Archive for September, 2010

The Epilogue on a Swampy Log Blog.

September 15, 2010

OK, so there it is. The end of the story that started 6 long months ago, on March 18th.

Thanks so much for the comments that have come in so far, I’m overjoyed that you liked the story so much. It really validates all of the time, work, and thought that went into it. It all came about like this, I wanted to redesign Boody but didn’t want to just start drawing him differently. That’s lame, and a cheat to you readers. There had to be a reason for it. I was originally only going to do a story about Boody going down to Duat and getting his wings for doing something nice for somebody down there. I never thought to place Sir Dudley down there, but soon after I started the story I figured well, what kind of a best friend just let’s his buddy die when he could actually do something about it. So this second story started to emerge and that’s when it all got crazy. The ball was rolling faster, so I decided to create a myth within myths. I figured I’d go with a couple of favorites, Egyptian and Norse and weave my characters into the stories of Isis/Osiris and Hermod/Baldur. I knew from the start that I wanted to make Boody cuter, younger, and give him some little wings, deciding that was the easy part. Trying to come up with a story around it was really, really, hard. So logically, when faced with a difficulty, I decided to make it harder. It’s really the only way to learn anything.
But allow me to back up a bit… Back In March, I started some 3-part throw-away story about the guys being “Ghost Investigators“. It really wasn’t going anywhere so I decided it was the perfect time to kill Boody and kick-start some kind of journey into the underworld where he would be awarded wings. Yes, I really do quite often write this stuff only 2 or 3 days ahead. So from that point, true to form, I pretty much just made it up as I went along, writing usually about 3 to 5 strips ahead of time at the most and in some cases the day before posting.

Why the ‘hel’ would I do that? I had a great acting teacher in grad school once remark on a brilliant actor in our program who was playing Benedick in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. He said how amazing it was to watch this actor every night go through that role so freely and openly and with absolute confidence and trust in the ‘moment-to-moment’ of what he was doing. I was in that show and I watched him every night too. I learned a great ‘something’ from that and I’ve carried it with me and reminded myself of it often, whether I’m writing, drawing, or acting. And it’s very difficult to put into words but the only way I can describe it is having an absolute trust in what you are doing, from moment-to-moment, and always, ALWAYS, work without a net. If it fails, you fall. But you never die, you only learn. That is where I get the thrill for doing this. In the learning of how it is done. I hope to never stop learning, too. My story isn’t perfect, I know this, and that makes me even more comfortable with it. The great philosopher Hung Tzu-Ch’eng once said, “Water which is too pure, has no fish”.
The timing of this tightrope walk was absolutely terrible. After I had begun creating this thing day-to-day, I also wound up acting in my first play in 4 years, maintaining top priorities to my full time job, going to Japan for a week, Disneyland for a week, Colorado for five days, and moving into a new house. Bad timing, I know. But when it started, I had no idea any of that stuff was going to happen, other than the full time job- which I can handle, AND I never would have imagined that the thing would drag on for 6 MONTHS. I wonder if, had I known all of that, I still would have done it. Who said that “Life happens while you’re making other plans.”? I think it might have been Lennon. Or was it Lenin? I’m not sure. It was probably a Beatle, they’re always much more profound than political leaders.
 So as a result of all of this stress and over-work, I had a relapse of my chronic fatigue syndrome and for nearly 2 weeks could hardly do anything but mope, whimper, and sleep. So the timing of this was horrible. But, it had begun and I couldn’t abandon it. It was alive and had to run its life course, there was no ending it prematurely.
 But now it’s all closed up and I’m very satisfied as to how it all turned out and again, I thank you for your support.
 If you want to go back and read it from the start, go back in the archives to March 18th and read on. But give yourselves some time, there are 62 strips to this story I believe, give or take a couple.
 There will be new strips in the weeks to come but there will also be a few repeats here or there, don’t be surprised at that, including a repeat of the big Gods v. Heroes football tournament. I’m going to take some much needed time away and think about what to do next with these guys.
 Oh, and there’ll be a couple of new characters popping up in the next couple of weeks too, your feedback on them will be much appreciated.