I just realized that I haven’t made a Lab Mice-related post on here since March 29. That’s almost seven months ago. This makes me sad. If I am lucky, this also makes other people sad.
I uploaded this comic to temporarily remedy the situation. It popped into my head tonight, but it’s something I’ve been feeling for a while. Time is running away from me. Where did the summer go? And then, where did September go? I feel the need to stop and catch my breath, but didn’t even realize I had been running.
One of my frustrations lately (for the past seven months, apparently) has been my seeming inability to complete a comic. I have a backed-up queue of penciled comics, waiting to be inked, cleaned up and posted–or put into a file for a book. I just can’t seem to get myself to pull out my ink and pen, sit down, and do it. Which is probably the crux of the problem.
Lab Mice began as very quick sketches on my schoolwork and evolved from there. I think I need to revisit that early idea–that the drawings should reflect the desire for ease and speed and lack of fuss (this is the reason that the mice characters had no eyes–it was too difficult and time consuming to get the expressions just right). What Lab Mice is now is largely the product of the independent study I did in college–more focus on artistry, less on just getting a funny idea out there visually. That was so very valuable, and I am grateful for all I learned from that experience (plus, how many kids get to draw cartoons and get college credit for it?). But now that my college graduation isn’t hanging in the balance, there isn’t nearly as much motivation for me to put all that time and effort into my comics anymore. And that’s probably okay. I have a household to maintain–and yes, that really is a job, you just don’t get paid for it–and someday I may have a part-time job on top of that, and someday beyond that I will probably have kids. I want Lab Mice to still be there through all of that, even when I don’t have a lot of time to devote to it. So I think I need to simplify.
Mostly this will mean a change in my medium. No more India ink and dip pens. While I have really enjoyed the experience of using them, they are just too messy. I like to be able to work on my comics on-the-go or in unconventional places. You ever try holding comics on your lap while balancing a bottle of black ink so you can dip your pen, all while going around a curve in a moving vehicle? Yeah, me neither, and I’m not keen on trying. Also, I am klutzy, and even under the best conditions I am always smearing the ink or spilling it or splattering it with the pen. Which means more time in Photoshop cleaning up my mess. No thanks. A more klutz-proof medium is what I need.
Hopefully now that I have reached this conclusion, more comics will be coming in the near future. I miss my little mice. They’ve been part of my life for ten years now–something I realized while typing this.
Time really does fly.