comic artists is doing the cover.
I even got to go a bit mental in the middle:
It sounds like it's going to be a pretty massive affair: 300+ pages, loaded with strips and pin-ups, all massively varied in style and tone. One to watch? Absolutely. Is this the very last unpaid/exposure comic I ever do, straight up, no messing, honest to god..?
Absolutely. I'm finally CLEAN!