By Nick LaPole
Since our last book, our little group of four became a little group of three. With Needs More Fire 1 completed and set aside to breathe, Carl, Hoobin, and I wracked our brains on new creative ventures. We made illustrated compilations, 3D printed toys, and stayed busy in between with full-time jobs and our personal endeavors. We had a good flow, but we wanted to strike the flint on something more, something familiar, and something wholly “new”.
We brainstormed, sparking embers both small and bold. We had plenty of ideas and a lot of fuel at the start. We settled on our “haunted” theme and went through a few packs of matches until, at last, the essence of Needs More Fire 2 was discovered.
From there came the real work. The grid, typefaces, and color palette became the kindling, while time-tables and individual duties became our tinder. We situated the cinder and fanned the tiny flame through long hours and arduous labor; behind a desk, admittedly, but labor nonetheless. Our eyes were strained looking at the computer screen, our hands were cramped by multiple thumbnail sketches and hefty inking sessions, and our minds were wrestling with doubts and other mental bullshittery. It’d be a lie to say that things went perfectly, that we reached every due-date, that every experiment turned out well or that every piece was immaculately conceived. All that went into this endeavor, whether it be time or effort or love or confidence, was put to the flame, to the test. Some of it ignited, some of it smoldered and some more of it simply went up in smoke…
That’s how the whole process works, I suppose. You put
your blood and oil into the casket, light it up and watch
it combust. It ignites, sending shrapnel and soot into
the air. It’s all out of our hands at that point, with the
flame of the moment having passed, leaving a residue
to be picked and prodded by the elements. It’s a relief,
really. The exhausted muscle and now-fragile bone are
allowed a momentary reprieve. The hard work is done,
and the bonfire that burned so bright died naturally
alongside the rising sun. The new day reveals whatever
was born the night before. What remains amid the
ashes? Hell if I know. I bet the other two don’t know for
sure either. It’s fine. That’s something for you to find
Good luck in there; keep a light on you!