Note: this is republished from my newsletter.
According to my self-imposed schedule for this newsletter, I'm over two months late in sending an update. I've been busy, but I've also been holding off on writing this letter because a large part of it is sad news, and I was worried I wasn't up to the task.
Unai is ill, and isn't able to complete work on the book. He sent me a message in late January to let me know he was in the hospital, and would be a little late on pages. A few days later, he sent another message: he's been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer, and is focusing on finding treatments. As he put it, it's 'some kind of nightmare.'
I know the world is full of unevenly distributed chaos. I know that fairness and unfairness has nothing to do with it. But that's the word that keeps coming up: it is wildly unfair that this is happening to him. I don't think there's a finer point I can put on it. He's young, too young for this (isn't anyone?). He's also a humane, quick, talented artist.
(If there is someone or something running this show, and any of you ever gets a word in with them, pass that along for me.)
After hearing from Unai, I reached out to DC Alonso, the colorist for the book, to see what he wanted to do. He and Unai are frequent collaborators and friends, and I was preparing myself to put the book down for a little while, and give us all some room to process. To his eternal credit DC said he wanted to finish the book, that coloring Unai's ten pages was important to him, and that he could help me find an inker to complete it. And he did: within days he connected me to Luis Aramburu, who runs an agency of artists in Spain, and Luis introduced me to Abel Cicero (I appreciate the significance of his last name, yes).
Abel agreed to do the remainder of the book. So if and when the first issue is published, it will have the first ten pages that Unai inked, followed by Abel's thirteen. Abel has wrapped up pages 11-17 so far. Here are 10 (Unai) and 11 (Abel):
Eagle-eyed viewers will note that page 10 is now lettered. After reading about lettering I decided to absolutely not to take this task into my own silly hands, and hired Micah Myers, an expert, to do it. And he's expertly doing it!
Here come those feelings about fair and unfair again, but I still feel exceptionally lucky to be working with Unai, DC, Abel, and Micah. There's so much I admire about the work they do, but above their talent and their thoughtfulness I admire that they are, at core, craftspeople. That core is where all of the other good stuff comes from. I'm happy I get to tell this story with them.
I promise to return to our regular schedule of weird history, process notes, and page excerpts with the next newsletter, which will be sent much much sooner than two months from now.
Thanks for reading, Honor