Up From The Fog (If Only Briefly)

Yes, faithful readers I’m in another of those periods when my mind is consumed by the challenge of coaxing words from the ether that will eventually tumble effortlessly from the mouth of Mark the Art Guy.
This process is inevitably characterized by a foggy state of mind that saturates my working day, causing me to stare glassy-eyed and uncomprehending at Eddie when he is trying to tell me something that he really needs me to know.

Eddie is used to dealing with me when I’m in this state. Indeed, he had to deal with it for five uninterrupted months back in 1991 when I was obsessed with wrestling a working draft of Stuck Rubber Baby to the mat so I could begin to draw the damned thing. By now my hubby knows that resistance is futile and so deals with my mental absences philosophically. I salute his forebearance. It has made our marriage possible.

Frustratingly, the state of mind I’ve described doesn’t lend itself to communicating entertainingly with my blog readers — particularly when other tasks insist on piling into the mix. Last night, for example, I was suddenly asked to email print-quality versions of thirty images from my web site to Spain, where my web feature "The Long and Winding Stuck Rubber Road" is being translated for a comics magazine as promotion for the newly-published Spanish translation of SRB. I was happy to comply, since helping to promote my books is a necessary part of my job description, but it didn’t help me make progress on the two book-cover drawings I’m supposed to turn in to Beacon Press soon. At night I’m too tired to write, so making progress on those assignments was how I was originally intending to spend yesterday evening. Then Spain called.

And this was the week when I could no longer postpone composing an official syllabus for my MCLA cartooning class, whose first edition will convene only two-and-a-half weeks from now. Think it’s easy to compose syllabi for college courses? Try it sometime.

Conveniently, I’ve been summoned for jury duty the week my class debuts. Will I be able to make it from the Pittsfield courthouse to the MCLA campus in time to greet my new students at 5 PM? What would life be without a little suspense occasionally?

Meanwhile, I’ve gotta nail down a script for a new Mark episode. (No, the series isn’t online yet; I’ll let you know when that happens.) Writing the script should be a simple matter because I already know exactly what’s going to happen in the comic strip. Yet I’ve learned from experience that I will nevertheless have to spend valuable time patiently massaging my brain while pacing about the house in a fog in order to bring my character’s exact words into focus.

Later, when my focus shifts from writing to drawing, I’ll become more human and blog-enabled again.

At least I usually do.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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