Insert boilerplate "I'm not dead, I've been busy!" bit here.
The DCR script has been done for awhile – though I’ve recently revised the final scene to unfold more fluidly, and have revised the second major scene to implement some backstory continuity with Oiuja Bordello, a project I’m collaborating on with my friend Ben. I’ll be doing colors, shading, and digital bits for that comic – it’s a change in work methods, a challenge I’m rising to and a chance to work on a color comic – something I won’t be doing with ATC again until DCR is complete.
My preparation work for DCR.3 has been far more extensive than previous chapters – at this point I have a full typed script (my first), and 27 of the 36 pages have been laid out. The “prepared” portions bookend a scene I’ve been blocking on for awhile – while the dialogue is set, the demise of my digital camera last summer has left me without the readily available means to shoot the scene. I’ll have to be creative, and timely – the chapter takes place in August, so a late spring or early summer shoot would be optimal… which in turn means I can produce 12 pages of the chapter before hitting a wall.
Typically I finalize dialogue and do layouts on a scene-by-scene basis. This is the first time I’ve had more than 8-12 pages ready to start production on. I still need to do the initial 3d modeling and environment setup for the initial scene, a speed-bump that I’ve been stuck on for the past several weeks due to a combination of factors – both external and internal. Work is scratching my 3d itch – an itch that the comic used to have sole dibs on. The rest of my time has been split between working with Mike Schneider on some VFX shots, loose, messy development of ATC book one (which Ben has expressed interest in drawing, with the caveat that the story is tight enough to fit into a reasonable page count – roughly the size of a chapter of The Dualist, which is doable) and video games, which I’ve long since realized are more of an Avoidance mechanism than a means of entertainment (though Mass Effect 1 and 2 have fulfilled both roles admirably).
I’m maybe a week away from being able to start production of the first three pages, with an additional week to get set up for four through ten and another couple of days to prep resources for eleven and twelve. Environments need to be modeled (basic “sets” in the case of the first couple of pages, a more detailed workup for the rest), dummies need to be configured, props need to be created… that “week away” starts whenever I start grinding on assets. With a bit of luck and a lot of determination I could have the first page of the chapter up within the next two weeks, though at this point that’s a really loose estimate, and not a reliable one. At this point there are simply too many extra-comic variables to consider. That list could get shorter over time, though at this point it has the potential to explode into one hell of an exercise in time management.
Realistically, I’m thinking the first third of the chapter will be ground out over the spring, the second third during the summer, and the finale in the fall. While it’s a slower production pace than I’d like, that estimate considers the existing workload and resource restrictions – we’ll see what happens after I’ve transmuted the present inertia into something bigger than a blog post.