Hello, and welcome to my new and improved website and blog, which is a wee bit better than my old website and blog. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Item One: For some reason (probably runaway ego) it is very important to me to get to ten thousand readers on Twitter (followers in your lingo) before I post ten thousand Tweets. But it’s coming right down to the wire. I’m at 9,700 (or so) Tweets and at 9,750 or so readers. And I can occasionally get awful blabby on Twitter, so that fifty Tweet difference can disappear quite fast.
So (against the advice of the Stay-Humble angel of my imaginary internal discourse), I’ve decided to have one of those begging-for-more-readers events that other Twitter users have employed in the past. Here’s what I’m going to do: If I reach 10k total readers before I’ve posted 10k total Tweets, I’m going to take a day off, spend that day doing sketches of whatever I feel like sketching – in whatever mediums I feel like working – sell those sketches online (probably on Ebay) and then give whatever money is raised to my favorite comics-related charity, Hero Initiative.
That seems a reasonable reward/goal for winning this entirely unnecessary contest, right?
Item Two: As many of you will know by now, I’ll be hosting a convention early next year dedicated to celebrating a certain type of comic book that has been (sometimes) quietly carving out a sizable niche for itself in the grand comics melange. Kurt Busiek has decided we’re calling this sort of comic Mythic Fiction, and so we shall, because one doesn’t lightly dismiss those things Kurt demands of us. Mythic Fiction comics are stories drawn from the worlds of fairy tale, folklore, and myth. They’re stories about literary characters come to life and wee animals possessed of language and a heroic nature. They’re whimsical and dark, funny and dour.
Since my own long running comic series, Fables, falls steadfastly within this realm, it seemed a natural thing to help get a convention underway specifically dedicated to these types of books. And so we have. I’d like to invite you to consider coming to our show. It’s called Fabletown and Beyond, and you can find out lots more about it by going here: Fablescon.com.
I hope you’ll consider attending. Hosting a convention is a study in cooperation and compromise on a cyclopean scale, but my plan is for this event to include everything I love about successful conventions, and nothing I’ve disliked about some (thankfully few) conventions I’ve attended in my nearly 30 year career.
Item Three: Very few of you know I hate bolding, but I do. I most surely do. What am I talking about? I refer to the practice in comic book lettering wherein certain words will be lettering in bold type, rather than the normal type, for emphasis. I believe bolded words are more of a distraction than a help. I believe most of our desired emphasis and inflection in any given line of dialogue can be gleaned from the context of the line itself and the average reader doesn’t need our help to pick out said inflections.
So then, if I feel this way, why does almost every word balloon in all one-hundred-plus issues of Fables (for example) contain one or more bolded words? Because I seem to be in the minority in this opinion. My editor on Fables loves bolding for emphasis, and what you see on the printed page is the result of our compromise on this issue. Although I could dig my heels in and have my way on it, the collaborative nature of most comics work demands that I should yield a bit, here and there, or else risk becoming a complete Prima Donna, which I’ve no desire to be (due to the long hours, constant high drama, and a general dislike of having one’s food spit in, when one’s back is turned).
But there is a new project coming up, which I won’t reveal here and now, in which I will be able to exercise more control over such things. I’m doing this new project with my longtime and frequent partner in crime, Matthew Sturges, who does not share my aversion to bolding in comic lettering. And here’s the nifty part: In our past writing collaborations, both Matt and I have been reluctant to reveal the specifics of who wrote what parts. We’ve enjoyed keeping that a bit up in the air. And we plan to do the same thing this time, with this new project. By Sturges and Willingham is all the credits will ever say. Except now, page by page, you, the canny reader (with too much time on your hands, if you follow this plan), can ferret out who wrote what simply by looking at any given page. If there are lots of bolded words on a page, you can be almost certain Matt wrote it. If there are none, you can be almost equally certain I wrote it. So there. Have fun with that.
This was a lovely chat. Let’s have another one next Sunday, shall we?