Sunday, September 27, 2015

Where is Cankor?

The idea with blogs is to update them every 7-9 months, right?

Well, I'm back from the moon and ready to shovel some dirt on where I'm at with new Cankor material, the short answer being: I'm working on it.

The long answer: I'm working on it, and it's taking more time than I had hoped. I've also been looking for ways out of the self-publishing racket, or in words that are almost exactly the same, I'm looking to find a publisher.

I've been asked on a few occasions to give a "pitch" for a Cankor book. That word - "pitch" - is troublesome to me and the request "tell me about your art" is one that I struggle with. A friend relayed his experience of pitching to a publisher at a recent convention and said that when he offered to simply hand them some printed samples of the book in question they refused to look at them. They only wanted to hear a synopsis. This seems wrong to me and as I put together my own pitch material for the next Cankor book I get so bogged down in the process of describing that it takes away some of the joy of creating. Then add to that the limitations a concise synopsis imposes on the direction of the book - if I tell you that the story will go from A to B to C before I start but it becomes clear 10 pages in that I want to skip B and go right to J and then Q I can't necessarily do that because it wasn't what I promised.

The one publisher that I am most interested in working with (one that pleasantly wanted to actually see the work rather than hear about it) has asked for a solid 20 pages of new material -  This was months ago and I have exactly 12.

Once I made the decision to seek out a publisher my nerves and self-doubt kicked in and the work I had done suddenly seemed unacceptable so I began redrawing and rethinking, abandoning decent ideas out of fear only to come back to them weeks later, unable to use the pages because what I had drawn in the interim didn't jibe. The fact that I will not script any of this plays a big part into the lag time. The idea of getting locked into a "plot" gives me a swift pain though.

A few months back a post was making the rounds on Twitter that bothered me, although I chose not to respond to it at the time. I'll paraphrase here since I don't have access to the original tweet but this individual asserted that comics were not strictly a "visual medium"; that they were equal parts pictures and know words, those printed symbols that you process visually. He then went on to say that cinema was, however, a purely visual medium. I would imagine that the foley artists, score composers, sound engineers, script writers, dialect coaches, actors and actresses, etc., might not agree with that. Anyway, I don't even know who this guy was but his proclamation stuck with me and since then I have been hung up on the idea of making this next Cankor book wordless. Chances are that won't be the end result but as I put these new pages together I am avoiding writing anything down. Comics are indeed a visual medium and I would like to honor that - I'm still getting my chops though. My little editor voice that I plug in every now and then has been my way of eliminating dangling plot threads and I'd like to rely on that less and less as I go on. It's hard for me to resist a stupid joke sometimes...BUT CANKOR IS NO JOKE!!! THIS IS REAL TO ME!!!

What's a Grecian Urn?

Anyway, there will be something Cankor related on the shelves in 2016 - I've had some requests to reprint the main Cankor story from issues 1 & 2 together so that will likely happen. Then I have given myself the following ultimatum: whatever I have drawn by June 2016 will be printed, whether that is 12 pages or 50 and whether I print them myself or work with a publisher. This stupid show must go on.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on this...