This chapter, The Long Flight, comes to an end on Friday. It was a relatively short chapter in comparison to the ones that came before it, but it certainly felt longer. This chapter had an interesting development for me, and despite its length (real or perceived) and complete lack of story momentum, it became one of the more memorable experiences I’ve had as a comic creator.
The Long Flight started as a filler chapter. I was headed into what I called my “Gauntlet Week,” with DragonCon and ConnectiCon on subsequent weekends, and my son’s first week of school between them. I knew I was going to be exhausted and unmotivated, so I needed some quick comics to make to build my buffer. The Long Flight was originally going to be nothing but a series of landscapes. They’re not only fast for me to make, but relaxing. But as I looked them over, they began to miss something, and that something was Snout.
The entirety of The Legacy of Dominic Deegan is from his perspective, and even when I slow things down with big landscapes, he’s always there among the scenery, taking us along on his journey. To have him unseen felt wrong and off, so I added his perspective, and in doing that I came up with an experiment:
Could I make Snout’s boredom engaging? Could I accurately capture the sensation of waiting without the pages themselves being boring? It’s a difficult line to walk, as I quickly discovered. I constantly asked myself, “Is this too slow?” or “Am I ruining my story’s momentum?” or “Have I made a mistake doing this?” And in asking myself those questions I realized I was keeping with my purpose of making The Legacy: challenging myself as a comic creator in ways outside my comfort zone.
What started as a need to fill my buffer of comics turned into an experiment I’m ultimately quite proud of. Whether or not it was actually any good is up to you, the reader, but I can say with confidence I’m happy with how it turned out.
And don’t worry, things will pick up again once the new chapter begins next week.