Earlier this year I thought it would be fun to attempt to get into a small press or comix convention, so I applied to both CAKE and the STLSPEXPO. I was put on a waiting list for CAKE, and then ultimately didn’t get in. So when the “waiting list” response came back for the later, I didn’t give it much more thought… until they wrote me back again and said, “We’ve had a cancellation, and so you’re in!” What?!? Now I had to scramble. I had some new stuff (Ninja
Guy, Snow World), but enough to fill a whole table? I wasn’t sure. So I started ransacking my storage bin looking for half-way decent material from days of yor that I could still use. Vikings and Sea Monsters? Okay maybe that will work even though it wasn’t a comic. Then I ran across this: Feldspar. Hmm… almost good enough! The comic was a collaboration between me and Melissa Marie in 2003. She sent me a bunch of poems and gave me free range to pick one and put it to pictures. My kind of project! So I tried my best to do one justice. Looking at it now 12 years later (wow!), I realized that the people and the cars were poorly executed. I hadn’t used models for either, and I should have. So could I re-do 5 pages in 2 weeks? Sure I could! I didn’t calculate the fact that I’d have to re-scan all of the pages… pages that were 11 x 17 on my 8.5 x 11 scanner, then photoshop (gimp) them all back together and then do all page layouts over again so they fit 2 copies to an 8.5 x 14 legal (that’s right, LEGAL) sheet of paper. So 2 nights before the festival, I stayed up the whole night with no sleep to get it done. So Saturday at the Expo, I yawned all day at my booth thanks to Feldspar 1.1! I’m glad I did. Now I feel I’ve given that comic the best that I can do for it.
The other change to the new version as you can see from these images are the fact that the text is not embedded in the drawings. I’ve kept the text outside the panels (for the most part) in the new version.
But probably the biggest change is that the main character that only really appears on the last page of the original version appears several times throughout this new version which gives the character more of a central role to the thoughts being expressed throughout. She and a friend replace the original boy and girl in the back seat nodding off on each other’s shoulder. Later, she looks in the rear-view mirror at the image of the woman holding the umbrella and then at herself (the reader). Then, of course, she gets out of the car at the end.
This main character is also modeled after my wife where I photographed her hands and used a photo of her eyes to capture that look in the car’s mirror). The book never had a solid “this is what you should get out of it” message, and it still doesn’t, but I thought it would be a good challenge to go against the natural tendancy to showcase my own identity in a story.
If interested in reading the full book, you can purchase it here.