I amaze myself sometimes. When I sit and write a script, everything is awesome. It's simply perfect. First draft is the only draft.
Now, if you've ever written anything, you know that everything I just said is a load of dog poop. So, how do you know when you've done something that is really good. Truth is ... you don't. I write for myself. If I'm happy, then I have succeeded. But I'm not just satisfied with a script. Sometimes, that script I wrote is exquisite. Then the art comes in and I realize that I didn't convey the image properly leaving the artist with little to work with. One time, I called for a slave to fly a plane. You can see the panel in "Divided We Stand." When I saw the art, the slave came across as a white man. I was not happy, but it was not the artists' fault. It was mine. I was not clear.
So, how do you know when something is really good. I had the honor of witnessing a few people read my comics in front of me. One of the most notable moments was when a friend of mine was reading the third Don and Ray book (not uploaded yet). We was sitting near him twiddling my thumbs anxiously. He gets to the moment in the book designed to get a big laugh. This guy starts pointing to the panel with a big grin on his face. He looked at me to let me know exactly how funny that particular moment was.
Another way I can tell if something worked the way I intended is on my reading of the actually comic. It just happened. I finished uploaded "Back to Hell." This is the second Don and Ray book. When Ron and I were working on this book, I had a brilliant idea. Granted what is brilliant in the creative phase may not translate to brilliance in the actual book. I have to say, it has been years since we created this book and every time I turn the page and that one panel catches my eye, I have to smile. It's uncontrollable. That's how I know that idea worked.
I'm not going to tell you where these specific moments are for me. You need to read and judge for yourself. Feel free to email me and let me know where you smiled. I'll tell you if you hit the right moment. Thats for the laughs. One day, I'll discuss how I know if those somber moments work in my books.