On the Scarcity of Yourself and Time in General

Jan 11, 2022 | phungus & mowld, shadywoods

No matter how I rethink it, optimize my workflows, no matter much I improve my productivity – there’ll always only be one me. And that one me doesn’t have unlimited time. So as long as I don’t find a way to fund my creative ventures and split that time and work to other team members, I’ll have to stay a one-man production. I don’t mind that, it actually makes many things much simpler – it’s just that everything takes so long if you have to do it all yourself, particularly when all the time you have is your spare time besides paid work.

Even Comic Books are usually made by teams: the main artists, some background and/or coloring artist, a letterer (done more digitally these days), a writer – sometimes the comic artist himself, but often he collaborates with an ingenious wordsmith. Famous examples are: Morris/Goscinny (“Lucky Luke”), Uderzo/Goscinny (“Asterix”), and Tabary/Goscinny (“Iznogoud”) – you get the gist: good writers are few and far between, so Goscinny the grandmaster of witty comic writing basically was everywhere.

I on the contrary am neither super witty nor ingenious, and can’t be everywhere, so I am thinking about how I can make these projects work. Or how I can at least produce some decent output during my lifetime – no kidding – with the passing of my father and my brother-in-law last year I’ve been thinking a lot about how short life is and how I’ve probably only got about 30 years left give or take a few.

New Year’s Resolutions – Better Late Than Never

So wallowing in self-pity and then nostalgia, I revisited some of my favourite series on Mondo Media who used to make super short animations of 3–5 minutes per episode (now mostly defunct and fused with Six Point Harness). One favorite was “Executioner and Friend” with 5 minute episodes. And I always admired how they could tell a proper story within that short amount of time. Another long time favorite was “Deep Space 69” which started off with 3-minute episodes, but in season 4 hired Six Point Harness, considerably improved production quality, and went to 10-minute episodes. It’s a shame they never got around doing season 5, though.

I love these series just as much as any full fledged feature animation, and I was wondering if it wouldn’t be better for me, for now to create a bunch of 6–10 minute short episodes for Phungus & Mowld and also Shadywoods. Those would be super condensed versions or parts of the stories I was planning. At least I could increase my output this way and make people familiar with the world(s) and their characters – eventually gathering a following large enough to support my endeavors in the future?

Long Story → Short

Now I’m trying to make maybe two 6–10 minute episodes, one for Shadywoods and one for Phungus & Mowld in 2022, and if I find the time maybe even one comic book for Shadywoods, and see how that goes. In case you wonder why I’m not considering Phungus & Mowld for the comic book is that I simply can’t draw them well. I never drew more than the initial sketches of the characters by hand, in a simplified style that isn’t really mine, and after that they were traced digitally and I created rigs to animate them, never having to draw them again.

Shadywoods and its characters, however, I’ve been sketching and drawing for a while, so I can put them on paper fairly reliably by hand and don’t have to use any kind of cheat sheet just to remember what they look like.

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