Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

I'm currently hammered by several deadlines, both cartooning and non-cartooning related, that all suddenly seemed to converge on the next three or four days. Editor Charlie and I are getting down to the final, sudden-death, no-going-back, we-really-mean-it round of editing and pre-press work on WHTTWOT. I'm neurotically second-guessing everything and throwing in as many good ideas as I can before we close and lock the lid.

I've also got something coming up that might be fun: meeting a local high school student who contacted me for a "job shadow" class assignment. She's interested in doing manga and, although I don't do that, I imagine I was the next-best person she could find around here who'd say "yes." Since sitting around actually watching me work would be unbearably boring for her and unnerving for me, I'm planning to kind of take her through the process of getting a comic from paper to press and answer as many of her questions about the craft and business as I can.

I wouldn't be surprised if I'm more anxious about it than she is. But that's all right, because I am all about helping the Youth of America. I'll report back on how it goes . . . unless it's awful, in which case we will never speak of this again.


Mike said...

Job shadowing can be fun when the student is motivated -- it helps you refocus not just on what you do (the actual steps involved which have become rote) but why you do it. Having someone over your shoulder showing interest is kind of like giving someone a tour of your hometown and having them say "Cool!" over things you've come to take for granted. It refreshes your perspective in a healthy way.

And, if she really is interested in manga, a quick look at how your style comes about might help her get a cleaner line down, which is pretty important in that genre, so she may get something out of it, too!

Namowal (Jennifer Bourne) said...

Best of luck (I bet you'll do fine!)

p.s. Where were you when I was a high school student?

Brian Fies said...

Mike, agreed about the refreshed perspective. As I posted post mortem, having to explain something fresh to someone else often illuminates what's important about it. I especially think that talking out loud while I drew, explaining what I was thinking and why I made the lines I did with the tools I used, was new and helpful to her.

Namowal: beats me, when were you a high school student? Whenever it was, I'm sure I was scratching away in complete obscurity--unlike today, when I scratch away in slightly less than complete obscurity.

Namowal (Jennifer Bourne) said...

Heh heh.
I was in high school in the early to mid eighties. I didn't have a mentor then, but since then I have run into a handful of mentors who helped me out. I think they made a big difference. I'm sure you made a big difference when you shared tips with the high school kid too.