It's not that I don't love comics--I must love them, because otherwise I'd never subject myself to this! But day in, and day out, for the last three months, I get up every day and I have to draw at least two pages of comics. Twice a week I have to draw three.
I am so burned out right now that you could light cigarettes off my kneecaps.
I get a month after this is done, to finish writing book three of Dragonbreath, and despite the fact that I have to write most of a book in a month, it's like a vacation. I have whole days when I don't have to draw a comic, when I can do, like, a real painting (perhaps the thumbnail sitting in front of me, perhaps that commission that has been hanging that the commissioner has been unutterably patient about, perhaps saints, perhaps...anything.)
I'm past the point where I can even draw for fun--I've got nothin' left on the art front. I'm not even drawing phalloi. My visual well has run so dry that I'm gouging these last few panels out of bedrock.
It's worth it, don't get me wrong. They offer me more for one book than I made in an entire YEAR not that long ago, and that's just the advance--if the book does well (and we've had at least one Immensely Positive Sign) then three months of burnout will be a pittance. I am very lucky people will pay me to do this at all. And fortunately, I've got no memory for this stuff, I'll forget how bad it was by the middle of next week.
Which is good, because in about two months, I'll have to do it all over again with book three.
(I mentioned my schedule to a buddy awhile back, who asked if this was a normal turnaround for this sort of book. This flummoxed me a bit, because there really aren't (m)any books like this, and Dial's never done one.
"Ah," he said. "So the entire future schedule for such books may well be based specifially on Ursula Vernon's work ethic?"
I allowed as how this was quite possibly the case.
If so, he pointed out, it's hard to see how this will make the lives of those who come after me any better.
On the bright side, such as it is--I'm not tired of the characters. I am deathly tired of drawing comics, but I do not detest Danny the dragon and Wendell the iguana, I am just very tired of drawing any kind of comic right now.
Three more comics--two of them double page spreads--and I get to rest.
Back to work!