#6, Pg. 21 | Amplexus Interruptus

#6, Pg. 21 | Amplexus Interruptus

May 13, 2016 in Issue 6
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Caley Tibbittz Collopy 13th May 2016, 3:58 PM
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Speaking of interruptus: I bet you're wondering why it's been over a month since the last page. Well...

I started this page on 04/11, determined to put together a straightforward little page. Then I got creatively married to the big hug element. I wasn't sure I could tell the story around it, but I liked this idea that it was this big page-spanning moment that James completely ruins. So, that took a little extra time.

Then I got the "brilliant" idea that I could make pin-ups and pages at the same time if I just drew people naked, then drew clothes on tracing paper to stat on later. This took extra time (and didn't really work, since it was a fair amount of extra effort and time, and they'd still have to be colored separately).

But all that was normal snail's pace B.S. that crops up in my process. My wife breaking up with me, that ended up taking up a fair bit of my time.

My wife suffers from intermittent severe depression, and very low self-esteem, and very high anxiety, and... more. And we manage it together. But we're not doctors, and there can be some very bad days. So, as I tried to put this page together, my progress was derailed as my wife decided to break up with me and move out. I kept trying to fix problem after problem, and it kept seeming to work for a day or so, and then she'd re-break up with me... we had many long conversations, and I managed to talk her into staying long enough for us to get to see a doctor. She upped her Abilify and we made sure to get her back on the serotonin-boosting vitamin D I'd distractedly forgotten to get more of due to being busy (never again, argh).

So, in the end, full-crisis averted -- but it was a ROUGH two and a half weeks.

Then, my MS-addled sister's caregiver called off more than half her remaining days. My mother was quitting her job to stay home and be my sister's paid caregiver, but had to get certain business done before leaving the job. My sister cannot be left alone safely, so I ended up taking care of her for several days in late April --

-- in addition to all that, my mother's landlord wanted to do a walkthrough in prep to raise the rent. The yard and house were in desperate need of cleanup, and my mother was not physically able to do most of it... so I did it. I lost several days on that.

This page would be one day earlier, but, in this melee of stupid crap, I decided I was sick of my worsening allergies and the energy drain of dealing with them, so I got some famously non-drowsy Claritin... which, it turns out, may cause drowsiness. So it was, for me, the same as taking a sleeping pill. I lost a day on Claritin. But at least I got a nosebleed out of it.

I also helped my mother move a considerable amount of personal odds and ends from her work, which cost me another couple days.

Then a stray cat my wife and I had been feeding for the last 7 months went missing. He'd followed me home slightly wary, but underweight and hungry enough to try and trust me. He was rewarded with as much food as he could eat -- ham, Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas turkey, and, with my wife making a push to get him to come inside and stay longer, enormous amounts of tuna and salmon. We treated him extraordinarily well, and he started staying indoors with us a lot -- but would never go a full 24 hours without meowing loudly and increasingly agitatedly to go back out. He always came back... until he didn't.

I spent many hours looking for him, losing large amounts of sleep in the process. Then a neighbor's cat went missing; having seen me feed the stray, they blamed me for some reason and put up a sign to this effect, "warning" the entire complex that I was responsible for the missing cats (which is ridiculous, as I adore cats and would NEVER hurt one).

Another neighbor saw this sign, and told me the stray I'd been feeding was, in fact, his cat (which I find dubious, as the stray lived outdoors 100% of the time when not at my place, was unhealthily underweight, and flea-ridden). He got in my face and verbally threatened me, stating that if he found out anything suggesting I'd taken or harmed "his" cat, that (and I quote) "Your ass is mine!" -- not an idle threat, I'm sure, as I previously called the police on him for violently assaulting another neighbor.

Things have been exceedingly stressful with these neighbors, and in all this, I'm still missing this sweet little tabby boy I fed back to health. It has been a truly awful month.

...after the storm of distraction died down, I was able to set back into work in relative earnest on SwordCat Knights. And I discovered something: I hate coloring on computer, and I'm painfully slow at it. So, I need to hire a real colorist ASAP. Announcement soon, I hope.

