Just reminding everybody that Lovecraft is Missing starts up again this coming Wednesday, August 20, with a second bonus page on Friday to celebrate. Might be a good idea to start reviewing now, and don’t forget to spread the word!
Ok, it’s official: we’re back August 20, which is a Wednesday. In honor of HPL’s birthday we’ll also have a page on Friday, and then we will resume our regular Friday schedule. I have some notes for various weekly posts, but no promises on them just yet. I’ll still be doing art for the first three months, then Jerry Bennet will take over and I think you are going to thank me and wonder why I didn’t change sooner. I’m thinking our current issue, Book 5, will last out the rest of 2014, more or less. Then we get down to business. I know Book 6 will be at least 100 pages long, so if we get it all drawn out, that’s two more years of LIM you hvae to look forward. I can tell you I never thought I’d still be on this project this long when I started back in 2008, but it’s been a gas…and some of my favorite stuff is still to come.
Healthwise, everything is still in the Twilight Zone. All the outward signs are good: good appetite, feel good except for fatigue, gaining weight, getting exercise by wearing leg and hand weights and taking walks, doing some yoga. I’m a little disorganized, with too many little projects to do, but I get in a good day’s work everyday. My liver function tests continue to improve. I have few side effects from the chemo. No pain. Most often, I forget I’m even sick and have to readjust when it finally occurs to me. I have one more chemo and then a PET scan and that’s where we will find out if the outward signs reflect the inward ones.
Healthwise, things are looking up. Still no prognosis, but I’m gaining wait, one tumor is definitely shrinking and liver functions seem to be improving at a an important rate. PET scan near the end of August will give a better big picture, but the extreme fatigue turned out to be the cumulative effect of the chemo, and with a few adjustments I am getting much more done.
The strip is going to start up again on August 20–teh old Gentleman’s birthday–and since that’s a Wednesday, we’ll also have a new page up on Friday as a bonus. Please tell your friends The first three months will be the pages I’ve been working on, and then I’m proud to announce the new artist, Jerry Bennet, will make his debut. You’re going to love him, he’s terrific (assuming I haven’t cursed something by announcing it this early.) He’ll carry it through to the end of Book 5, then we will both take a break to prep for the ultimate issue 6. No sense short changing anybody at this late date.
Got my latest CT scan results yesterday. The growth of the tumor has stopped but there is little sign of shrinkage. One doctor thinks this is the best we can hope for, the head guy a bit more positive that we should go another three rounds of chemo and reassess. Problem is, the only other chemo treatment for this cancer now believed to be pancreatic) has less of a success rate. Besides the growth stopping, there are a few other details that tip me toward the positive. One, the delay in my chemo means that the CT doesn’t register at least one full week of additional work by the drugs. Two, my ability to eat greater amounts and to be able to digest more fibrous foods indicates the stricture in my stomach is enlarging, which points to shrinkage in the tumor. This area is not able to be seen clearly on a CT scan, so no one can say for sure, but the change is so dramatic that I don’t see how it can be otherwise. Biggest day to day issue is fatigue, but I’m doing what I can. I need a t-shirt that says “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
But still pushing ahead on all fronts on LIM. I now have 12 pages finished except for color, still looking for penciller, and moving ahead on Book six synopsis (well, actually, I’ve finished three additional pages of that except for coloring as well, but decided I needed to focus more on getting Book 5 wrapped up.)
Had to skip chemotherapy last week, because my white blood cell count was dangerously low.SO I got it yesterday, and am just enjoying the general discomfort that comes with the first three or four days. The good news is that it seems to be working. I am able to eat full meals of solid food, getting up 2000 calories a day on my own without supplements. There was a good period there when I couldn’t get half that even with Boost and smoothies. And although I haven’t completely reversed the weight loss, I’ve slowed it from roughly 10 pounds a week to 2 pounds. I claim a victory.
Still hunting for a penciller. I’ve a number of really enthusiastic beginners, but no one I was willing to pay the rate I’m offering. I don’t need a mimic, but I need a certain quality level to feel comfortable. In the meantime I just keep plunging ahead on my own. I need to go back and start coloring and then I can start posting again. I’ve got three months of inked/lettered art ready. That should give me a buffer.
Been on a samurai movie binge. Some good,some great, all of them make me wish I could introduce a samurai into LIM:-)
Last chemo tomorrow, and I feel I’m better prepared by far than I was for the last two.
