Reflections on Ondine and Looking Ahead

Rarely do I complete projects, especially projects that require long time investments. My mind always wanders, or I grow bored of focusing on the same thing for so long, or I just burn out on the project. Anyone who has followed this site for any length of time will notice that I have a hard time completing my multi-part editorials. (Part 3 of my Deus Ex series is coming this week or next week, I promise!) Given this track record, you can understand how relieved and elated I was in the early hours of Sunday morning when I posted the final page of Ondine. Yes, it was late by more or less a full month, but by god I finished it, and I thank everyone who followed along as I posted the pages. I apologize for my schedule failures, but I hope it was all worth it.

As I was working on the comic, there were several instances where I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to comment about the art direction, the design decisions, or the symbolism and meaning of the comic itself. But I determined that it was more important to finish the thing first, rather than go back in the middle of it and start posting commentary, so I posted nothing about the comic itself and focused on just getting the pages published. All the while, in the back of my mind, I looked forward to writing those posts, to elaborate on the artistic and intellectual facets of the work, and especially to discuss the art and the design, since the use of graphic design principles to tell a story without words was a huge part of the creative process.

But now, with the comic complete, I find myself in a completely unexpected position. I don’t want to do all that. I don’t want to write long posts examining the comic. I still want to write commentary, and I will do so, but I do not feel that zeal for analytical discussion that I felt while working on the comic. In fact, the act of writing this post itself is proving difficult, and I find my composition skills failing me with these very words.

What happened? Where did the passion go?

The answer, to my infinite relief, is obvious: I’m too excited about the next project.

All of my creative faculties, my passion, and my interest, have poured into the next comic, and I cannot wait to begin working on it in earnest. My thoughts dwell on the plotting and the dialogue (spoiler, there will be dialogue), and I have already produced a dozen pages of reference and concept art, including the sketch I posted on Monday. I had planned to draw other things! I expected to take time off and do some small projects and single art pieces! But no, the drive to create this new project is too powerful. I cannot resist my Muse’s siren call.

To arrive at the point of this post, I want to talk about what’s to come. The next comic is going to begin December 5th, and will be ten pages. The reason it is not thirty pages is because the story, as I’ve conceived it, really only needs ten pages to be told, and because thirty pages is an enormous commitment, and I’m not quite ready to jump into that commitment again. It will be a whole new story, not a continuation of Ondine. As I mentioned in the post introducing Ondine, the comic series of the site is “IW Presents,” with each issue being a self-contained story. I will probably post some development notes or drawings for it, to fill the time between now and then. I will also begin adding commentary to Ondine, at the rate of about five pages per day. The commentary will be always be hidden behind spoiler tags, so that new readers won’t stumble into it and potentially be spoiled, and that readers in general can ignore the commentary if they don’t want to read it. Finally, later this week we will post the next podcast episode, wherein I pretty much say everything about Ondine that I would say in a post, so that will substitute for any editorial from me.

Thanks again to everyone who has read Ondine. I admit this feels like an inadequate send-off for the comic, since it occupied so much of my time and was foremost in my mind for several months. Despite my eventual commentary and what I say in the podcast, I do love Ondine. Whether or not it succeeds is up to you, but I immensely enjoyed creating it, and I am happy to see it complete.

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