It is with mixed emotions I reach the 200th page of scetches. It is of course pretty awesome, but also I’m going to have to draw all of those pages. My original estimate of 150 pages was clearly a gross underestimation of the magnitude of this story.
You know when you’re lofting a boat, and you’re thinking of those lapstreak boats with all those narrow planks and how nice they look and you decide to alter your plans from the original seven planks to something like ten instead, and then half a year later you’re there in the workshop at 11.30 in the evening on a Friday and all your friends who weren’t stupid are out drinking beer instead of desperately planking to reach deadlines, and you curse and wonder what demon possessed you to alter those plans.
Well, that very same demon is possessing me now, but I try my best to keep the page count down while not making any violence on the storyline. Not an easy balance to reach. At the very least, I plan to stay well clear of 300.
Current page count, scetches: 200
I have half the day off. It’s raining in Gibraltar. I like it. Wild monkeys hang out on the roof tops. I walk around between cafés drawing and drinking too much coffee. Haven’t found the public library yet. It occured to me that drawing in cafés and bars is oddly similar in all continents and parts of the world. I guess I should go explore museums and cliffs and such more closely, but I really mostly just want to draw. To my defence I can say that I’ve been on the cliff before, and yes, it’s awesome. But one should do as one wishes, and as a result I can also present you with this, a small scene from the world of American schooner shipwrighting at its very best!
Current page count, scetches: 182
I returned to Gibraltar and walked into town. I got lost in the back lanes, the warm, humid air heavy with the smell of soil and growth and the white houses with their painted window covers took me two years back in time, when I got lost on similar Spanish streets, when my life was so very filled with love. A time when there was an awe and surprisedness about it all, when the very things around me seemed infused with some kind of unknown magic, a time of passionate letter writing, when the air around me was vibrantly alive with the notion of a soulmate only an ocean away, a notion that overtook everything else and swept away every seed of loneliness and doubt.
I guess this is where I am supposed to be. Below the cliff, the writing and drawing of this story continues.
Current page count (scetches): 174
I have now been onboard the ship Gunilla for a couple of days. We are in port in Cádiz, Spain. I like the ship and the crew and the students, and apart from the fact that I can’t really walk anymore since I messed up my foot stupidly jogging in sandals the other day and now have to jump around on crutches, all is well.
As promised, work on the comic continues. Today I have the day off and after 45 minutes of limping my way to the beach (usually a 10 min walk) I have spent the day drawing in various cafés and bars. I have been keeping up my ambition to draw every day, and since my cabin lacks a table and I get too distracted among people, I have spent the evenings drawing in the nav station. The nav station, it can be added, is the only place cold onboard the ship, since electronics like a polar climate. I sit in sweaters drawing, watching the Spanish sun set outside the port holes.
I apologize for the lack of interesting things to post regarding the comic. As I have mentioned earlier, work at this stage consist solely of drawing the scetches for the entire comic. These scetches aren’t scetches in the traditional sense of the word, meaning they will be used for drawing the actual finished artwork from, but they are a very rough outline of how each page will be laid out. They are, in fact, the entire comic, but fantasticly crappily drawn. This may sound like simple work, but it’s a deceitful impression. True, the pictures themselves mostly look like shit and people are at the best recognizeable for what characters they represent and the text is blacked out and re-written all over the place, but this is, actually, the entire comic being born right there. Some pages take me days to figure out, other times I can draw three of them in the matter of only a few hours. Some make me depressed, some make me laugh.
The comic is mostly being drawn chronologically. Today I started a new chapter of part two, taking place onboard the Kalmar Nyckel. That was great and accordingly celebrated with beer. Included is the scetch of the first time the ship appears in the comic.
Current page count, scetches: 163
The Scratchboard Comic Project is relocating itself together with me. Rumor has it that snow might come to Sweden this weekend and also I have now been on land since late August, so tomorrow I get on a plane to fly to Cádiz, Spain where I will get onboard the ship Gunilla to work as a watch leader for two months. Generally sailing and comic drawing aren’t the best of friends, but I will make an honest effort to at least do some work on it each day. As the people who know such things say, one is always infinetely bigger than zero.
Here is a panel from the comic showing some caulking action.
Caulking with Dave.