Hey all, like the image above says, we’re trying to get our shit together so I can get back to work. BB’s first summer vacation from school brought with it a whole bunch of weird logistical issues that I understood would be present, but couldn’t really understand in a way that wasn’t mostly abstract until we were right in the thick of it.

To keep it short, last summer she napped for 2 to 3 hours every afternoon–she was 3, this was good, it gave me lots of time to get things done. My mother in law also borrowed her for the afternoon twice a week. This summer she’s about to be 5 in a couple months, no longer naps and my mother in law is very busy. She requires constant interaction, which has so far made doing anything nearly impossible. Case in point, I started sketching the picture above 2 whole weeks ago for patreon–as of about an hour ago it was still a barely inked sketch that I frantically slapped some gouache brush flats onto for this update. I initially put this picture aside to get a page done for last week, which is still in the planning/sketching stage and would only have been ready for today if I developed the power to stop time and provide myself with several uninterrupted days of drawing.

I’m very overwhelmed right now–Cory’s work days are longer, which leaves me with less time at night to work, and by the time night gets here I’m exhausted. I’m half tempted to take the rest of this month off while I attempt to figure out some something that will let me get work done, be it completely rearranging my schedule, going to sleep early and getting up several hours before she does or begging my mother in law to take her for even a single afternoon every week. Maybe all of the above. I would still be trying to produce pages the entire month, which would hopefully mean I have at least few or more done be the time August hits.

I really hate that I’ve hit a snag like this. To new readers, this must look super flaky. I don’t know if it’s at all reassuring, but it’s worth saying that I’ve had to take a month off before, several times over the years, to re-structure the way I’m working in order for things to run the way they’re supposed to and go back to business as usual, and I have never NOT made good on that. I mean it when I say that I will do everything I can to make sure that I’m back on track as soon as humanly possible, just like I’ve done every other time I’ve needed to do something like this over the years.

Taking the rest of July off would mean it would be a while before we update, but when we’re back we should hopefully have more than one page ready to go. I could also just work whenever I can and then update when we have pages to update–you’d still get them, but they would be on very random days at random times, and the period in which this happens would also likely last the entire summer rather than just July. What sounds less irritating to you? I’d kind of prefer the first, but would be fine with the second if that’s what the majority of readers would prefer. Let me know in the comments, please!

EDIT: In retrospect, my author’s note above came off as sort of like I view my kid as an inconvenience, which is not the case! I love being able to spend this time with her, but also she has like 3 times the amount of energy that I do and I’m a useless corpse by the time Cory gets home from work.

I’ve seen concern below that taking the month off doesn’t really do anything to alleviate the fact that the same logistical problems will exist when August 1st rolls around, but generally the idea was to spend July still making comics when I can so they’re ready to go in August, while also seeing if I can enlist family members in taking her out to do fun things when they can, hammering out a great schedule where the both of us can maximize our free time and working toward a functional buffer without the stress of a deadline at the end of every week.

I like to work in scenes–I draw an entire scene at once, ink an entire scene at once, colour it at once and letter it at once. It’s faster than doing one page from start to finish at a time, and allows me to work out issues with “camera” angles, consistent character placement within the scene and more. Recently I’ve had to fall back on doing one page from start to finish just to get one done every week, and it’s been killing my overall productivity. Having the next three weeks to just…not have that stress will absolutely make a big difference for me.