Dylan to the rescue

Hey Kids!

I'm back! You probably didn't know I was gone, but I kinda have been. I've been on small summer break visiting family.

It's funny, cartoonists never really take time off. We can work ahead or have other talented cartoonists step in but we're always at the very least worrying a lot during our time off. Maybe it's just the nature of how our brains work. But taking time off can sometimes be more stressful than being at home on a regular schedule. I wonder if other cartoonists experience this.

Well, anyway, I digress...

While I've been out, Dylan Meconis has been very busy bringing you a wonderful story she cooked up about our beloved Scratch Fury and his best buddy Kirby the wonder-basset. It's been a real treat to get some time to spend with family while Dylan makes all these wonderful comics for us. Did you know that Dylan writes PvP with me? I've mentioned it before but sometimes you miss blog posts. It's true. For quite some time now, Dylan has been a "staff writer" for lack of a better term. We sit down once a week and brainstorm ideas, try to make each other laugh, and plot the future of the gang at PvP.

Most comic strips are a one-person operation; the sole creation of a single cartoonist. It's actually quite appealing. There's something about being in total control that attracts a lot of young cartoonists to the format. The first time I collaborated with a team on writing comics we got off to a rocky start. Why? Because I was unwilling to not have the final say in what finally made it into the book. And it wasn't until I finally acquiesced that I saw how wonderful a process it can be.

When you work on a deadline, especially a daily deadline, you sometimes have to go with the first idea rather than the best idea. Because you don't have the luxury of waiting a day or two for things to roll around in your mind. You know when you come up with the perfect thing to say a day after something happened? That's a lot like cartooning. Sometimes you think up the perfect idea a day after the strip already ran. But when you collaborate, you have two or three minds bouncing ideas off each other and you can get to the best idea in the same time it would take you to get to your first idea alone.

It's been a real joy to work with Dylan and our weekly writing sessions are always fun and productive (even if I can sometimes get grumpy when we schedule a time to write and I don't feel like doing it right then). We've never gotten together and not been able to come up with something great. Gone are the days of staring at a blank open document for hours. I don't miss those. I'm happy to trade being the sole name at the top of the comic strip if I never have to have another one of those days.

Anyway, this week is a perfect excuse to remind everyone that Dylan is putting her heart and soul into PvP too. The comic strip and I are much enriched because of it. And I've never been happier in my work. It's also comforting to be able to hand over the reigns to Dylan for a couple weeks and let her go wild. I forget sometimes how long she's been reading PvP. She can remember, with clarity things I've written and long forgotten. I try not to think about how old she was when she started reading my comic strip.

Anyway, enjoy these comics. We're having a wonderful time. I hope you're enjoying reading as much as we're enjoying making them.