DARK MUSINGS #56 – Another setback for The Vat
by Andrew Zar 9/4/13
The Vat was one of the first stories I ever created, and one of the most challenging to draw. Hiring Ernie Chan to do the first four issues is one of the high points in all my DarkBrain work. His performance, his personality, and his talent made it all work – The Vat came to life with Ernie’s charm.
I truly wish I had the funds to have finished the series with Ernie, but I did not. Ernie could have easily done the entire 17 issue run. But after the first four issues, the “capital building” phase took so long that we lost Ernie. In fact, just before his difficulties and passing, he was on board to draw the last issue of Grace Comes Home as a “placeholder” as I continued to try to figure out a way to make The Vat happen. Oh how I wish I could have seen Grace’s snakes done “Ernie style.”
It is bittersweet to remember – but having seen Ernie put out four to six full pages of pencils+inks every day was truly incredible. And having seen him do art at the Pittsburgh comic con, where we shared a booth, was amazing.
The Vat, as a story, took a long two year break. I often thought of leaving the Vat as it is, but there is a critical problem – it is just a chapter of CORTEX and The Vat is actually interconnected to Locked Out, Columbia’s Underbelly, God Play and Too Important – telling one story. The entire plan requires The Vat – especially as the stories collapse together. So it needed to be completed, painful as it might be.
Easing back into it, I hired an artist and got back to work. After six months of difficulties, that effort was abandoned. Another break and I found another artist and had him successfully do another mini-series (the shorts in Columbia’s Underbelly called Clemency). Very successful, I had him start on The Vat. The initial pencils and colors are truly outstanding.
But the project lagged, six months (a theme?) and it finally failed. The artist’s situation had changed, the project no longer worked. And now it is abandoned again. Another setback for The Vat. And, again, I’m in “capital building” phase. I have an eye on the artist I feel will finally finish this series, but it will be another year before the project is ready to go.
So I reflect and try to learn from this. I have to learn that although I’m the creator and the producer and the financier, I am not fully in control. I have to accept that. I have to accept my own limitations in finances, timing, and capabilities. And I have to remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. The Vat will be completed as I know I am that tenacious – I just don’t know exactly when.
But, most of all, I have to have peace that these breaks and delays are all important, somehow. Maybe to honor Ernie or simply that filling his shoes is just *that* hard? I am not sure, but I have a respect, not an anger, towards these delays.
Till next time,
Above art is from the second failed attempt at Vat #5. Copyright 2013, DarkBrain, LLC, All Rights Reserved.