It's been quiet around here for Family Man updates...but the reason why is a darn good one. You can see tiny thumbnails of 235 pages (of 375 total pages...) of the good reason in this week's post image.
My typical absences/hiatuses are due to maladies like "Dylan's lungs turning into Swiss cheese" or "Dylan's drawing arm turning into a twisted knot of viola strings that can feel only pain" or "Dylan standing on concrete for twelve hours at a convention, after which she will will turn into a pile of Swiss cheese and viola strings."
You may recall me mentioning my forthcoming middle grade graphic novel Queen of the Sea, due out from Abrams in Fall 2018. (Remember that date...) This is the book that I wish I could send back in time to ten year-old me. 375 pages of Tudor-inspired mystery and adventure, featuring shipwrecks, secret identities, daring jailbreaks, selkies, pirates, nuns (so many nuns), and an authentic recipe for gruel.
I've been dividing my time between Queen of the Sea, Family Man, freelance comics work (like my upcoming short story for Bitch Planet: Triple Feature), writing work for my not-yet-announced series with Oni Press, freelance design work, and keeping the Swiss-cheese-and-viola-strings stuff under control.
As you might guess, that doesn't make for a very efficient working process. It keeps the bills paid, and I love getting to work on so many different things...but now I'm at a point where I can either:
(a) devote 98% of my time to Queen of the Sea and the remaining 2% to cheese-string abatement,
(b) keeping trying to do everything and miss my publication deadline, delaying the book by an entire year because big publishers have specific seasons in which they are able to release specific kinds of books.
I'll still have some chunks of downtime in between rounds of production – when I hand in drafts, my editor and designer and copywriter etc. have to review the work before sending me notes, and with any luck those windows will give me the chance to check back in with Luther and Ariana. Then, once major book work is done, I'll get to shift gears back to Family Man for awhile.
What will I be serving up to y'all in the meantime?
Well, for one, I really hope you'll want to stick around, even if our hapless Familienwald kids are on break. $500 a month means a lot to my little family right now, and working on a long project like Queen of the Sea means a year or more can go by in between publisher payments.
Under $5/month – I'll aim for a once-a-month post with some of the latest images from Queen of the Sea, concept art from before I pitched the book, and updates on all the other work of mine that is gonna hit the world in the meantime!
$5+/month – I'll aim for a once-a-week post with more bigger/more elaborate art from Queen, the inside scoop on what it's like to be working with an agent and an editor at a traditional New York publisher for the first time, aaaaand some exclusive photos of my dog being disgustingly cute.
$10+/month – I owe you guys, like, a million hours of podcasts. Luckily I've lately recorded, like, a million hours of podcast with Delilah Dirk creator Tony Cliff, talking about storytelling, creative inspiration, and how the comic book sausage gets made. I'd like to use you all as an advance listening team, and a source for questions that the two of us (or me and one of my other many gullible colleagues) can tackle together in any future recordings.
Okay, that's enough outta me for now (I have to go draw some more pages, after all)! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about, give me a shout through commenting on this post, send me a message, or tweet at me. I'll still be around – just a little quieter than usual.
As always, I am beyond profoundly grateful for your support, encouragement, good humor, and excellent taste in cartoonists.