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Next story to be Courtly Manners 2

A change of plan from what I've been telling people: my next webcomics projects after The Rite of Serfdom will be the second issue of Courtly Manners, written by Geir Strøm. My previously existing plans, to do a series of shortish storylines focusing on various aspects of the vast and sprawling Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan universe will go ahead a little bit later. Arguably, Courtly Manners #2 fits it well enough, considering that it features Kel, Krakatoa, Guðrun and the characters from Geir's Chronicles of the Witch Queen who have appeared in ROCR before.

I know many of you ROCR readers are very eager to see Tamlin again, which was what's in the pipeline (I don't believe the announcement that Tamlin would return counts as a spoiler. It's the manner and the precise timing of his return that was always supposed to be the big surprise). However, I would not be able to do a good job of it if I just plunged into the next storyline without preparation, for these reasons:

  1. The very next story was to be scripted by Adam Cuerden with help from the other folks who post on this blog - a true collective endeavour. However, they're not quite finished with their work, and Adam has been sick for a while.
  2. I haven't been feeling too great myself since August, having had to deal with burnout and mild depression. A break will do me good.
  3. I need to prepare! There will be many characters to design, settings to research, bits and pieces of the script to tweak, layouts and techniques to try, all to make the new work something more than just another storyline. Routine can be good and bad; when routine means the artist knows what he's doing and is comfortable producing the work, it is good, but when the work just repeats what has come before, it is bad. I want to keep the good aspects of routine without the bad parts, and that means I have to experiment and then practice before committing myself to the next story proper. I have done a bit of experimenting with the nitpick stories, but not nearly enough of it.
  4. I have some other, non-webcomicky things on my plate, and right now, they're not the fun-and-profit sort of non-webcomicky things. Doing my tax returns is one task I'm not looking forward to at all because my books are in terrible shape as a result of the neglect I mentioned earlier. And there's one more Floor to finish, which is kind of fun and kind of profitable, but not while I'm strapped for time.
So in short, I need a break more than you need to see Tamlin. I'm not kidding about the burnout and depression, by the way. In my case, that shows itself in impatience, lack of focus and especially irritability. I'm sure that's a factor in my recent turning out of sub-par art although it's not the first time I've done that, exactly. I've been sitting on 9 nearly-finished pages, out of 24, of that Courtly Manners story, and running those, even at a brisk pace, will give me the best part of two weeks to work on what needs to be worked on. And my experience making them shows that I can crank these out pretty fast without them sucking too much, so I'll be good for the three weeks after that as well.

The first Courtly Manners story is from 2002, and was made as a filler for another artist who needed a break to have surgery. It ran on the other guy's website and on Modern Tales. If you've come to follow ROCR in the past 2 1/2 years, you may have escaped my shoving the story in your face. It's still in the Modern Tales archives, so if you have a subscription, enjoy. It's silly, and came with epic poetry by Timmerryn (any chance of you doing a poem to go with issue 2, Timm?).

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 8, 2005 9:20 PM.

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