I have the first page of #5 done.
It's only now, with the art supplies put away, my work stuff waiting by the door, and me ready to rejoin the regular world for forty hours this week, that it's starting to sink in.
Head Above Water is five issues long. I am on pace for the March or April launch. But the last issue of the series has a different vibe than the others.
Really quick, this is for anyone who will read it, I want to clarify something. When I say, "I worked really hard on this," it does NOT mean, "I worked really hard on this, please praise it and make me feel important." It means, "I worked really hard on this, and I want to know if I achieved what I set out to do." This story was extremely difficult to write, because I knew exactly what I was aiming for, from the story to the pacing to the emotional reactions to.... The question is, did I do what I needed to do? Did I present the story in a way that makes everything I was working towards happen? So when you read it, I want your absolute honest opinion. Because, if I get this worked up about another project, I want to know I'm heading in the right direction as far as presenting it.
The first four issues have been setting up the central character's situation. I've been building to the climax that is issue #5. As I look over the script and start working on the pages, my reaction is not a marathon runner's. It's not, "This is almost over, just a little further." Basically, everything introduced in the first four issues ties together and is dealt with in #5. It's intimidating, because, if I haven't done the build-up correctly, everything in #5 is just another series of events instead of the Ultimate Conflict and the story loses its emotional punch. And if I did #1-4 correctly but fumble #5, then all the effort and investment readers make in #1-4 is wasted. All the issues focus on the inner turmoil of the central character, but this is where it either pays off or sevens out.
I'll find out soon enough if I pulled it off. I'm hoping I did, but I'm the writer. The real test is how the readers react to it.
And I can't wait to see if the horseshoe I've thrown makes it in the ring....