Thank you all for your continued patience with my dumb life. I'll start into a new page next week; it will likely be posted in black and white for now.

Soup Sock,

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Shan 13th May 2016, 4:10 PM
Oh, that's hilarious.

Do you need a contractor to fix that fourth wall yet? It's starting to wobble a lot.

Excellent work by the way.
Caley Tibbittz Collopy 13th May 2016, 5:25 PM
Caley Tibbittz Collopy
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I've been desperately looking forward to illustrating this particular joke since I wrote it (which must be about 10 years ago, at this point).

James has worked as an actor, and sometimes thinks of his life as a TV show. So, the fourth wall's dry-rotted and will have to be torn down and completely replaced.

(You can blame my love of fourth wall breaks on David E. Kelley's Boston Legal.)
Shan 14th May 2016, 5:24 PM
I love Fourth Wall breaks when they're done well. This one is excellent.

This is the payoff you get when you've spent time successfully building up a multidimensional character because I can say "that's so James" and have that mean something to other readers.

It's along the lines of how I said before I could tell which character was Erica just from their pose just at the sketch level stage even before you'd really added much facial detail.

Congratulations on your successful world building, keep up the good ... nay outstanding work.
Shan 13th May 2016, 5:22 PM
"So, I need to hire a real colorist ASAP. Announcement soon, I hope."

Just so this doesn't get lost in all the communication and so it's perfectly clear. Send me the bill for a colorist and I'll pay it.

Anything to help you get new pages out faster.
Caley Tibbittz Collopy 13th May 2016, 5:31 PM
Caley Tibbittz Collopy
Wow, thank you.

I'm sorry I've been MIA lately. A bunch of crazy real-life stuff closed in (as expounded upon above), and I was desperately trying to focus on this new page while trying to stay afloat in all that. I know some important things fell to the wayside in all that, but the real life stuff demanded it.

Anyway. I'll start looking for a colorist this weekend.
Shan 13th May 2016, 5:44 PM
I had a feeling it was something along those lines which, coupled with the fact that none of us are self-centered oblivious jackasses is why things didn't head in other, sadly all too common directions these days.

However, whichever way you cut it, the inexorable march of time is unavoidable and you know there's one date which is completely unavoidable that we really do need to talk about but not here.
ProfEtheric 13th May 2016, 6:24 PM
Glad to see you back in something resembling the saddle, sir. The page is spot-on, if that helps any.

I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. I hope things are better for you moving forward.
Caley Tibbittz Collopy 16th May 2016, 6:32 PM
Caley Tibbittz Collopy
I'm glad you like the page. It was an experiment, but I'm happy to see the consensus seems to be that it was a success.

And thanks for the well-wishes, I appreciate it.:)
IllustratorMan 14th May 2016, 6:03 PM
Damn you always land those left hooks with your art. Just amazing work.
Shan 14th May 2016, 8:04 PM
... and this guy here, this guy here of all people should know. I mean, look at his name for starters.

I second, third and fourth this opinion (for starters).
Caley Tibbittz Collopy 16th May 2016, 6:34 PM
Caley Tibbittz Collopy
I love getting compliments from you, with your Gene Colan-esque art backing them up. So fun.:)
Garthvader76 15th May 2016, 10:14 AM
Damn my-man another fantastic page.
Caley Tibbittz Collopy 16th May 2016, 6:40 PM
Caley Tibbittz Collopy
There's a level on which you and I are making iterations of broadly the same comic (sometimes I think I should have gone the Bruce Timm route you did...). It's always nice to get a compliment from you, with your similar sensibilities.:)
Nef 18th May 2016, 9:38 AM
I always complain about how Life always finds ways to disrupt my work flow, but reading your comments made my problems seem like mere grains of sand in the eye (bothersome, yes, but not lethal) while you seem to be Indiana Jones running from the giant boulder.

I hope you regain some semblance of control over what obviously is a very complicated situation. Like a friend of mine used to say "Keep on keeping on!".