At last week’s Life, the Universe and Everything symposium, we talked a little bit about how we need to work more and talk less about our projects.

Whether it’s a movie, a drawing, a story (or finally changing the oil in the car!), we all have projects that we can’t wait to see come to life. We talk about them, we dream about them, we think about them constantly—but there comes a time when thinking and talking about your project becomes counterproductive. Talking about your character isn’t going to put words on a page, but writing will.

It’s easy enough to say, “Well, yeah, I just need to work on it,” but the truth is that it can be harder finding the time to work on your project than it is to actually work on it! Nobody else is going to give us the time we need for our projects, so it’s our job to make it happen; that’s why I love Alec Longstreth’s article on THE SCHEDULE.

Alec is a comics writer and illustrator. He also teaches cartooning at the Center for Cartoon Studies (that’s right—a cartoon college!) in White River Junction, Vermont, and has made dozens of comics.

THE SCHEDULE is Alec’s routine for getting it done! When he started making comics, he had this great vision of what he wanted to do, but he never really sat down and worked consistently. His was mostly a schedule of drawing when he felt like it, or had the time. No schedule = no comics for him. He decided for himself that if he was going to finish his comic, he was going to have to make a schedule and stick to it. To make sure he was going to see it through, he shaved off all of his hair and beard as an outward sign of his commitment and vowed not to cut his hair or beard until he had finished! Talk about commitment!


You can SEE that he’s still working on it, still going, still making it happen! He’s on the home-stretch for the completion of his comic, Basewood, and I couldn’t be happier for the guy.

To read his thoughts on making a schedule that works for you, check out his post on the blog Make Comics Forever.

(All images in this post are by and belong to Alec Longstreth)

8 Responses to “THE SCHEDULE”
  1. Hey, thanks for this! It was just what I needed to hear.

  2. Jess Smart Smiley says:

    Glad you could use it! It’s worth nothing that it takes Alec 40 hours to complete a single page—how’s THAT for dedication!

  3. See, that just makes me wonder how well I could draw if I actually spent forty hours on a single page. It might be worth trying one week to see if it generates significant improvement.

    I went over and read his THE SCHEDULE post, and I *really* like the look of his “Night Off” schedule, ’cause I’m SUCH a morning person.

  4. Jess Smart Smiley says:

    He says himself that he draws very slowly (and big!), so that’s his pace and style and what works for him. I’d say that even spending a day on one page is helpful—Hope Larson spends about 8 hours on each page, and Craig Thompson puts full days into his pages.


  5. Posky says:

    Alec is obviously a monster.

    Still, whatever it takes to get a comic done, right?

  6. Jess Smart Smiley says:

    A monster, indeed! 😛

    I LOVE your comic, btw, where the duck hands the guy a note. Hilarious!

  7. Whoa. I like both of their styles, but Craig does really poetic stuff. Wait, is this the same Craig Thompson that wrote Blankets?

  8. Jess Smart Smiley says:

    That’s the same Craig Thompson—he’s been working Habibi for seven years now and it’s just shy of 600 pages in length.

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