I'm back in New York today, where I wanted to be when I had my 50th birthday. Mind you, there's nothing wrong with having a birthday outside the country, but this is one of those "surprise" birthdays, as in "I'm surprised I made it this far". I just couldn't see accomplishing a milestone like this without being with my family, and being in New York City where I was born and raised. And, personally, I think the Internal Revenue Service should give some serious tax breaks to people who have made it this far, in life and in this country, with several marbles still intact.
Milestone number two was the official hand-off of the original art for the final volume of GIRL: The Second Coming to NBM Publishing. I told publisher Terry Nantier that for the last five years, I've dreamt of that moment. Most men dream of doing daring heroics or sleeping with supermodels. Me, I literally dreamt of the day I would finally be finished with the art for GIRL and be in the NBM offices (the new offices being quite spacious and swank) and placing it into the hands of Terry. I always knew I would never be able to mail it and sleep soundly with all the work I put into it. I've been working on the book since 2005 and, once I went to Spain in 2006, I always knew I would have to hand deliver it, no matter what. And, as my trip back to the states grew closer, I thought it would be fitting to deliver this monumental work on my birthday.
This last GIRL book has been such a big part of my life for for almost the last eight years, when I finally finished, it took me several days before I could do anything else. When I sat at my drawing board, I had no idea what I should be doing. I guess you could say I had gotten out of an eight year relationship and had a little trouble moving on.
The delivery worked out perfectly. Unfortunately, I also learned the state of adult comics here in the states lately. Apparently, I've been severely out of touch with the comics industry over the last few years because it seems that adult comics are suffering thanks to the internet. And I'm probably the last artist that has to deliver actual artwork on real art boards done with real paints. It looks like I'll finally have to get with the digital age.
The final milestone is, today also marks the second anniversary of my website. In case any members were wondering, the site has been undergoing some changes and the updates are kind of slow. The webmaster was planning to hand over the updating duties to me, but things have been moving rather slowly because he has an entire network to oversee. For those who have joined the site, I sincerely apologize for the tardiness of the updates, but when the work is done, the site should be a lot better, and with a few new features. (I'm hoping.)
All in all, it's been a full day, and the night is just starting, so I think I'll go and start on a few future milestones and I'll see you in another fifty years. Hopefully, the website will be updated by then and I'll have finished the next four GIRL books. That would REALLY be one of those "surprise" birthdays.