This was the first version of page 2, drawn and written in August of 2018. When I finished the book, I went back over its entirety and rewrote and redrew certain sections in order to make the story work in a consistent manner. Rewriting is the soul of writing. A third draft should always say what you want to say more clearly.  The published version does that.

Rejected page 002
First version of page 2

I’m opening up the book to all because I’ve been gone from comics for a good two generations. Some people I’ve encountered online remember me, but one or two does not make a viewer base. My old stuff can be found, but the work of a twenty-year-old doesn’t represent me as I see the world now.  I have mellowed with time. I have a much broader view of history and the forces that mold it.

Nine Books

Over the next decade or so, I have a story I’ve been planning for a dozen years. I’ve been an artist for sixty years, if you count the horse heads I drew in the first grade. After I gave up the notion of being president,  I always knew I would be an artist, and I’ve worked my tail off the become a writer.

I believe in this story.

I am of the school that believes you write about what you know. It’s the only way to achieve an authentic voice. Every part of these stories is a part of me that I know. I know these people. I know their history intimately.  My ancestors were Mennonites. Some of this stuff actually happened to them. I’ll get around to what parts those are down the road.

I’ve opened an account at Patreon. I’ll be creating a system that rewards Patrons. Be on the look out.

Why?

Because I’ve been around. I know what is going on here. I believe Dale Luciano was right, but right at the wrong time. I had to do two things to accomplish what is happening here:

  1. Become a writer. I did this by reading poetry. I did that because prose must sing. I believe in spare prose that has its correlation in the lyrics of poetry, and in comics, the opportunity to wax on for pages is not there. I owe this development to Yeats, whose poetry I truly love.
  2. Secondly, I had to have a story. To do this I had to live and see what plays out in a life, notably mine. I had to find what works. What doesn’t work. And why. That takes time. A lifetime , in my case.

But I’m ready. The three trilogies are set. I have the production in gear and know my strategy for completing them in a decade. The first book. Mennonite Killers, was the most difficult one to do, since I was devising my Grand Plan as I did it. The Grand Plan is laid out, with provisions for the usual writing and rewriting. I always do that. I’m rewriting and redrawing pages 24-31 as I write this blog post. That is the only way to improve and polish and perfect a story. I’m having a wonderful time.

Sketch for Twins and Billy
Sketch for Twins and Billy

Join me in this journey. Subscribe to my newsletter, which I’ll send out to subscribers with special treats, like scans of my sketchbook drawings, and I ways to get original drawings. If The Comics Journal was correct, you’re witnessing history.

Do you want to be a part of it?

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