Monday, August 16, 2004
Reality comes crashing in
I'm referring to the possible move.... but first, the comic!Yes, it's finished. I only managed to photocopy 3 pages at work, time was short and the copier was playing up. The other 5 pages should be done tomorrow. The question is, how do I feel about completing this Herculean task? All right I suppose. It’s always a bit anticlimactic really. I'm actually pretty happy with the photocopied pages (once the artwork is reduced it often looks better, lines and composition seem that much tighter and clearer and I find it less painful to look at) and although they aren't great they aren't as awful as I'd originally thought. I guess it's also fair to say a lot of my ill feeling towards doing the story has been as much a result of my inability to produce good work as it has with the actual content of the story. Still, it's hard not to look at the end result and wonder what all the effort was for. Again, not the scripts fault, I just wasn't the man for the job - and not just because my work is 'cartoony'. The comics I genuinely like are the fancy, arty, 'literate', pretentious ones, and as much as I have a soft spot for genre material, it's a guilty pleasure, or at least one I like to see with a bit more in the way of personal expression than the usual stuff - think Shirley Jackson instead of James Herbert, or Jim Thompson rather than John Grisham, hell Robert E. Howard is a fine honest read compared to, say, Robert Jordan. Anyway, the point is that it's not enough for me to just draw any old thing, it may be well written, but if it's not for me I just can't do it any more, the thrill of getting a chance to be involved in a COMIC just isn't enough. Maybe I'm just an egotistical snob, but I don't care, there's things I want from, and would like to bring to, books, comics and illustration (wish I could have a crack at films somehow too) and the one thing that has kept me going through all the feelings of hopeless talentless frustration as I've done this comic strip is the fact that I care about this stuff. It's pretty obvious really. I moan and whine about not being any good, about whether I'll give up, but I wouldn't be going through it all if I didn't care, if the need to try and do this stuff didn't outweigh the suspicion that I can't do it. I like to think I'm honest with myself, but maybe my self-doubt is just a luxury I can't afford or a crutch I use to get out of doing anything. So maybe this hasn’t been a waste of time at all.
Cornwall. It seems like such a nice place, and yet it’s causing me nothing but headaches. I told my manager today that I’d need to look into transferring, he reminded me that there is no such thing as transferring where we work, just applying for vacancies and told me how to go about it. One phone call later and I’m in trouble. The nearest branch has no vacancies, and according to the guy on the phone there’s nothing coming up, he didn’t even think there’d be any Christmas vacancies, which was pretty surprising. Which leaves us in a difficult position, if my wife is offered the job she really would like to go for it, yet it’ll mean I’m out of work and I might be out of work for a while as I’ve little skill and work experience outside of working in a bookshop and doing the odd bit of writing and drawing. It’d be easier if rent wasn’t so high nowadays or my wife had a decent paying job, but her wage is pretty poor and wishing house prices, whether to rent or buy, were lower is utterly pointless. So what do we do? Staying in Nottingham is difficult and not desirable but it may not be practical to move. Who knows what’ll happen, I guess we’ll find out soon, but I can’t say I felt very good when I saw the look on my wife’s face when I said she might have to turn the job down if she’s offered it. We'll still go down, it's a chance to see the are, but it doesn't have the same sense of hope.