I know it's becoming a broken record, but I'm delayed...again!
But this time it isn't purely because something is keeping me busy elsewhere. With issue #3, my intention is dealing a nice conclusion to the origin story while setting up the second book. As such, I was trying to go no further than the page count I had for issue #2, which was 26 pages. But as I kept drawing and working out the story, I just felt like it needed more room to make sure things are at least tied up so that I feel I have a nice foundation to go further. So that's why issue #3 is taking longer than expected. More story content is good right? This is what happens when you try to transform a graphic novel into sequential breakdowns. I was trying to compress my story to fit within the confines of a comic. Only to make adjustments and additions after the publication because I didn't give myself enough time or room. I don't want issue #3 to suffer the same.
I saw Book One and Book Two as two halves of the same whole. But while breaking Book Two's story, I felt there were some elements that I could add to issue #3 to allow it to finish the storytelling I started in Book one and allow me to expand the story of Book Two better. So now, the books stand a little better on their own.
Chalk it up to learning as I go on this. So many things evolve and change during the creation of a book. As an observer for so many years, it looked like things fell into place so easy for some creators. But this work has changed so much just in the year and a half I've actively been working on it. Forget the last 20 years of development, hands on definitely changes your point of view and work flow. You find yourself changing course mid movement because you want something to look a certain way or be interpreted another. While aggravating it makes the process longer, the refining and focusing make the product better. And that's what I want.
More to come as this first week of December unfolds.
A lifelong comics fan, Mike W. Belcher is the writer/artist of MAN IN THE MASK. A story he's had with him for over 20 years.