Storage space becomes a problem when you’ve been pumping out a daily strip (and other comics) for more than a decade. I’ve got literally thousands (yes, thousands!) of drawings. I store my strips in plastic storage bins, but since I can’t face the storage bins without cringing in mental anguish, I’ve devised a system for myself that is a lot less organized, and completely undisciplined.
Storage bins full of strips… and composition notebooks that I’m also drowning in.
After I finish a comic— by finish I mean completing all the fun jobs: writing it, pencilling it, and then inking the final art— I don’t want anything more to do with it. Once the creative job is done, I lack the energy to do what comes afterwards– erasing the pencil marks (it’s like doing cardio), scanning the image (yawn), emailing it, and then filing the strip away. I hate doing all of these last few things, but the one thing I despise the most is the final part of the process: filing the strip away.
Here’s my system. After a strip has been sent off into reader-land, I toss it into a temporary cardboard accordion file, and when, after months, the accordion file is so full of strips that it no longer resembles an accordion, I try my hardest to squeeze a few more weeks of strips into it, and then finally give up. That’s when I haul out the storage bins— I have about seven filled— and commit to an hours-long, mundane task of filing the strips according to date, and spending the whole time cursing my past self for not throwing the strips into the accordion file IN SOME KIND OF ORDER. Effing-Hell, I say to myself, Why doesn’t my past-self devise some sort of system?
It is a system. It’s a ridiculous system.
Last Thursday, on schedule, I scanned my week of strips , and sent them off. Then I crammed them into the accordion-like thing— right in between previous weeks of strips so that their dates can mingle in a completely disordered and insane fashion. I can’t deal with filing these now, I said to myself, Let future-me deal with them. Future-me is always a patient, more organized person.