I am very happy to write this journal, and to have finally come to this day...
Across Thin Ice, first of the Nordguard books, is finished.
That small statement represents the culmination of two years of work: close to 3,000 hours of layout, sketching and painting comic pages, snow and sleddogs. I am excited, not to mention relieved, for it feels like the weight of the world has come off my shoulders. The last four months I was working on it were especially monotonous: rolling out of bed, pouring coffee, and painting for fifteen or eighteen hour stretches.
Some days (alright, a lot of days toward the end,) I'd catch myself wondering why I'd ever done something so stupid as pick up a pencil in the first place. I'd rather be a fish monger, or a cowboy, or wear a gorilla suite outside a car dealership than have to draw another comic panel. But, the desire to tell a good story won through and kept me motivated. Most days, the work came easily enough, and I loved the challenge of it. Here, at the end, I'm proud of the work. I feel like I've accomplished what I set out to do. I did it to the best of my abilities, and learned a whole lot along the way.
It's done. I can't say that enough. It's done. Well, I won't kid myself--the first book is done, but it's that first step that is usually the hardest.
Across Thin Ice will be released first at AnthroCon this summer, followed by ComicCon in San Diego. You'll be able to pick it up both places from Sofawolf Press, or, starting July 1st, you can buy a copy online.
With fingers crossed, ATI should end up in Diamond Distributor's magazine, and be available at a wider selection of comic book retailers either later this year or next.
And, to the information you really care about! ;]
the softcover edition of Across Thin Ice will be $19.95, and be 75 full color pages and 9x11.5 in size.
There will be a run of signed hard cover books at $39 and preorders for those will begin this Saturday and run through the week (or until all of them are sold)--check out the Sofawolf website for more information. Pre-ordered copies of the hardcover edition can either be picked up at AnthroCon from Sofawolf Press with a valid ID, or shipped to you starting July 1st. There are no pre-orders for the softcover editions, since there should be plenty to go around at AnthroCon, and online afterwards.
I’ll also be posting the cover for Across Thin Ice this weekend.
Thank you everyone for your patience and interest in the comic, and for the moral support, buying Nordguard patches, tuning into the LiveStreams, and for the kind comments and encouragements.
For now, I'm off to do some more non-comic-related things, like have a social life. I'll just leave with a skip, one more "It's done!" and a short excerpt from Nansen of the North.
11 July 1885
A monotonous life this on the whole, as monotonous as one can well imagine it - to turn out day after day, week after week, month after month, to the same toil over ice which is sometimes a little better, sometimes a little worse - it now seems to be steadily getting worse - always hoping to see an end to it, but always hoping in vein, ever the same monotonous range of vision over ice, and ice again...We do not know where we are, and we do not know when this will end. Meanwhile our provisions are dwindling day by day, and the number of our dogs is growing seriously less. Shall we reach land awhile we yet have food, or shall we, when all is said and done, ever reach it?
...It is hard to go on hoping in such circumstances, but still we do; though sometimes, perhaps, our hearts fail us when we see the ice lying before us like an impenetrable maze of ridges, lanes, brash, and huge blocks thrown together pell-mell, and one might imagine one's self looking at suddenly congealed breakers. There are moments when it seems impossible that any creature not possessed of wings can get farther, and one longingly follows the flight of a passing gull, and thinks how far away one would soon be could one borrow it's wings. But then, in spite of everything, one finds a way, and hope springs eternal. Let the sun peep out a moment from the bank of clouds, and the ice-plains glitter in all their whiteness; let the sunbeams play on the water, and life seems beautiful in spite of it all, and a worthy struggle.
~ Fridtjof Nansen