Scott was given a long time to do this book, but even though he got the first draft done early, he wound up rewriting the book several times. And that took time. Lots of time. It was always going to take a long time to complete, but now Scott's gone into what I call Panic Work Mode. This means that Scott works All the time. No. Really. All the time. He works eleven hours a day, seven days a week. This happens every book. It happened every few weeks in the Zot! days. When he did Understanding Comics it worked out very well. When he hit that stage I was no longer working, and was either spending my time going through infertility stuff, or being pregnant. So I had free time. I hung out at home and read to Scott as he drew. Months and months of us hanging out and reading together while he worked. (I was his Books on Tape). Then the book was done. It came out about the same time as our first daughter, Sky, and everything changed.
The next big book that he worked on (there had been bunches of other projects that few other than us remember) was Reinventing Comics. When he went into Panic Work Mode with that book he was working in a studio in the house and he tried to take some time out, have dinner with us or something. There were two kids by then and mostly I remember finding ways for the girls and I to get out of the house for the day to give him quiet time to work on weekends and such. Our Disney passes were a great investment.
By the time he was working on Making Comics (which might be my favorite of the three, and I have no idea why I don't hear people talk about it as much as the other two) he had moved to a studio outside the house. This meant that when he went into Panic Work Mode we just didn't see him. The promise had been that we would deal with his crazy schedule, and then, when the book was done, we would go on the road for a year, the four of us together. We'd go from barely seeing him, to seeing him all the time. And we did. The year on the road might be my favorite of our almost 25 years together.
This time, it all feels different. First off, the book he's working on now is longer than the others were, and since he wants to catch up time, he's gone into PWM much earlier. He still has a studio out of the apartment. He's working from 8am to 7pm every day. Every. Day. The only time he's not, is when he goes off to do a talk somewhere, and then he's just gone. He tries to make the trips as short as possible so that he can be back to working quickly. [Which explains why I just found out that the trip we're taking to Ireland next month(!) is incredibly short. I don't usually get to go, but I am this time, sadly though it was set up as a quick trip. We are on the ground in Ireland, a place I've never been but always wanted to go to, for about 50hrs.]
This particular bout of PWM will last upwards of a year and a half. That is likely all the time we have left with Winter before she graduates high school and goes off to college. Sky left last month.
Last week was April for us. In April, when taxes were due, Sky was busy turning 18 and life was hectic and we filed for a 6 month tax extension. That extension ends in a couple of weeks, so that meant that it was tax time in casa de us. And that meant that Scott would work for 11 hours, come home and start working on taxes. I tried to help, but I'm pretty useless. Scott has a system and there isn't much that he needs me for.
All this to say that it's been a rather tense week or so. When 24 Hour Comic Day rolled around last weekend, I felt kinda sad that we weren't doing anything for it. One year we had gone all the way up the coast visiting places that had events. We were up all night, and it was awesome. We haven't done anything like that in ages. This year, we started the official day (well, started as in noon o'clock) by going out to see a movie. Amusingly, Scott, the inventor of the 24 Hour Comic, and Nat Gertler, the inventor of 24 Hour Comic Day, our friend Robynne, Winter and I all went to see 50/50. Might have been more appropriate if we'd seen One Day but oh well, there were still numbers and it's ironic in my mind anyway. I really liked the movie. It's made me cry and made me laugh even more, and I really liked the dog.
While we were at the theatre, Winter and I saw the one-sheet (ie: poster) for What's Your Number (more numbers!), and decided that we wanted to see that. We already had tickets to see a matinee of a kids' show later that day, along with tickets to see the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Gondoliers that we both knew people in for the evening. It was looking at the poster that I came up with my brilliant idea, that, since Scott was going to be spending 24HCD working, I should do something crazy to celebrate the day.
I bet you can figure out where this is going, right? Winter and I saw 50/50, then we went to the kids' show, Attack of the Giant Grasshoppers then we rushed to a different movie theatre and saw their showing of What's Your Number, then back to the sam theatre that Grasshoppers was performing at, and went to see The Gondoliers.
Ivy's Patented Quickie Reviews:
50/50: See above.
Attack of the Giant Grasshoppers: If you know one of the kids in it, you will probably enjoy it. There were some cute performances. I wish people didn't stand in straight lines so much. I will not tell you what I thought of the script since that is not their fault. Why they picked that show will remain a mystery to me. Stupidity bothers me, regardless of what age the show is geared at. I was not the target audience.
