As a mentioned last week on this blog, after a five month unplanned hiatus, I need to reevaluate how I can "sustain momentum" as a comic book writer (i.e. no more nervous breakdowns and still keep writing). Find balance in my life, family, teaching, and comics. Thus, I need to prioritize, focus, and cut down my work load. No more working on seven projects at a time. I'm going for a leaner, smarter David Hopkins as writer. The plan. I've divided my writing work into five categories:

1. Completed projects: stuff I've already written (and maybe it's completely art'd), and it just needs to be published 2. Ongoing projects: stuff I'm currently writing and/or it's in the process of being published 3. New projects: stuff I haven't written yet, but I'm planning to work on 4. Abandoned projects: the graveyard of rejected proposals and unfinished projects 5. Loose ends: small bits of writing I've promised to people

As far as completed projects, I need to renew my efforts to find a home for ASTRONAUT DAD and HOW TO LOSE BIG. In regards to ASTRONAUT DAD, it's frustrating for a beautiful 160 page graphic novel to be completely finished and yet unread. Also, HOW TO LOSE BIG is such a great story. The proposal looks great. We just need to find it a home.

With ongoing projects, I'm focusing all my energy on WE'VE NEVER MET, which resides on the back inside page of the free weekly entertainment newspaper Quick. On a professional and creative level, it's everything I could ever hope for. It's consistent, paying work where I get to develop a continuity and collaborate with a talented artist. We have a massive local readership (Quick reaches more than 90,000 per week), and the potential for a huge fanbase. Story wise, I love the slice-of-life feel of WE'VE NEVER MET. It's a story about a person's life, an adventure in searching for meaningful relationships and pursuing artistic goals. It doesn't have to be a "gag comic" nor does it need super heroes, monsters, robots, zombies, pirates, or ninjas. Although, it does have one hobo.

ANNOUNCEMENT #1: As of this month, WE'VE NEVER MET is now weekly. It's no longer on an every other week cycle. This will give us a much better opportunity to build our audience. That's 52 pages every year. Unfortunately, it does end the regular appearance of LISTOONS (click here), created by my friends Geoff and Cal, with whom we alternated on that back page. LISTOONS isn't gone. There should be periodic appearances elsewhere in the pages of Quick.

In the next few weeks, Liz (our protagonist) will be in the studio recording an EP. We will introduce a new character, Lindsay Graham from Junius Recording Co. Liz's last name will finally be revealed, as well as the band's name. Exclusive preview: The band name is Inklings.

ANNOUNCEMENT #2: Speaking of Inklings, music producer Lindsay Graham and I are entering the bold terrain of fictitious bands -- Gorillaz, Josie & the Pussycats, Partridge Family, Monkees, The Oneders, etc. We're still in the early stages of everything, but you can expect to actually hear Liz's band. You'll be able to buy the album, proudly wear an Inklings t-shirt, request them on KXT, or vote for them in the Observer Music Awards. Who knows where it will all lead? I'm proud to be working with Lindsay, and I can already tell this is going to be an exciting experiment.

Inklings are my new favorite band.

But first, Liz has to write some more songs (below: a preview of the October 14th comic).

My other goal in the "ongoing projects" category, unrelated to WE'VE NEVER MET, is to try to write at least two features for D Magazine every year. And guess what?

ANNOUNCEMENT #3: I just signed a contract for my first magazine feature (2,000 words). I don't want to go into any further details. Let's wait until the story is sent to my editor, and then off to the printers.

With new projects (and this is a difficult issue), I'm going to work on only one new graphic novel proposal at a time. Jamar Nicholas and I have our BULLETPROOF WEST project. That's the one. Nothing else until that's complete. I know I've mentioned this idea before, but it's new because all we have is a plot outline and some characters. I'll have more details soon.

With abandoned projects, unfortunately, there are too many to name: FRONTIER, BOLIVAR, OMISOKA BRIDGE, JACK RUBY, KARMA INC 2. Better not to think about it.

With loose ends, Paul and I are working on the finale for SOUVENIR OF DALLAS to appear on D Magazine's Frontburner blog. Also, Brock and I have a short Emily Edison side project that I need to script this week.

And that's the update. Sound good? Let me know your thoughts.


I'm back from my family reunion. (Photos will be loaded on Flickr soon.) After a year working on BOLIVAR, which has characters based off my extended family, it was a little surreal spending time with the older real life Hope, Jesse, and Linda. I had to remind myself they never actually visited the spirit world of Campeche. Yes, sometimes, reality is an issue for me.

The August issue of D Magazine is now available. Paul Milligan and I have our "Souvenir of Dallas" comic featured on page 22. It's about the Dallas Cowboys and the Death Star. Yes, you heard correct. It's the "Best Of" issue. So, did I happen to miss the "Best Of D" party? I went last year and had a great time. If so, I'm sorry I missed it.

One thing that no one should miss (note the transition) is our comic book creator gathering at Lee Harvey's this Thursday from 8 PM to 10 PM. Our event was mentioned in their weekly newsletter: "We are also proud to host Dallas area comic book writers, artists, and fans for their monthly get togethers starting next Thursday, August 7. It's absolutely informal, and everyone is invited." There. We made them proud. It would be rude not to attend.

I've donated some signed graphic novels to "I Wanna Be A Robot" at Club Dada. Some of my favorite local bands will be performing: Laura Palmer, Lovie, Happy Bullets, and The Tah-Dahs. I will certainly be there. (more info)

In other events, you need to mark your calendar for August 21st at Zubar on Greenville Avenue. The show PLAYLIST boasts "classic, old, new, true, and all real hip-hop" and will feature art by Khalid Robertson, Samax Randolph, and Michael Lagocki.

On October 23rd, I will be participating in the "Writers as Readers and Readers as Writers" panel at the North Branch Mesquite Library, hosted by The Writer's Garret. It's part of a month long look at Ray Bradbury's FAHRENHEIT 451. Or at least, I hope I'll still be participating. The organizer sent me this nice email, and then I sent this lengthy response clarifying that while I am a "comic book" writer that does not mean that I write "comic" material, i.e. humor. I haven't heard back from her. Anyways, if I didn't come across as a complete jerk, I'll be at the library on October 23rd.

What else? I'm working on re-write for the BULLETPROOF WEST synopsis. And I'm waiting to hear back from Paul Milligan about a new project, possibly.