Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

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Nowhere Near Savannah, Some Commentary

I got asked it yesterday, so I figure it can't hurt to say it here, but Nowehere Near Savannah will only run for 52 weeks. One year, in other words.

When Anna and I decided to do it, it was a fairly off the cuff, spontaneous decision--I had had, if I was being truthful, another in a sequence of bad girl decisions, and thought that the string of them would make a nice comic and Anna emailed me to see if I was up for doing something, again. On my end, it morphed, to become a little larger, a little different: I decided I would write an autobiographical comic for one year, and let real life events dictate the narratives, and let it sort of become a mediation of what it is to be living now, in your early 30s. Fortunately, my friends were in the process of ending relationships, starting them, and progressing them, so a nice balance in terms of theme and narrative emerged, as well as the stock answer of, "Well, I don't want to censor you," when I ran it past them, which I took to mean that yes, of course they wanted their lives detailed in our little project.

Of course of course.

I never asked twice, by the way.

But, you can only do the autobiographical thing for so long. In fact, most works of art have a life expectancy, which a lot of people don't seem to understand. A lot of the stagnation in American comics can be put down to property that should have, decades ago, been put to bed--sure, they might show signs of life, but that's usually when a talented collection of individuals are working together, and honestly, those same individuals could be doing something new. But it's true elsewhere: Happy Days should have ended long before the Fonz jumped the shark, MASH dragged on through to many wars, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer should never have left High School. Nowhere Near Savannah is nothing like any of those projects, of course, and maybe the comparison won't sit right with everyone, but I'm a firm believer in ending things before they drag out and ruin everything good you've done. Which is why I went in with a set time frame, and also, in part, because I knew that Anna would send midgets to beat me up if I kept this thing going forever. Also, she probably wouldn't have done it.

I like to think, at this point, that Anna and I will do more work after, but we'll have to wait and see. In another 33 weeks, we might hate each other. But once Savannah is done, any work after that will have to involve cash and a publisher, I believe. As crazy as it might sound, I only work part time so I can write, and money makes the down period across Xmas and New Year less of a bitch. Of more concern for me, however, is that Anna works full time, has a boyfriend, a kid, and another on the way--and if anyone is deserving of the cash that can come from having a publisher, it's her. Anyhow, I'm not looking to bitch about money: I've been doing this gig for too long now and I've long ago made the decisions that ensure that I only write what I want, so suddenly turning hack-writer for cash isn't going to be on the cards, but I think it's a realistic opinion to view any future projects that Anna and I do as earning us a bit of cash to make life easier.

Still, that's for after Nowhere Near Savannah, which we're both having fun and committed to the end for.

And, you know, I might even know what that final strip looks like.
Tags: nowherenearsavannah

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