Writing/Designing Frenzy this weekend

So here’s what’s going on.

I’ve been consulting for Virgin Comics for a while now — basically, I get paid to do what I already do for free on Gutterzombie, but a little more extensively — and when we first discussed this consultancy, two of the main perks were (1) a book about coloring and (2) a workshop in Bangalore, India, where their coloring department is. I jumped at it because I wanted to go to India, and the consulting part sounded easy.

Fast forward to…uh, roughly August-ish. Boss told me he wanted me to create an outline for a series of 22-page tutorial booklets, which would be paired with DVDs, featuring me, yapping about coloring and creating homework assignments and whatnot. So, I drafted up the outline, sent it off, waited for a few weeks for approval, and forgot about it.

Fast forward again to right around November 6. Bossman says, “You’re coming to NYC on December 5 to present a mini-workshop for us here, kind of a sneak peek at the big workshop in India. We’ll be recording you for the DVDs. Oh, and we want to see copies of these 22-page tutorial books before you get here, so we can proof them.”

Oh goody.

So, for the last two weeks (I was uberbusy from the 6th to the 16th), I’ve been scrambling to learn enough about color management to not sound like a twat; find all the bits and pieces of old tutorials and outlines that I’d done over the years; learn InDesign (which is pretty intuitive) and dredge up memories of graphic design from ten years ago when I last did a layout; read Virgin’s entire catalogue and find images that can be shoehorned into concepts like hue-value-saturation and mood-depth-focus; and write and design four books. Luckily, the editors know that the books will be ROUGH DRAFTS (and boy, will they be rough).

It’s pretty insane. And it’s a little weird writing a four-issue miniseries about coloring, and I can’t use any of my own work, because I’ve only colored six covers for Virgin. So I’m having to basically fake my way through it, guessing what the colorists’ intentions were. It’s very strange.

The first drafts are due on Monday and I haven’t completed a single booklet. Hell, I haven’t even finished bullshitting writing the copy for the fourth segment.

Oh, and Thor’s due next week too.

My hope is that the rough drafts will be generally approved, but I will be given the time to finish them, polish them up, make the design work, and edit everything so I don’t sound like I’m plagiarizing Chiarello’s book. I’m nervous about being in front of a small crowd of Virgin bigwigs for four hours straight (and being recorded! Maybe I’ll suck and they won’t use any of that footage.) I am flat out of time on the books, have no time to practice my speaking or prepare files for a live tutorial. In short, I’m screwed.

So, that’s it in a nutshell. That’s been my life, my acid reflux, my caffeine addiction for the last month.

Wish me luck.

I wish I was in Thailand.

– Laura