Updated #34 (April 12, 2020):
The State of ZERO
If you haven’t asked me about the current status of SECTION ZERO 1959, I’m sure you’ve wondered. Here’s the latest…
I’m unsure exactly when SZ59 will be finished, but my best guess is that it won’t be fully drawn until near the end of the year. Not what you want to hear, I know, and certainly not what I want to tell you.
Two reasons for this:
– Tom hasn’t drawn pages faster
– I haven’t bugged Tom to draw pages faster.
When Tom accepted the ARCHIE 1955 mini-series only days after this project funded, it instantly threw the original schedule out the window. He promised me a very minimal amount of pages per week, but didn’t deliver even that. [Editor’s Note: Archie 1955 was a five issue mini-series is now complete and has been collected.]
If this had been an issue of Superman or Avengers Academy, another artist would have been brought in to get the book out on time. But I think you’ll agree with me that there is no SECTION ZERO without Tom Grummett.
While waiting for Tom, I launched IMPOSSIBLE JONES with David Hahn. [Editor’s Note: That campaign was successfully funded.] Simply so I’d have something to work on— and be able to pay my bills.
When it became clear SZ59 wasn’t going to be done by the end of 2019, I sidetracked Tom to draw the SECTION ZERO Christmas story— so Backers like you would receive something in thanks for your patience. Tom produced that story right on schedule. Because, as I was slow to learn, Tom works best when he has a hard deadline.
In January I Kickstarted some SECTION ZERO and IMPOSSIBLE JONES Trading Cards to have a bit of cash coming into my bank account. That resulted in me also producing a 10-page SAM HELL story— something that was not planned. It’s the first comic I’ve written and drawn myself in over 10 years, and I’m very proud of it. I’m on track to ship the cards and SAM HELL preview by the end of April or early May. [Editor’s Note: That campaign was also successfully funded and included Sam Hell cards.]
Tom produced very little in all this time. I had a long talk with Tom, and he admitted he had a severe case of artist’s block— not just on SZ59, but all his recent projects. To help remove some of the pressure on him, we agreed that he would only do layouts for the remainder of the SZ59 book.
Sadly, Tom is still producing very slowly. David Hahn, on the other hand, has been very regular and reliable in penciling IMPOSSIBLE JONES. That book is much closer to completion than SZ59, and so it’s the priority project right now.
What Tom has drawn on SECTION ZERO 1959 is excellent. And I have worked with Tom long enough that I can promise you’ll see very little difference between the pages he pencils fully, and the ones he only does layouts on. This will be a book you will love— but you probably won’t see it for another year.
If this frustrates or infuriates you— I don’t blame you. Trust me: I’m first in that line. But I also love Tom’s work, and love working with Tom. I just have to be better at getting that work out of him.
(In all fairness: I’ve had some personal family issues that have slowed me down, too, and often made me choose the path of least resistance and not hold Tom’s feet to the fire when I should have. But there are only so many hours in the day, and I only have so much energy. And if I have to choose between family and work, family wins every time.)
In light of all this, if you want a refund I will give it to you. But I hope you’ll stick with us, because the book will be worth it. SECTION ZERO is the project nearest and dearest to my heart. I pour my heart and soul into it, never settling for second-best, and I believe you’ll see that on every single page.
Stay well. Stay Safe. Talk soon…