For most of my semi- and full on professional career as a comic artist, I’ve had too many ideas. Back when I was 20 these were unformed seeds for a story. I think I counted of 17 of them at some point and none of them were actually stories but the first initial burst of “hey what if I do this” and then nothing ever came from it because I genuinely couldn’t be arsed to do the work it took to develop it.
As the years went on though I started actually making real comics and in these last couple of years I’ve finished some too. Short stuff, for anthologies mostly, or behind a paywall. Stuff someone has paid me to do (money is fantastic motivation) and that I felt an obligation to finish, no matter what. Of course, finishing things is a bit of a creative high in its own regard and I’ve noticed that the more I work the more ideas I generate. I have playlists on spotify for stories I don’t have time to work on but that still simmer in the back of my head, files on scrivener with character sketches, ideas or just a link to wikipedia for something I thought could be a cool jumping off point. I develop stuff now, with a beginning, middle and end, and somehow that has lead to a veritable avalanche of new story ideas.
I realised the other day that if I ever wanted a quiet moment in my own head again, I better keep a tally of these projects and maybe snip a couple of them off at the root or at least make them real enough to handle. So, I wrote a list. Working title, summary, expected length and publication plan. Thinking about it as a real project that’s going to exist in some physical or digital form is a fantastic way to shy away from the things that aren’t maybe so good. I thought this might knock a few of the less interesting ones off the plate.
At the end of the tally, including pitches for Filthy Figments and a comic that I’m collaborating on with a friend, I have 16 project running in my head right now. All of them enough of an idea that I could make them if I sat down and focused on them.
The conclusion here is that:
- I got worse
- Comics will consume my entire life.
- I need to seriously devise a rotating schedule if I want to see any or all of these realised into actual things that people can pick up and read.
- Better finished than perfect needs to be tattooed into my drawing arm or this will never ever happen.
Wish me luck.