Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sabbatical, Day 36 (Tireless in Pittsburgh)

Being tireless in Pittsburgh is dangerous, especially in the winter. Our roads get pretty bad if you ain't got good treads.

That was a little joke. 8^)

*yawn!* But no, seriously folks, I've been logging in a bunch of hours on this book, and I'm not done yet. I've done something or other on HERO CORP. EVERY SINGLE DAY of my sabbatical so far. I say this not to brag, but to make sure it's understood, this has not been a vacation. I've enjoyed the time immensely, but it's truly been a working vacation, from start to almost finish. In one week, I'll be trying to calm my nerves enough to go back to my day job with some sense of coherence...even though I still won't be done with the artwork. By my estimation, I'll still have somewhere between 4-6 pages yet to ink, not counting lettering pages, creating the cover, and assembling the final book.

It's going to be a busy few weeks. Here, let me share a quote I love with you:

"What distinguishes a great artist from a weak one is first their sensibility and tenderness; second, their imagination, and third, their industry.” - John Ruskin

I am in complete agreement with this statement, including the order of traits. I'd like to focus for a moment on the third quality - industry - and also discuss HERO CORP. itself in more detail. We'll call this next part "Industry & The Hero"

*     *     *     *     *     *
In the Hero Corp. Universe (also known as the H.C.U. or the Marcel-iverse), The Pro is the most well known and highly regarded meta-agent on the planet. Everyone knows of him, and his presence is inescapable. Most folks love him, some fear him (and rightly so), nearly all respect him. He's like the Michael Jackson of the hero set, and he has a lot of roles to fill.

He's the planet's protector, first and foremost, New Pittsburgh's most famous son by far, the de-facto leader of Earth's super-folks (at least the law-abiding and enforcing ones), and essentially the public face of HERO CORP. itself. He accepts all of this with a gracious smile and is diplomatic, for the most part. But behind the scenes, his confidants know an informal secret: he HATES his employer! All The Pro wants to do is be a hero, and all the company wants to do is make money.

It doesn't stop the Samaritan of Heroes from doing his best, but it makes his job more tiring. It's hard to tucker out a guy who only sleeps one day a week (The Pro, not me, in case you were wondering), but it wears on him, this endless responsibility, both social and fiscal. And for those of you unaware, The Pro is based on me, so I have a very clear idea of who and what he is...but I have to say, at this point, he's also a completely separate entity from me. There are areas where he behaves in a much different fashion than I would, both good and bad. But this much is true: I admire his industry.

The Pro is tireless, and he wants to save the world and everyone in it. As an employee, he causes a lot of headaches to upper management and the Executive Directors (at least the ones who don't "get him"), but I view these as the kind of headaches a good employee should stir up. He's always pushing H.C. to be better than it is, in imaginative ways that often buck-up against the bottom line. He cares about people first, not profit -- but he can afford to. And he realizes that's not an option to most of the other employees at his company.

The Pro has industry, and I respect him for that. I find it funny that I created a character based on myself who in turn inspires me to be better than I am. Kinda head trippy, I know.

The Pro typically sleeps on Sunday, and I suppose I should follow suit. I really hope this first entry in the saga of these characters lives up to what I'm promising you all, and that it finds an audience.

I suppose it will if stock in my own industry stays strong.

More to come...!

Today's Music: The Hi-Frequencies, Harry Connick, Jr., Go-Home Productions

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