Chapter 8, Bound for Barcelona

I finished Chapter 7 in Cartagena just days ago, mostly because Chapter 7 was a short one to begin with, but also because I ended up skipping four pages of it that seemed redundant.this creates kind of a harsh jump between chapters, but I think it was for the best. I liked parts of it but ultimately I found it to be a bit too much.

Sailing along up the coast of Spain, we left Cartagena this morning and will arrive in Barcelona on Sunday. Barcelona might arguably be one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in Europe, so that’s nice. The winds are light which is nice because it reduces the numer of kids puking their guts out, unfortunately they are head winds which means no sails set. We’re hoping for a turn in a few hours. Tonight we pass the Greenwich Meridian, meaning the GPS will shift from western to easteren longitudes. An exciting event for nerds like me.

From the first panel of Chapter 8, I’m back drawing ships, good times! I’m practicing what I think is a healthy irreverence for pespective and straight lines. If treated correctly, this approach is both interesting and liberating.

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Current page count: 74 of 113

The Peculiar Phenomenon of the Passing of Time

Sometimes the Universe takes pity on you and shows you that maybe the solitude is less solitary than I often think, that while I believe people have forgotten me they still remember me, and remember me fondly, even. That behind that solitude there is some strange sort of love.

And here is a grand and maybe fitting image of my subconscious taking pity on me, or whatever you want it to be, from page 68.

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Current page count: 73 of 113

Sketches vs. Finished Artwork

I’m now far along enough that the sketches I draw from have evolved quite a bit. Often I find that an emotion conveyed through a quick sketch is much more soulful that something I sit and scratch out for hours. Many people have commented on the comic as having kind of a print-like quality to it, some resemblance to wood cuts. While this is one of the things I like about the medium it sometimes annoys me how stiff the result can be. I think an extra aspect to it is the act of copying an existing image, which often takes something away in the translation.

Here is an example where the result frustrates me, and no matter how much I have erased and re-done it (mostly the first panel) it isn’t anywhere near what I managed to capture in the sketch.

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Current page count: 72 of 113 (part one)

Today I yet again conclude that the comfort and success of drawing comics is in close correlation to the current sea state, if you are drawing said comics on a ship under way.

(It’s way less of a sport drawing when one’s chair is in a fixed position and doesn’t suddenly fly over to the other side of the room at any given moment)

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The kids and the ship!

PAGE 70, CHAPTER 7

At an ungodly hour this morning I finished Chapter 6 while on gangway watch on the good ship Gunilla, sitting in the nav station simultaneously playing banjo (not loud enough to wake the banjo-hating engineer) and scratching out the last panel. Below me a class of new, nervous and excited sixteen-year-olds slept, spending their first night and first hours onboard.

I am happy with Chapter 6, I think, I’m way too close to it now to see anything but little lines. I have completely lost all bigger picture-perspective. I wish I could have somebody to read it through, but then again, to what use? It’s done now! It will be what it is, I just hope it’s any good. What a solitary act the act of drawing comics can be…

Here’s some Love for the Tall Ships

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Woman in car

I’m back on my ship, in Cádiz, Spain. It is good. I suppose I need to be stuck on a tall ship with 45 teenagers fifty percent of my life to maintain mental sanity.

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Here is a girl in a car.

Current page count: 68 of ~115 (of part one)

Pre-shipping-out-slacking

Going back to my ship in just a few days, to work for two months. As usual drawing will continue but with less frequency. This will excitingly enough also include the one year mark for when I started drawing the comic again! Judging from how many pages I will have finished at that date will give me a more realistic estimate of how long it will take me to finish this beast of a project.

These past days inspiration has been waning. I’m still 1,5 pages from reaching my minimun goal, finishing chapter 6, but I just can’t seem to pull my shit together and just do it.

Here are some wheat I drew this morning

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Current page count: 67 of 115

Page 65

Page 65 has been a slow one, dragging on for days. It has taken at least 40 episodes of RadioLab (of varying lengths, granted) to finish. Below is a detail of the page, which was the second of a pair of one-panel pages (sometimes referred to as flash pages).

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Work is moving forward, mainley being conducted from the base camp in Stockholm. In less than two week’s time I’m shipping out, going back to my good old ship to resume my role as a watch leader, spending my days telling kids what lines to pull and when to pull them (sometimes I even get to the why do we pull them-part). Since I reside on the glorious latitude 59, fall has already crept up here and even though it’s beautiful all times of the year it is too dark and cold for my liking starting in November and ending in March. So my work is pretty ideal, sailing around the coast of Spain and down to Morocco. As always less drawing will be done, but nontheless, drawing will happen.

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Part of a seascape from page 64

Current page count: 65 of 115 (part one)