The cover inset art was done a year ago, and the principal art and story was done five years ago. It was the bonus story which hung us up, and a lot of things went wrong during 2019 and 2020 (including the flooding of my office, and several productivity-impacting health problems), but we finally got that last piece finished a week and a half ago.
From there all I needed to do was assemble the cover, with all the circuits and stuff, write the back cover copy, and clean up some of the interior marginalia. I did all that last week, between December 28th and 30th, and then Sandra assembled the final files for the printer and sent it away.
It feels nice to be finished with that.
Sandra has promised me that on Monday she will unearth the sketches I’ve forgotten about drawing, the ones which outline the covers for books 17 through 20, and I guess it was nice having a two day vacation.
Maybe I’m putting too fine a point on this, but holiday shipping is going to be a mess this year. There are a lot of factors at work, but let’s just set aside the “why” and talk about how to get ahead of it.
Shop Early. If you’ve got online shopping to do, start now. And if you’ve got online shopping to do with us, we’re encouraging your early start by running a sale during October.
And if you’re supporting us on Patreon, look for a special coupon over there, just for you.
In mostly unrelated news, the sabbatical projects are coming along nicely. I’m learning to draw digitally, and we’re making good progress on the very, very behind schedule print project for Big Dumb Objects.
Will the next Schlock Mercenary feature be created digitally? Maybe! I’m not ready to commit to anything yet, because there are still so many things I don’t know how to do.
Sabbatical notwithstanding, I’ve got work to do. The big project on my plate right now is the BIG DUMB OBJECTS bonus story, tentatively titled “The Big Disassembly,” which shares the TBD acronym with “to be decided.”
The story will be told with big page spreads. I’m doing the preliminary page composition, and Travis Walton is handling the big pieces of art. Then I’m doing the inset panels and the lettering. Here’s what page 2 currently looks like:
And here’s what it looks like if you pull back a bit for the two-page spread: