Starting tomorrow, March 26th, I'll be producing Cul de Sac with the assistance of Stacy Curtis. Stacy's a cartoonist, illustrator and printmaker who draws editorial cartoons, comics and illustrations and is now doing mostly children's books (I find children's book illustrators to be uniquely trustworthy). He'll be doing the inking, mostly on the daily Cul de Sacs. He also promises to go out for doughnuts and coffee, a nice gesture but somewhat useless as he lives 700 miles away.
Except for freelancing illustration, which is by its nature collaborative, I've never worked with anyone before. Some types of comics are built for this kind of piece-work, notably comic books, which distribute the work among divers hands much the way a medieval studio would. But a comic strip, being small and intensely imagined, usually has just one name on it, usually the guy who started it (though often anonymous craftsmen are involved in writing, drawing, lettering, etc. - ssshh! you didn't hear it from me).
I'll continue to write Cul de Sac and draw roughs for Stacy to try to decipher and I'll do as much of the final inking as I can. Of the weeks of strips we've produced so far I've inked only the Sundays, though that may vary from week to week.
This change isn't made lightly; I'm as obsessive and grabby and unwilling to share as some four-year-olds I could name. But after some months of missed deadlines and last-minute repeats I'm willing to bend a little. My thanks to the folks at Universal for being sensitive and helpful, especially John Glynn, one of the most helpful and sensitive former Chicago cops I've worked with; Shena Wolf, a more appreciative and unflappable editor than I deserve; and Lee Salem, the most supportive man in the business.