Making a Book, Step 2: Do something unremarkable today.
Here’s the awkward realization that hits you after outlining a so-far mediocre story based on initially unremarkable people: You’re devoting two forms of storytelling — words and, eventually, expressive pictures — to people who are, chief above all, plain.
And then you have a brief moment where you consider changing the characters to animals or aliens or robots before realizing that anything other than plain people undermines the essence of this so-far plain story that might, with a lot of work, be funny one day.
None of these realizations is much fun.
Nor, for that matter, was any part of making this first sketch of the hypothetical friends. They’re the prototypical picture of people you walk by every day, with ordinary clothes to match and a pose, at least here, that is basically a slap in the face to the boundless possibility a blank page and drawing tool provide.
This was, to be clear, sort of the whole point, because it’s not so much about sketching a great scene as it is about getting some sort of baseline for characters who presumably will express more interesting mannerisms in better days ahead (when, presumably, better material is written for them).
With that said, I randomly added a dog, cat and baby to the picture because what I was looking at was boring and I was bored. I didn’t plan to keep them — cats don’t care about barely anything, much less national issues — but I had to throw in something to keep myself from being wholly uninspired by where I was at after a few off-and-on weeks of not-at-all-great work.
Figures that the cat would become the first somewhat-realized character in the whole saga.