Chet and I would like to extend a round of applause for our new Guru and whip-cracker, Casey O. Hopefully, he’ll not only get our asses in gear but one day class this joint up with some material of his own. Been promising for a while, but art soon (from Chet and myself, both, hopefully.) And a series of more substantive posts coming along with them.
Been doing research for another ‘series’ for potentially running here on the site. This one involves aliens and the cosmic astronaut-origin of mankind theory. Lots of insane nutso ideas to run with on that.
As anyone who’s still checking this out will notice, things have not exactly happened the way we said they would at this point. Honestly, that’s due to a lot of laziness, particularly – because I have no idea what Richard’s finished – on my part.
In fact, Richard and I have only exchanged a text message in the last two weeks and that was kind of a gag idea, that may or may not become something else at some point.
Anyway, as the title suggests I’m just going to ramble on a bit about a few things for the following reasons:
1. The net’s been pretty fucking boring on all counts lately. Which is not to say that by writing up this post I’m fixing that, but by running my face and/or making my fingers do some walking I’ll get some dormant parts of my brain kicked back into gear.
2. Yeah,… I’m just going to let a few idle thoughts out and see where they might go later on, because with a Day Job and your regular daily life it’s kind of hard to stay focused on making shit up.
3. What’s a blog without comment, right?
So, I think I’m going to shelve the POD line of thinking for the time being, because that’s very much a case of getting the cart before the horse. Instead we should be focusing on webcomics, which don’t exactly have too many disimiliar problems from POD for obvious reasons; but still remain totally different animals.
Webcomics are everywhere and a conclusion – albeit possibly uninformed – that I’ve come to is that most webcomics that aren’t updated at least weekly and are humor based tend to do too well. Now, a lot of that could be chalked up to subjective tastes along several lines of thinking. I’d love to see what Zuda’s hits are like, but ultimately that doesn’t matter either.
And here’s why… Nothing’s really lost by creating content for the web, other than time. Which, yes, is a valuable commodity too, but depending on what you do with the results – POD? Portfolio samples? – is where the real thinking comes in. Still, there’s a lot to be said for getting peoples’ eyes on the work. And that will remain something to ponder about for a later date.
On the subject of Just Getting Shit Done: I think I’ve become notoriously bad about delivering on things promised. Good intentions and all that, as mentioned in a previous post, but there comes a time to put up or shut up, y’know? And I put a lot of thought into that over the weekend.
It’s easy to say to yourself that you don’t have everything you need to get work done that night. Or you’re too tired from the Day Job. Or whatever easy excuse there you concoct. Heh, maybe I spend more time creating reasons not to get shit done rather than actually doing the work.
And, yeah, here I am wasting minutes putting together this post when I could be working on a page or two of script. (Yes, the plan is to actually work on something as soon as I finish this, FYI.)
On the subject of the Comics I Have Planned: One of the biggest problems I’ve run into with most of the stories I want to do is avoiding fragments that seem to incomplete or tease/promise too much. Finding that fine line between complete short story and teaser for something bigger is much trickier than you might think. You want the compact blocks of information, but also need those atmospheric moments that add that other essential but ambiguous element of character as well.
Which for some weird reason – as I type this – brings me to style in the illustrative mode when concerned with said stories. It’s something that’s been bugging me much more than often lately. I feel that I have a pretty pedestrian style of art that’s functions fairly well, but lacks a lot of character. Too worried about being technically proficient without… well, having fun with it.
I like a myriad of styles that don’t exactly mix together too well, which can make for some headaches. Imagine if you will – and these are just the guys running through my mind, today – a style comprised of Paul Pope’s expressive and fluid line work, with Lee Bermejo’s craggy noir rendering, Jason Pearon’s kinetic and animated pen line, Bruce Timm’s effective economy of figure and composition, with… oh, I dunno… Juan Jose Ryp’s maniacally frenzied detail. It’s a little insane, sometimes.
Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough. However, the interview(s) as promised is being persued. Also, I will most definitely get something graphic in nature up on this thing, because the place is looking kind of dull.
Off to script a page or two;
Last week wound up being a wash for me. Through e-mails, Richard seems have made a little progress. I had a family emergency to take care of and that just through a wrench into everything.
However, I still had a little down time and honestly didn’t really push myself to at least whittle away at anything. Which is, obviously a bad habit I need to expel.
Matt Fraction was allowed a Q&A thread at Warren Ellis’ Whitechapel thread last week, and he had some interesting things to say about what I mention above. I’m going to paraphrase horribly, but the basic point he made to and for aspiring creators is to burn through the work in spite of everything else. Especially, if you find yourself being too critical of your work.
And that’s been a problem for me for well over a decade now. I’ve made bullshit proclamations about getting something done, and always have the best intentions but always manage to cut myself short because I hate what I’m producing.
What is it about most creative types being overly-critical about what they do?
Even well established professionals mention how they refuse to look at what they’ve done in the past. Even the past three months. Makes me wonder how you ever really learn from your mistakes. Or maybe they make a passing glance at they’ve made to pick a few things up, but deny themselves the opportunity to dwell.
Anyway, burn through the work. Just get it done.
With that said, I’ve got some additional stuff to do today to further help with said family emergency, and then I’m going to fit some more time in to finish this first script.
Also, Richard and I proud to announce that we are now cross posting at:
And more specifically:
With the coming week, I plan to get back to those interviews and other things mentioned before, plus some art — because what’s a blog about comics without some art, right?
Thanks for watching,
Many, many moons ago, when Chet and I were running (into the ground…) the original Pulp21.com (itself a bastard child of workingtitlecomics.com) we came across the idea to follow through on the same mistake that every startup publisher craving attention does: A shared universe story.
Last night, Richard and I spent some time looking at what Indyplanet.com had to offer to get an idea about what we’re getting ourselves into. The POD comics scene is a weird beast not too dissimilar from it’s photocopy DIY sibling(the mini-comic?). In fact, the use of color and additional computer trickery is probably the only thing that really separates the two, aside from the obvious “publishing plan.”
In honesty, it reminded me of some of my disappointment in Artist’s Alley from Chicago a few years back. It’s more than evident that everyone doing this is more than dedicated to what they’re doing, but I really wish more thought would go into the presentation, as shallow as that may sound.
I know I’m verging on Asshole Territory with this line of thinking, but if I don’t say it someone else will. (Not that that’s a bad thing.)
It got us thinking about an alternative to the current POD model. A site that would be selective about the material it would carry, in the hopes of some kind of quality control.
Image, which everyone knows works under a radically different model from most other publishers, doesn’t just publish everything submitted to them, and it’s the Mecca of creator-owned books.
Which also led to: What kind of communities exist for web and POD comics?
Of the few situations that I’m aware of, most of the web and/or POD creators are solely concentrating on selling their own wares, as it should be. But as a community neither has the kind of organization that the fan base for the print material does. Maybe it’s too early for both relatively young mediums.
Magcloud.com and Lulu.com both impressed with not only the breadth of work available, but the care put into most of the design per package. And, yes, I’m pretty aware that neither site provides art direction for what they carry, or – more to the point – deals in comics.
And, yeah, those same design sensibilities don’t necessarily carry over well into comics, there are still lessons to be learned.
Anyway, that’s enough incoherent ramblings and musings for today.
So, the weekend was a wash for work because of the holiday. However, plotting for the remainder of the first strip IS completed and I’ll start on the script this afternoon. Also managed to flesh out the rest of the strips in terms of intent, which will make writing those much easier, of course.
Plenty of research material to drop later, and there’s a lot of thought about what to do with the blog for the rest of the week. Possible talk about influences and maybe an interview with someone who’s been doing the web-to-POD thing for awhile now.
And just for the hell of it, some reading about DMT:
Oh yeah,… we’ll get some pretty pictures up later too.