Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Comes a Time...

My latest Shelf Life is up at Sequart. I know it’s been a while since the last one, but there's good reason.

First, I’m proud, excited and a little terrified all at once to announce that my wife and I are going to be parents in August. This is our first child, and the first in either of our families. We both are the oldest and none of our siblings are married, so you can imagine the excitement and anticipation. We couldn’t be happier about it.

What does this mean for Shelf Life?

Well, obviously, from August until, I’m guessing around Thanksgiving, I doubt there will be much activity. You never know, I may get a column or two written in the wee small hours of the morning, so please do check back from time to time, but I just don’t know what to expect and can’t promise anything. I guess it depends a lot on the kid. If he or she is a good sleeper, then maybe I’ll be more productive. Who knows?

One thing that I do want to make clear, though, is that I am committed to this project. I do plan to finish the entire fifty issue run, and write about each issue.

But there are going to be some significant structural changes to these columns as well, which I guess is my second announcement. I have always intended for Shelf Life to be turned into a book, along with the several other fine Sequart.com books that have already been published, but after going through seventeen of these columns so far, I’ve learned a few things.

Most importantly, I realize that, while my “first impressions” approach works as an online column, it probably would not hold up as a book. Books require an appreciation of how each story fits into the broader picture, as well as a perspective on the evolution of the artists and their characters. At this point, without having finished the series, it is impossible for me to bring that perspective into my writing.

So, after several long talks with Sequart editors Mike Phillips and Julian Darius at the NY Comic-con, I’ve decided to shift gears a little. I’m still committed to writing not just a book about Love & Rockets, but the definitive book about Love & Rockets. So, with that goal in mind, I feel like I need to change the tone and perspective slightly. While I am not going to abandon the issue by issue format entirely (I’ve come too far to give up now), I am going to spend less time on each individual column and focus more on getting through the series quickly. I do still believe that capturing my first impressions is important to the overall book I plan to write, however, I will not be putting quite as much time and effort into crafting an essay about each issue. Instead, I see these columns as the raw materials for the eventual book I plan to write down the road.

So from here on out, the columns are going to be more abbreviated. There may or may not be a quote and there will certainly be less images and text. I hope that, in the long run, this shift in approach will benefit the final product, and that I can create a book that reads nicely as a companion to the Brothers’ classic works. My goal here is to give Love & Rockets the critical book that we all know it deserves and I hope you’ll bear with me as I feel my way into this new format.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

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