Volume 2 Page 42
Posted August 2, 2016 at 12:01 am

Pretty solid drawing of “Shrödinger’s Catgirl Emp,” here, with only one real flaw that I’ve noticed: Part of her flowing blonde mane—the shaded portion visible beyond her arms and torso—is drawn as way, way too long. Note that the hair hanging down Emp’s back is the correct length, but I got carried away with drawing the rest of her “silken tresses,” indulging in an exaggerated artistic flourish to add an element of interest to the otherwise blank background.  Used to do that on occasion back in the fabled day, adding excessively lengthy hair to, well, “jazz up” empty or boring spaces in a panel or page. (Another, lesser flaw: Her right thigh’s a bit too skinny, to my present-day eyes conditioned to preferring a rather fuller-figured incarnation of Emp.)

Update on a commentary from a few weeks back, written during a failed workday when I just could not develop any traction on drawing pages for Empowered vol. 10. Well, the next day I was able to get back to work on those pages, but at a somewhat reduced production speed. Given that this was my first real pause in uninterrupted months of comics work, I suppose I should be grateful that this one unproductive day represented only a brief glitch in my schedule and not, say, a full-on depressive episode. (Er, knock on wood.) That said, I don’t normally experience “burn out” as such in regard to comics work, but more frequently have to slacken my work pace due to the recurrence of yet another of my many chronic drawing-hand ailments. That’s yet another reason I never screw around with “warm up” or “cool-down” sketches before starting or after finishing my workday—every line I scribble is incrementally grating away at my hand’s fragile health, so I need to reserve all my drawing time for advancing an ongoing project. 

The thing is, as a comics creator you really need to—pardon the excessively rural metaphor—“make hay while the sun shines.” That is, during those golden, shining moments when your health is semi-decent, your neurochemistry’s reasonably stable and your drawing hand’s capable of functioning, why not celebrate this happy state of affairs by getting some g-d work done, folks? You can always futz around on social media or blaze away in Overwatch or catch up on Netflix during one of the times when your hand is flaring up or you’re too burnt out or your energy level is too low to get any work accomplished. Seriously, I have entire shelves crammed with DVDs that I none-too-secretly hope I’ll never get to watch, because I only binge on ’em when my drawing hand’s out of commission or I’m too enervated to get any comic pages finished. And even then, I find such binging to be a hollow, unfulfilling, mindlessly time-burning grind compared to the satisfaction of getting some new Empowered written and drawn.

Who knows—maybe you’d like to achieve a healthy work-life balance, perhaps? (Which is something I’ve not only never achieved, but never even tried to achieve, so I’m certainly no expert on the topic.) In that case, my earlier admonition still stands, more or less: If you won’t be able to work the crazily long hours I often do, thanks to your theoretically richer and more fulfilling life, then you’ll need to make that limited worktime count, won’t you? Which means you, too, will need to take full advantage of whatever windows for content creation that your finite time and health and energy level deign to open for you. During the limited hours you can spend creating comics, make sure you’re actually spending that time, y’know, creating comics. In your off hours, go ahead and dick around online or “recharge your batteries” or enjoy nurturing human interaction or do whatever the hell it is you do in your leisure time, but when you’re given the chance to work, then get to work, folks.

Speaking of which, as I turn off the treadmill: Time to get back to (real) work, myself! Later, kids!

-Adam Warren

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