What's Your Number: One of the main reasons I wanted to see it was because Martin Freeman was in it, and clearly, I will watch ANYTHING he is in. I enjoyed the movie. It's not a good movie, and if you don't like formulaic romance/comedies then don't waist your time. There were some fun moments. I have what I call an "Embarrassment Squick". When a scene is a particular type of embarrassing, I can't watch. It's why I don't like many popular movies and tv shows of the day. This movie had about ten minutes that were really hard for me to watch. Sadly, most of them were the scene with Martin Freeman. *sigh*
The Gondoliers: It was a pretty good production. Sadly, it had the problem that all of the productions I've seen with this group has: the romantic leads, we are told, are in their early twenties. But the people that are cast in the roles: the guys are in their 40/50's and the girls are teenagers. I have a problem with this. I guess it's another squick of mine. The singing is beautiful, and all the people I know in the show always do a great job, but I have trouble suspending my disbelief.
After the operetta I hung out and talked to some friends of mine, one who was in the show, and another couple who had been in the audience. We have all done many shows together and we know lots of the same people. So we got to gossip for awhile. I was reminded of how much I love the people I know in the theatre, and how much I miss doing it. I was yelled at for not even trying to do any theatre lately. Oh well.
Back home, Scott had worked a long day, gotten home and was now ready for bed. So far, Winter and I had seen 2 movies and 2 plays. She was giving up, but I was determined to soldier on. I failed. I had wanted to experience two of every media I could think of. Before he went to bed, Scott played me a podcast, but I never got to hear a second one. I watched two episodes of Dr. Who (I'm still not caught up: no spoilers, please), and I did a little reading. But around 4am I was just too tired and the 3rd episode Dr Who was not making sense, so I figured I should crash. I woke up 4 hours later, but didn't do much during the day other than have meals and a visit with my folks (my dad's not doing well).
I picked mostly media that was unlike comics in that it required lots of people to create whatever it was. Meanwhile, while I was media-ing, Scott was in his studio plugging away at his book. It will be over a year before he's done with it. It's over 400 pages long, and it takes awhile to draw a page. He's promised that when he's done, we'll go on the road touring it and that will be fun. Except that the book he's working on was part of a two book deal. When this one's done, he has to do another one right away. The second book can be about anything he wants, but it has to be nonfiction. He has lots of ideas as to what it could be, but when we were in Australia I figured out what it should be. I know I'm right. I intend to push him into (it's not a hard push, I think he knows I'm right). If I get my way, and he does the book I want him to do, then it's hard for me to predict which of the two books will be more important. They are both their own kind of awesome.
Meanwhile, Monday night, Derek Kirk Kim, who is perhaps the nicest person I've ever met, had a showing of the whole first season of his webseries Mythomania. Scott and I went to LA to the cute theatre to see the show. The first season lasts just over an hour and I think Derek plans on uploading the rest of the episodes soon, so now's a good time to check it out. Most of the cast and crew were at the showing. It impressed me how much he was able to do with so little. There was a Q&A after the screening and the part that stood out for me, was Derek talking about how much control he had, and the parts of it that were and weren't like making comics. Comics are something you can create all by yourself with very few tools. Making a movie/tv show takes a lot more, but if you are Derek Kirk Kim, you can pull off a lot with very little.
I'm married to a cartoonist. I don't see him very often when he's busy. I've gotten used to doing things by myself. I make plans expecting to be alone and then get pleasantly surprised when he decides he can join me. I just found out that the local movie theatre with an IMAX screen is participating in the promo thing going on, and they're showing Star Trek tonight. I think I'll go. Probably, I'll go alone. I'm okay with that. Scott has a lot of work to do. In a few years we'll probably have another year that we get to spend together. That'll be awesome. Until then, I'll do stuff with Winter or my friends or alone and Scott will work. I missed a lot of things back when I spent most of my time waiting. I try not to miss as much as I used to.
Scott loves his job. When we get to the age that most people retire I can guarantee that Scott won't. He won't want to. He loves his work and has no intention of ever stopping doing what he loves. I guess, by the time we get to that age, the girls will be gone and Scott and I will be alone, and I can sit and read to him. Just like we used to do. Wow. Full circle..
As I'm writing this, word just came that Steve Jobs died. I'm now feeling very sad. I always thought that one day, perhaps, I might get to meet him and tell him how much his work meant to me. I'm typing this blog on my MacBook Pro. Sitting next to me is my iPhone. On the other side of me, on my bedside table, my iPod is hooked up to speakers and a clock. I do no go anywhere without at least one, and frequently all, of these things. To say that my life was changed by Steve Jobs is a vast understatement.
Goodnight Mr. Jobs. Thank you.
And now I'm off to go see Star Trek on a big screen. Because it makes me happy.