5 Characters in the Mist

Above are some images from the proposal I submitted to Piranha Press. Note that not only did I not yet have a clue about what my characters would look like, but I didn't even know what my female lead's last name was. I went through several surnames for Ginger in my early drafts before settling on Raines, which was a private tip of the hat to my college pal Howell Raines, who went on to write a great oral history of the Civil Rights Movement called My Soul Is Rested.

As these drawings suggest, it would take me a while to shake my cheery approach to designing characters (clearly inappropriate for this book) that had become ingrained during my long tenure on the Wendel strip

JOURNAL ENTRY (May 2, 1990)

This afternoon I plan to resume drafting descriptions of Stuck Rubber Baby’s characters [for my formal book proposal]. Since these characters are only now beginning to reveal themselves to me in a misty way, this isn’t an easy task. If this project ever gets done, I’m sure the final product will bear only the vaguest resemblance to the one I’m blithely describing in my proposal.