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SixTAY Days of Writing 2020: A Very Rare Outing

Illustration for article titled SixTAY Days of Writing 2020: A Very Rare Outing
Photo: public domain

I know I’m severely behind in posting these articles, but the joke is, I have been writing them, I just haven’t been posting them. I only have internet access once a week, and sometimes, I just don’t feel like fighting Kinja for the 2-3 hours I have internet time when I have other things I want to get done. Plus, I hadn’t been sleeping well. Insomnia sucks, and it’s been pretty bad between the heat, the humidity, the pollution and everything else. So on Monday I took a much needed break from my surroundings.

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It marked the first day since March where I was more than 3 miles away from my house. Because of the epidemic, and my messed up immune system, I have been going out on average once a week, and never more than 2 hours out of the house. It helps me limit my exposure to other people and lowers my risk. But with cases on the rise again, I wanted to go out further in case everything got shut down again, and quite frankly, I needed a change of scenery. In the best of circumstances I never wander far from where I live due to buses being a gigantic joke, but with the epidemic, the restrained area I keep myself in gets claustrophobic sometimes.

So I asked for a ride up to a hobby store far from where I usually go because I’ve been on the hunt for a specific car design. I came to terms a while ago that I Suck At Drawing Cars. So instead of sitting with a French curve and cursing the designers at Ford and Toyota every time I need one in a background, I just have a box full of diverse car designs and snap photos of them whenever I need a specific angle. It’s saved me loads of time and made me very zen about having to deal with these god forsaken transport boxes. For my comic, Midnight Menagerie, two of the main characters drive in very specific car models. One drives a 1974 F150. And last week I got lucky and had one literally park next to me in the lot of a feed supply store (yup, in spite of Colorado’s attempts to pretend we’re such a metropolitan and sophisticated urban center, we’re still a largely agricultural based economy and between chintzy chain restaurants and hipster boutiques, people still have horses, llamas and chickens on their properties, though the cities do their damndest to keep people from having them.) So I pulled out my phone and snapped as many photos as possible of the truck before the owner came back. Some people are touchy about having their property photographed, so I didn’t want to have to explain about being a comic book artist, because quite frankly, a lot people don’t get it.

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Illustration for article titled SixTAY Days of Writing 2020: A Very Rare Outing
Photo: Exfordy on Flick

The OTHER character’s car has been the nightmare. Romero, the vampire character, has a 1949 Cadillac Series 61 Fastback. I swear I’m not a car nerd, just anal. And finding a model or good reference pictures has not been easy for me. Luckily, this excursion proved to be very productive as the store had a model kit for a 1948 Cadillac Eldorado...which is not exactly the same thing but! Has a very similar body to the Fastback, so if I just remember to scrunch the body down and add a split line to the windshield I’ll be just fine. I also considered retconning the car, but the Fastback just looks nicer than an Eldorado. In the future though if I need characters to have specific cars, I need to make a point of making sure I have the model BEFORE deciding. Otherwise I’m going to have to spend a lot of money hunting on eBay or scrounging through Hotwheels sections. Still, the amount of time and headaches I’ll save myself will be worth every penny.

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