The guy I had working on the pencils didn’t work out, which is a shame because I thought he was doing a good job. I’ve put out the word and have a couple of other prospects. In the meantime, I continue to move forward. I have one more page to finish (no. 92!) before I will then go back and start color.
Have a good weekend.
Things continue to bubble along. Finished my third chemo last week; next week will be the last before a new CT scan, which will show if the chemo is working. I think it is, not because I’m Pollyanna, but because of certain little changes here and there in my body that seem to indicate some shrinkage in the tumor. That doesn’t mean I’m out of the woods, it just means there’s a bit more of a chance to stick around awhile longer than could be.
I have a wealth of material for LIM building up. As I mentioned, 7 pages ready to color (hope to start that this weekend), 8 new pages written and being worked on by the new guy. He’s having a bit of trouble finding his feet, but I’ve told him not to try and imitate my style. I think his own style fits fine. Moving ahead (albeit slowly) on the book 6 synopsis, and I got this wild hair that I wanted to draw the actual last four pages of book 6 myself, so it ends with my work. To that end, I pencilled and am inking those pages now as well.
I appreciate all the good wishes and good thoughts and hopefully I won’t sound greedy if I ask for them to continue. Several people have made donations, including some very large ones. I appreciate those as well. I am not actively seeking donations, but any money received is going into its own little account to pay the new artist and do other things to help finish the book. But it will be finished in one form or another, no matter what.
A little lighter update today.
I pulled all my notes and scribbles and various versions for book 6 together and completed my first draft outline. So much has changed since I first conceived the whole thing that it took a lot of juggling. Characters have changed, motivations have altered, and some events have been moved in time. For instance, the back story of how Kartophilus was a living tumor that came out of Abdul Al-Hazred was originally part of the climax. But it seemed to fit so much better where I ended up putting it that I didn’t sweat moving it. A few things have gone in reverse, moving to this last chapter.
The story is the same, mind you, and the climax is the same as has always been planned. But new events, new characters, etc., have just added different coloration to what was already there.Better coloration.
It looks like it will run, if done in comic book form, well over 100 pages. I still need to go back over the previous five books to make sure I haven’t missed a plot thread or incident that needs to be wrapped up, but reading over what I have just as it is now, I have to say this:
It’s going to be a hell of an issue.
I didn’t mean to let so much time go past without another update. It puts the wrong idea in people’s heads. I’ve had good days and bad days, most of the bad being due to other things than the chemo and disease. A missed med, a bad acupuncture session, etc.
I’m into my second round of chemo now. I know there is sometihng at war in my guts because I can feel things burbling and moving –not like gas, smart-alecks–and I am taking it as a sign that chemo is kicking some cancer butt.
Lovecraft kept an actual journal of his dying days, even through all the tremendous pain. An odd one to the end, he. Me, I first of all don’t plan on getting to that point, but if I do, I will be too tanked on morphine to do any writing.
I’m still moving forward slowly. I can get about a panel a day done when I’m feeling good. And I’m writing script pages for the new guy, and trying to work out all the wagging tails that must be settled in the final book. And there are a few pages I may just have to draw myself no matter what.
My own personal Cthulhu got his first taste of chemotherapy yesterday. It’s three drugs, but a 46 hour infusion, so I’m wearing a pump around till tomorrow. No side effects to speak of except, weirdly, an aversion to extreme cold, like the Old Gentleman himself. Only this is weirder. Cold tapwater feels like my fingers are being cut with tiny razors. Ice causes my throat to feel like it is constricting. I hate to think what touching my tongue to a cold flagpole in winter would be like. But these are all just sensations, not physical. Aside from the discomfort I could soak in an ice bath and drink iced tea to my heart’s content. It only lasts a day or two, so I’m good with it.
First couple of days here were hectic but we are settled in now. I’m getting a few hours in on LIM each day. I hope to finalize a deal with another artist when I get back home to finish out issue 5, which will be another 30 pages or so. I have seven completed without color now, and want to finish drawing this sequence before I go back and start color. We might even be up and running by the end of the month and make it through the end of the year without another disruption in service.
I’m writing out detailed notes for the climactic issue, so no matter what happens, the story will be wrapped up. Could be just notes, might be a mix of prose and pictures, might even make it into full comic pages.
Thanks to each and everyone of you for your good wishes, prayers and support. I appreciate it more you know,