Monday, November 21, 2011

Power On?

So some (I hope many) of you might be asking - what ever happened to Power Out?

I was working on the book earnestly in the beginning of the year when a golden opportunity landed in my lap - illustrating Jon Gruber's book on Health Care reform. Paid jobs in comics are rare rare rare, so I put Power Out aside and spend the summer working on Health Care Reform.  I wasn't sure when / how I would return to Power Out - I certainly wasn't making any money off of it (or I should say, what little money I made didn't cover the costs of printing the books) and unless I was prepared to live in my parents' basement for an extended period I wasn't sure when I'd get the book done.

But extremely talented cartoonist / journalist Sarah Glidden encouraged others to apply to a program she was doing in Angoulême called La Maison des Auteurs. I didn't think I would get it but hey, now I'm in France, working alongside some of the most talented cartoonists I've met, finishing up Power Out. And just my luck, is serializing Power Out in January, just to add a little more of a kick in the pants to finish it promptly.

This was a fun commission

You may have noticed I've tinkered with Power Out quite a bit - perhaps too much for some folks' tastes. There was a point when I was working on it in 2010 when I realized the story had gotten away from me, I couldn't really say what it was about with ease, and there was no bridge to the ending I envisioned. I hired Tucker Stone - a guy who's perspective on comics is consistently spot-on - to edit what I had and try to make a more focused work. I love what we came up with, even if it meant I'd have to go back and rework a huge chunk of the first two chapters. It's stronger work now, and I owe a great deal of that to Tucker.

So what's going to change? I'd certainly say there's more character development with Justin. He had a tough line to walk originally - he was a unique character but also served something as a cipher, which is a bit discordant. Now he's got harder edges, and since it's a little more clear why he's the way he is, I'm hoping he will actually be easier to identify with, if not someone the reader can substitute themselves for. Carrie plays a larger role, particularly in the beginning which makes sense because she plays a more important role in the end. Most importantly, the central theme of the book - the pleasures and perils of relationships, and the danger of disconnecting (Justin) or engaging too wholeheartedly (Carrie) is clearer while not quite being on the nose.

Anyways, I'll be pimping this come January, along with Health Care Reform. Yay. I kind of hate self-promotion while understanding how important it is. But I hope you like revisiting Power Out along with me, and please don't hate the changes too much!

My carte-postale for MDA

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