And we’re back! That’s a villain we haven’t seen in a while! (I mean, aside from the cover page for this chapter and all.)
First off, apologies for the unplanned delay. It’s been the same mental health reasons as every other Clockworks delay, and probably the same reason for the next one, whenever that happens. Which hopefully won’t be for a while.
This one took a long time to write, and went through quite a few versions. That didn’t help the delay either. In Chapter 13, perhaps the smartest thing I did was write up all of the pages in advance, and do all of the lay out and word balloons before I drew anything. I didn’t do that in Chapter 14, falling back to my old habit of just using a rough outline and then filling in the details of each page one at a time. In this case, that really bit me in the ass. Chapter 15, definitely back to writing and laying out the whole chapter first. I’m pretty happy with this final version though.
And finally, if you weren’t aware I live in St. Louis, MO. Ferguson, MO is a suburb of my home town, and for the past week it’s been a nightmare of racism and police brutality. You know things are bad when my fictional dystopia is less awful than the real world. If you’ve been following my twitter or tumblr, you know I’ve been pretty obsessed with Ferguson for the past week. If you haven’t been following the news, this is a pretty solid recap of everything. Short version: a cop killed an unarmed black teen, Mike Brown, by shooting him six times. The local police then reacted to an outraged community in the worst possible way, and continue to do so.
I live in the city, where there hasn’t been any police violence or major disruptions or anything crazy. All of that’s been confined to one suburb, for the most part. But still, it’s been depressing and heart breaking and infuriating to watch this happen in my city, and it’s been unsurprising but depressing to hear the reactions from my fellow white St. Louisans. There are a lot of ignorant, racist, awful people here. (And, you know, elsewhere in the world/country.) It’s not been fun.
Anyway, Clockworks is a fictional dystopia, the setting created in part to examine and tell stories about what it’s like when authority abuses it’s power. I’m not going to fall in to a Cerebus/Sinfest wormhole of craziness (I mean, hopefully), but I do want to take the voice I have to speak out, to try and make the world a better place. The oppression in the setting has generally been a background element, and as the story focuses on our heroes and their adventure, it will continue to stay largely in the background. But it is there and hopefully by the time this comic is all done in several years, I can do my part by telling stories and drawing comics to hopefully encourage people to be less awful.
In the mean time, I’ll be posting a bonus wallpaper this week, and giving it out to anyone who sends me evidence that you’ve donated to the Michael Brown Memorial Fund, the ACLU, the NAACP, Amnesty International, or some other worthwhile cause related to all of this.
In addition to the bonus wallpaper this week, I’m also planning on doing a second page this week (and then one next week). Clockworks 0177 should be up on Friday.
Take care of yourselves, and I’ll see you soon.