You may have noticed that a comic did not go out on Friday. Family upheaval had me more occupied than getting something out last week, but we’ve had the weekend to discuss and now Friday’s are going to become a little extra-awesome. For it will be on Fridays that we will take a departure each week to show the next chapter of other works in progress. I polished off this week’s today and it looks fantastic – it’s the first panel to a one-shot comic about the Communist Peas. If you’re new to the strip and not sure who the Communist Peas are, now is a good time to browse the archives. The concept of the Communist Peas came from a strip storyline in which Scooter and his buddy Bert talk about a classic comic book accused of having questionable political leanings. Unlike much of the material falsely accused in the 1950s, “Happy Little Pea Pods” has genuine Marxist sympathies. Writing for the peas is an absolute blast and the panels are in a cut-paper style that’s a departure from our usual inks. Make sure to keep up with the RSS feed or the newsletter, as Communist Pea panels will be exclusive to the blog and the e-mail; they will not appear in the archives.
Someone who has always had a lot of kind and inspiring words to say is Floyd Norman, former Disney animator who has published several books including the one I bought from him in San Diego, Faster! Cheaper! The Flip Side to the Art of Animation. Not only does the book give us a glimpse of the business of feature animation during the last years of Walt Disney, but it’s also a brave account of how management can interfere with quality. Floyd wrote us an encouraging note out of the blue and it reminded me of how lucky we are when we’re producing a creative endeavor. Making this comic strip over the years has given us the opportunity to meet and entertain people I don’t feel worthy of entertaining. These are people that might not be a common name to everybody but they mean a lot to me; people like John Canemaker, who so graciously gave me his time and encouragement when I was in the beginning stages of working on my graphic novel. Or like talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who wrote the book that inspired me to keep blogging. If you ever get the chance, their books are all library essentials.