Polterguys: Update and Xeric Grant

Taking a cue from Lars Martinson and sharing a visual graphic of my progress on Polterguys Volume One.

Production Timeline
I’m started working on pencils for the book which, in Laur-speak, just means fleshing out the stick figures on my thumbnails and refining compositions in the panels. I’ve been giving out daily previews through twitter and you can see them archived on my sketchblog here.

I’m still unhappy with how klunky some scenes still read which is why I don’t think the script/thumbnails are quite finished exactly. For the most part, the overall story has been greenlit. I just want to push the work from serviceable to poetic and I know that sounds terribly pretentious but I’m shooting for the moon here (even if I miss the stars and end up on a barn roof or something. At least, I tried!)

I’d like to have the book in my hands by July to sell at Anime Expo so I’m tentatively setting my official publication day sometime around May or June. I will be releasing the book online leading up to the release so that should be around March when I finish toning and lettering. Not sure if I’ll manage to meet these dates, but they are there to keep me motivated.

Xeric Grant
I have no idea what my chances of success are exactly but I’m thinking of applying for the final Xeric grant in February. This means I need to have the book in some sort of near-completed status by the end of that month. This also means I’m in terrible looming deadline mode through the end of this year and it’s been giving me dizzy spells of anxiety.

I’m hoping to finish off pencils this month and have the book mostly inked by the end of January. Toning is going to be an issue. I love the feel and variation digital screentones offer but at this point I’m not sure how I can incorporate it into this timetable. Would the judges accept a barely toned book? Will they even accept manga-influenced work? These are things I know I can ask around for, but I’m almost afraid to find out.

It would be really nice to have some financial support and some outside validation for the story. I’m aware there’s Kickstarter and IndieGoGo fundraising campaigns but it’s tougher to drum up enthusiasm for a beginning comic artist untested by the webcomic community and with no serious artistic professional background (like animators or animation storyboard artists have).

Despite all these anxieties, I’m really truly grateful I have the opportunity to do something like this.  There’s still so much ahead of me and I honestly feel overwhelmed at the amount of things I need to keep track of to do this well.  But this is what I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. This is what I daydreamed about during my day jobs and what I wish for myself when I come across fantastic stories that move me. Even if I’m not going to get everything perfectly the first time, I’m still pretty darn happy to be on this crazy journey.

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