I think I've found an illustrator who can capture the humor of the Pluto Diaries and bring to life the 100+ cartoons I've dreamed up. He seems to be a professional sort, which is really the only kind to have, and I'm looking forward to working more with him. This is especially comforting given that my first illustrator left with no notice after only a few cartoons. Granted, we had no formal contract, but it was still disappointing and put me several months behind schedule. I suppose that's better than abandoning me in the middle of the project, though. I tried out several potential artists, some of whom didn't make it past the query phase, until I stumbled upon this new artist. His work so far has been great and I'm excited to see how his illustrations add to the story.
Though The Pluto Diaries was written to stand alone as a novel, the cartoons are designed to further bring out the humor. But the cartoons are even more important than I had originally imagined. My newest revelation is that the cartoons will have the added role of doubling as advertisements. I plan to post and tweet cartoon images to see if I can spark some interest in the story. Many of the cartoons are understandable and humorous outside the context of the story and I'm hoping that a few well-placed ones will work as well as paid advertisements.
Now, the challenge will be seeing how fast we can churn out these cartoons. I'm anxious to move the project along. However, it takes time to draw these and there is also a lot of prep work involved in writing up descriptions of the cartoons and reviewing them when they're done. Ultimately, it takes how long it takes. I just hope that it's on the shorter side!