After some weekend frustrations with simple sketches, I decided my art style was working against me. I had to fight the art at every level. I needed to open up the style, make it looser and more fun, and for that I looked to Adam Warren's art style (link probably NSFW). I dusted off my Empowered comics and tried my hand at emulating the style just enough to break some art habits.
It's a start. The art was much more fun to work through, and it seems more natural to thicken the lines and rely more on dark areas to build mass. It's not a final victory but a good start. I'd like to copy Warren outright only in printing finished pencils. My inking is as painful to look at as it is to do.
The moral: Make it fun. Because if you're gonna do a comic, you're gonna be drawing and drawing and drawing.
Also, I made the local paper.