Unshelved comic strip for 4/19/2005

The End is Near

But in a good way. Today we sent back proofs for the cover and B&W pages of our book. On Monday I hope to send in art for the color interior pages, which are now almost done. I need to redraw one page that didn't work and I have about a page's worth of things to draw or redraw spread throughout the rest of the book. Gene and I went over the dialog and word balloon positioning last night, and the comic emerged from that process stronger and funnier, as one would hope. His basic editing strategy is to remove every third word, and mine is to randomly insert adverbs. Together we make a good team.

My hope is that we'll start the preorder for books and our new merchandise line this coming Monday, which will hopefully get them back to us before the end of May. Cross fingers.

(Pa)rental units

One of the things that's been keeping Sara and I busy over the last couple of months is that my parents are moving from Connecticut to Washington state. We've been handling logistics on our side, renting a house in West Seattle for them to stay while they decide where to live, finding them a car (theirs had just died), and receiving a truly giant moving truck worth of goods into the rental and a storage unit.

This was all, surprisingly enough, my idea. We've had our ups and downs, but lately it has been more ups than downs. And putting my relationship with them aside, I really want my children to know their grandparents. [Sara's mom lives in Eugene, not too far away, and we're trying to get her dad to move here from South Dakota]. Plus my dad has some new and ongoing health issues, and so I'd like him close where I can help.

The last time I lived in the same part of the world as my parents was in high school. The prospect of having them a short drive away is a little unnerving. No doubt we'll have to set up some boundaries (and I mean that literally - I'm looking into electrified fencing). But right now I am full of optimism and am looking forward to having them here. And that's good, because they'll be here tomorrow.

Overloaded

I am one of those people who tends to work better when busy, but this is too much. Right now I have the following projects on tap:

  • My day job at Microsoft: designing and evangelizing a revolutionary new software product
  • Co-writing and drawing a daily comic strip
  • Co-writing, drawing, and supervising the coloring of a 24-page comic book
  • Putting together our upcoming collection
  • Creating art for our upcoming clothing line
  • Preparing for the preorder
  • Preparing for my parents' arrival (with lots of of help from Sara)
  • Finishing the remodel of our house (Sara is actually doing most of this, but it's a point of stress)
  • Preparing to move back to our remodelled house (again I expect Sara will do most of this)

I am truly and sincerely looking forward to June, when the book will be done and orders shipped out, my parents will be settled in to their temporary home, and we in our permanent home, Of course there will be new projects. June is the first a series of conferences and speaking engagements.

Until then, expect me to look a little frayed around the edges. Something's gotta give. My health is fairly poor, I'm not sleeping enough or exercising at all.

And the moral of this story? One is that working two jobs takes a lot out of you, especially if you are being a dutiful husband, father, and son. Another is that timing is everything, because if I had put the book together in January (like I did last year) my life would be a lot easier. And finally, it's good to be married to Sara. She keeps it all together, even while being a full time home-schooling mom. I have no idea how.

This Unshelved strip

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