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The road to god knows...

Well, the last update for the main story is now up on GirlAMatic. That means the entire 142 page story can finally be read. Three short stories will follow starting next Monday (though some of you will have seen them before) and then that will be that.

It's a somewhat bitter sweet feeling. But a very, very positive one.

What happens in the near future? Well, a number of things! First, there will be a book collection of the road to god knows... sometime over the next four to six months.

I'm not exactly sure when quite yet, but it is coming and it should be available in a number of places online (including Amazon.com and other online retailers). I'm not so sure about comic book shops; I think the odds are a little long that you'll see it on a store shelf. There are a variety of sundry reasons for that but because I'm not absolutely sure I don't want to say too much now. Before road sees print, though, there are a few things I need to do with it first (mainly some art corrections and touch ups plus a lot of re-lettering). Once that's complete, it'll be ready to go. I'll certainly make an announcement here and if things go well I may even be able to announce a release date by the time the last short story finishes it's update. My fingers are crossed!

In the more immediate future, another book will be arriving much sooner. Say what?! Let me explain. See, one of the things that's been going on in the background is I've been figuring out a number of things on the printing/publishing side of comics. Because road wasn't quite finished (and a much larger project to tweak), I needed to test out some various printing options with something else first. That "something" is a collection of the three short stories that are set to run right here starting next week. Plus all kinds of supplementary art, scripts, and concept writing. A total of 88 pages with the suggested retail price of $13.95 US. That means if you like the stories, you'll have an opportunity to have a bound collection very shortly. I'm not positive about the date yet, but the final proof copy should be arriving early this week and, once I approve that, I'll get a release date announcement here. The front and back cover are below.

Final Li'l Kids Front Cover

Final Li'l Kids Back Cover

My next project, as I've mentioned already, is tentatively called Stargazer. All the concept are is done. The script is done. I just need to start drawing the bloody thing! What I'd like to do is "bank" a number of pages before I launch it just to make sure there are no missed updates. One of the things I'm proud of with road is that it never missed an update. Every Monday since December 3rd four new pages of story went up. Like clockwork. I'd like to do the same with Stargazer if at all possible. And the best way to ensure that is to try and get as far ahead as possible before it launches. Thematically, it's very different than what you've just been reading so it may not work for everyone. That's ok. I'm not a big believer in repeating myself; the risk, of course, is that you lose readers by branching out. There's a reason publishers cringe when writers and artists suddenly switch genres; marketing a new title outside of an author's typical genre is a very tricky proposition. Obviously, it might not sell; current fans of the author may not enjoy the genre "switch" and new readers might not like the work itself. But risk is life and I'm willing to risk it. I also think that I've grown both as a writer and an artist and I think that Stargazer will show that. I hope most of you will stick around to see for yourselves.

Now, I want to take a moment and say a very big thank you to Lisa (the editor here at GaM) for allowing me to join GirlAMatic in the first place. And a big thank you to the rest of the GirlAMatic crew for making me feel very much at home. It's always difficult being the newbie but I never felt, not for a minute, a sense of exclusion. That's pretty special and says a lot about the people who have made their home here. I hope that never changes. On top of it, they're making good comics here. A lot of them. Go read 'em already!

I also wanted to say a very big thank you to Moggy. She has stood by me through thick and thin and has never wavered in believing in me. Even, perhaps, when I haven't believed in myself. Thanks, lover pie.

The last thank you goes to you (yes, you!) who are reading this right now. Don't duck, I'm talking to you! Some of you I know, some of you I don't. Regardless, I'm more than a little touched that you've given the story a try and managed to see it through to its end. I certainly don't take that for granted. Building a readership is hard. A story like this, from an unknown rookie creator tackling a difficult subject, is probably harder still. I certainly never felt that I was "owed" or somehow "promised" any one of you. I hope that my work speaks for itself. It's raw in places, sure. I hope, though, that it's sincere. For any story to work at all, it has to be that. Mental illness, in particular, is not something that should ever be a throwaway subject. Sadly, it often is, both in fiction and in life. I hope that I've managed to avoid this and show that Betty, Marie's mom, is a loving person despite the problems she has. She's coping as best she can. While it's tough, it's also life. And she's doing her best to live it. As are Marie, Kelly and Emma. As best they can. One step at a time.

There's a poem that my own Mom kept with her for many years before she died. It's attributed to Groucho Marx, though I don't know if anyone is positive if he actually said it. It often comes up in mental illness literature and I thought it would be appropriate to put it down here. It reads:

"I, not events, have the power

to make me happy or unhappy today.

I can choose which it will be.

Yesterday is dead,

tomorrow hasn't arrived yet.

I have just one day,

TODAY

and I'm going to be

happy in it."

 

Thanks for reading and I'll see you next week with Fast Friends: a road to god knows... adventure!