Mascot Zodiac
The Pink Bat, Page 1

I’m thrilled to announce a new direction in my personal work, a new project I’ve been dreaming about for years. There’s a new adventure on the horizon, and I’d like to invite you to come along for the ride.

The page above is the first entry in a larger story I’m calling “Mascot Zodiac.” My goal is to capture a flock of elusive ideas I’ve been trying to wrangle for years, and express them as a satisfying, unified whole.

I’ve long been a lover of comics, and it seemed like the perfect medium at the perfect time. However, the page above is the first comics work I’ve done in over a decade (!) and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a bit terrified of starting.

I’d like to share a story I stumbled on that made starting easier:

The book Behind the Seen tells the story of film editor Walter Murch’s work on the movie Cold Mountain. I’ve long enjoyed Murch’s seminal book on editing called In The Blink of an Eye, as well as the more free-flowing Conversations, so I was keen to find out more about his working methods and life. His mind works on levels foreign to most humans (myself included), and the results are often illuminating.

At one point the book includes a picture of the London studio in which Murch works, but it was the description of a single piece of décor that impacted me the most: a single, bronze “B” hanging on the wall. Murch’s explanation:

“Work hard to get the best grade you can—in this world, a B is all that is humanly attainable. One can be happy with that. Getting an A? That depends on good timing and whims of the gods—it’s beyond your control. If you start to think that the gods re smiling they will take their revenge. Keep your blade sharp. Make as good a film as you know how.”

I found that this took away much of the pressure I had been placing on myself to craft the perfect comic, when in reality perfection is not within my grasp. I hung my own “B” above my drawing board (written in humble Sharpie, but I find it works just as well), and began inking the page above.

It does feel a bit odd to invite you to “Come read B-grade work,” but less so if the invitation is “Come see if the muses smile on Mascot Zodiac,” since that is exactly what I’ll be doing.

I have a loose idea of where I’m headed, but I’m open to new discoveries and happy surprises. I’d love for you to join me on this journey. I’ll be posting a new page every Monday, and the best way to keep up is to join my mailing list by signing in at the top right of this page. I’ll be sending monthly updates with behind-the-scenes pictures and “making of” stories you won’t want to miss!

Thanks for coming by.

February 10, 2014
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