Row, Row, Row some Rows

And now, a post about the cartooning lifestyle, and the workload created by the Schlock Mercenary: Out From Under book project: The creation of a daily installment of Schlock Mercenary can be neatly divided into four parts: scripting, penciling, inking, and coloring. Inking takes the longest, but scripting takes the most brain space. Penciling is easy to get stuck on, and coloring is tedious and I hate it. (I don't REALLY hate it. I just like it less than everything else I do. But I digress.) The point here is that in planning any assault on my stack o' work, I think about that work in terms of "rows." A daily update has four rows' worth of work in it - script a row, pencil a row, ink a row, and color a row. Sunday strips are three times as long, so they are twelve rows' worth of work. The amount of work involved in a row varies, but let's call it twenty minutes. A week's worth of comics comes out to thirty-six rows of work. A thirty-six row work week would be very, very relaxing. I could do between seven and ten rows per day Monday through Friday and easily stay ahead of any deadline. For those following along at home, that's between two hours twenty minutes and three hours twenty minutes of solid work each day. Now let's throw the book project in there. The book needs to be colored all fancy-like, and there are one hundred and forty-five rows remaining to be done. It also needs twenty strips' worth of bonus stories, which comes out to another eighty rows. That's 225 rows of work, or about seventy-five hours of solid work. Squeezing those seventy-five hours in with the rest of my work-week packs my schedule. If I want to be done in a month I need to be cranking out 381 rows' worth of work in twenty-two work days. That's seventeen point-three-two rows per day, or just under six hours each day. That may not seem like a lot, but that's six hours of SOLID WORK. Get up and stretch, eat, answer some email... twenty rows of work is easily a twelve-hour day when all the head-scratching, thumb-twiddling, and other "off" time is included. I did that yesterday, in fact: 8am to 9pm, with an hour off for the gym. I'm not complaining. I now have a target in mind, and I have the means to accomplish it. Yesterday was a twenty-row day (eight scripts, eight pencils, four inks) and the two days before it were fifteen and fourteen respectively. I can do this. I just need to stop writing about work, and start actually working.