I agonized for a solid month over the question of what to do with this year’s run-up to Christmas. It’s a tradition, insofar as something you’ve done twice can count as such. My options boiled down to:
- ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – The rewriting! The props! The walls of text! The staging! Not this year, not on this year’s budget. Sorry.
- Another rendition of The Twelve Ducks of Christmas – It’s a schtick that Wonderduck and I have both used, and while it’s certainly easy and amusing and gives lots of room for creativity, I just felt like I’d “done” that one too well the first time to give it another go.
- A running series of joke comics about how we’re all scrambling to get a Christmas thing “done” and then we run out of time – A bit meta, don’t you think? (And now I’ve ruined this idea for next year if I get really strapped for ideas. Whoops!)
- Another rendition of The Quackvent Calendar – At first I threw this out for the same reason as the Twelve Ducks… But. What if I came at it another way? I pondered this, then inspiration struck, and…
Starting Thursday, appropriately enough both a normal comic day and the first day of December, I’ll be running one “poster” comic per day, every single day, right up until Christmas when we’ll have a traditional all-cast poster. (Is it too early to say that I’m thoroughly pleased with how this year’s poster shots came out? No? Good!) You’ll even get a comic the day after Christmas, it being a Monday and all.
(I must really like you people, or something.)
You’ll suss out the theme of this year’s Quackvent quickly enough, I figure…
Saturday afternoon I wandered around downtown Portland taking pictures of someone else’s duck. The results, which mainly go to prove that I’m nobody’s idea of a great photographer, can be found over at my gallery site.
We’re a few comics into the new “year” now, so I feel qualified to say that I’m quite happy to be back in the saddle. It’s not like I have some huge backlog of
terrible great jokes I’m waiting to unleash on the world, mind you. Rather, I’m coming at the creative process just a little bit differently. I doubt I could explain it. Maybe after two years of this I’m getting better at finding humor in the more unusual places in my psyche. We’ll see.
Also? The chessboard is an idea I wish I’d had most of two years ago. I love the texture it brings to the table (har har) and that it elevates the set enough that I can get a closer, better angle on the shots. I could’ve achieved the same angle by lowering the tripod, but earlier experiments along those lines on the original desk surface didn’t come out very well at all.
I’m still working on a new backdrop, however. That gray cardboard thing must go. My vague idea so far is something involving curtains, which is to say some kind of hung fabric. I know that’ll end up obscuring the “gallery,” but in reality that would help tremendously; I have a “thing” about covering the faces of the ducks up on the shelves, which leads to some awkward bubble placements on occasion. (You’ll note that sometimes I end up covering faces anyway. It can’t always be helped. I agonize over it every damned time, though.)
At any rate: Full steam ahead. Enjoy, won’t you? (And tell your friends…)