I never heard him tell the truth, so far as I can remember. He was a most repulsive creature. When he was after dollars he showed the intense earnestness and eagerness of a circular-saw. In a small, mean, peanut-stand fashion, he was sharp and shrewd. But above that level he was destitute of intelligence; his brain was a loblolly, and he had the gibbering laugh of an idiot . . . I have had contact with several conspicuously mean men, but they were noble compared to that bastard monkey.
NON-SEQUITUR SEGUE ALERT:
Speaking of the Graphic Medicine conference I'm helping to plan for next June in Chicago, we've just started to look at the proposals for papers, talks, panels, workshops, etc. that people submitted. We have many excellent ideas to choose from--maybe more than we can accommodate in the time and space available, I don't know yet. Personally, I'm relieved. I mean, you just never know! What if we'd gotten none? My co-organizers had more faith and it looks like they were right. The hard part now may be having to turn down terrific proposals just because we have too many. Seeing what we have to choose from, I am confident we're going to have a wonderful event. Registration is open!
My thumbnailing for Mystery Project X proceeds apace. I'm more than halfway through a very rough draft of what I hope will be my next book, expect it'll take me a few more weeks to finish, and am happy with how it's going. I'm getting a lot out of the process. The act of committing the layout, dialog, and sketchy figures to paper (well, pixels) is helping me solve old problems, raising new ones, and sparking new ideas, just as it should. I've also resolved some technical special-effects issues to my satisfaction for now. It's interesting: as I mentioned before, I never really thumbnailed either of my first two books (I did a bit on WHTTWOT) but it's really working well for me. I just need to do it faster.
I think "process"--insights into how different people do the job--is interesting. Some cartoonists approach their work "pictures first," letting their art inspire a story, while others work "words first," essentially illustrating a script (I'm mostly the latter, although I'm always looking for opportunities for art to convey meaning and help carry the narrative load). I recently read an old interview with a cartoonist who said she never did a rough draft of anything, and had lost jobs because of it. One publisher wanted to print her work but, not unreasonably, asked for some idea of what they might be getting first. She couldn't do it; that wasn't how her process worked. She didn't know what she was going to do until she did it. I find that alien and fascinating. I wish I could spend five minutes inside a mind that works like that.