Unshelved comic strip for 6/2/2004

Script Club

Every week Gene sends me 14 worth of strips. Statistically speaking between 1 and 5 are either perfect or need so little work that they get used right away, between 1 and 5 will get a big loud veto, and the rest of them are flawed but promising. Those last bunch just sit around waiting for one of us to get the inspiration to fix them, but because we're both always writing new scripts it's hard to get the energy to go back and look at old ones. That pile has been growing and growing and had amounted to something like 500 strips, going all the way back to before we first went live. But no more. I spent the last three days assiduously weeding through all those strips. Now I have about 80 that are on my edit list, and the rest I threw back to him to rewrite or abandon.

Anyway, this is all very good because I am under increasing pressure from all fronts (Gene, my wife, the cartoon mafia) to get and stay ahead on strips once and for all. The key to this has always proved to be a very deep backlog of ready-to-draw scripts. So this week is Write Week. I'm already about a month out on strips, I am planning on getting no less then three months out by the end of next week - more if possible. In the meantime I am drawing just enough to stay current. This will be followed by a veritable orgy of drawing.

By the way, it was fascinating to read 500 of Gene's scripts at once. He has a wonderfully funny, seriously twisted brain that keeps coming back to certain topics. I plan to turn over the results to his family so they can get him appropriate treatment. It was also fascinating to see the very old strips - the characters we experimented with and dropped, the characterizations that have changed quite a bit. The comic timing that has improved. Practice really does make better, especially when you have two writers critiquiing each other and egging each other on.

I love my job.

This Unshelved strip

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