A few days ago (or yesterday at 1:30 AM, to be more precise) I finished the project that I was working on for my Grandfather’s 81st birthday.  I already talked about the project plenty in the previous post, so I’ll just show it now and maybe mumble a little about it after the jump.

The Life and Times of Rolla Jehosophat Bryant

No, his middle name isn’t really Jehosophat, it’s James.  That’s just a family joke.  I don’t know how it got started, but I honestly believed it for the first 18 years of my life because I didn’t know any better (nobody ever told me).  Anyway, I’m really satisfied with the way this turned out.  The general response on my previous memoir of Butterly was that the colors were very sloppy.  They didn’t blend well and there were a lot of spots that just looked bad.  And while the colors on this new one are still sloppy, it’s a more calculated sloppy.  Controlled Sloppiness?  Maybe I should trademark that.  I also think the colors work a lot better as well.  Everything just felt a lot smoother in the process of coloring.

There was a mental difference when working on this project.  With Butterly, I was daunted because it was a man’s entire life encapsulated in a single page.  That was tension enough.  But this one was even MORE personal.  I know my grandpa (very well).  The pressure to make it perfect and give each frame impact was huge.  I revised the draft a few times (I doubt you could tell from my scribbly draft that I posted last week, but I did make a lot of changes) for purely sentimental reasons.  I struggled a lot over how much to emphasize the death of my grandmother back in 2001.  I chose to play it down to an extremely subtle level, as well as his remarriage.  Usually I have no problems addressing the topic of death, but this project isn’t about nor for me, it’s for my grandfather, and I know how much he still misses her.  So I erred on the side of caution, and I think that the result is a very mature, tasteful approach.

I love my Papa.  I hope he likes this.  I’m printing it off today at Kinkos and giving it to him on Friday when I see him for the family reunion.