Friday, 30 October 2015

sequential art storytelling

Why not give myself another pipe dream to wrangle with.

You know me. Blogger, Poet, Experimental Music Artist, Author...

and plenty more besides.

So why not add another string to my bow.

Why not stop telling myself that I'd love to write a comic book and actually get round to writing one...

And so the thought process behind my little venture for October started a little like that and ended up with my rough doodlings of a man-beast battling with stick figures across a plotted out 11 page story.

Like many people before I had wanted to run before I could walk, I've had an idea for a D-list DC universe character for a while, so long that I don't actually believe he even exists in the current New 52 DCU, it is a story than spans life, death and superheriocs. DC are the comics I've loved to read and are the ones I'd love to write... But I've never written a comic before!


Instead of diving feet first into my ambitious project only to find that it may forever be beyond my reach I chose to cut my teeth on something simpler...

Create a hero, 50s style.

Hero. Bad guys. Fighting. Other stuff... The end.

A real rush job, tell a tale, have a ludicrously dressed assailant fighting crime and wrap it up quickly. How hard could it possibly be...

Thankfully the seeds for my ridiculous hero came to me before I tried to put pen to paper, I wasn't looking for perfection, I was simply looking for fun... I imagined him to be a character designed in the boom of superhero creation, a simple time wasting wonder that would be thrown together in order to fill space in a cheaply printed strip, never knowing if people will care to read it or ever see more of your champion.



I've grown on writers that have pushed boundaries and one day wish to emulate the Grant Morrisons, Neil Gaimans and Allan Moores of this world. But not right now.

I grabbed some blank sheets of paper, folded them in half and wrote down what I thought would be the main beats of each page. Ten minute job. But the scripting and panelling became a far longer process, trying hard but trying not to try too hard, trying to keep it simple but to understand the pace of my story and how I expected it to progress.

Each page probably took me between 45 minutes and an hour as I deliberated over panels and speech bubbles, how many punches to be thrown and how many generic gangsters should enter the fray.

I toiled with ideas for supporting cast and plot, fearing it would be too derivative or seen as a mere copycat of other heroic tropes... But then again my agenda was based on the works of an era when heroes looked alike, with publishers keen to emulate the sudden popularity of a super-so-and-so, and so I steamed ahead with my story of cops and robbers and a mysterious figure fighting for right.

And so this is the story of how I became a nearly-but-not-quite comic writer, with one original creation under my belt and a rather fun draft of thumbnail pages to my name. I'd like to see my character fully embellished, with an actual artist giving life to my stick figures in fedoras.

I've already got plans for his teenage side-kick, his arch-nemesis and a handful of spin-off titles, they remain unwritten as yet, but it should be enough to keep a movie franchise going for several years at least.


Saturday, 10 October 2015

a blogger?


a blogger?

is that what I am? I check the ever declining post count that sits aside the years that scroll down the side of the page like a dipstick being plunged into my own personal history. more frequently coming up empty.

am I a blogger?


sometimes I wish that I still was. I still have a blog that exists, but everything is changing. The Internet is changing. Attitudes are changing. Interests are changing. I am changing. And blogging is a strange lost art, not just to myself but to so many creative outlets that I used to ponder over and draw inspiration from.

Now I see bland advertising and twee snapshots of happy lives that link to instagram profiles. I'm sure that somewhere out there my happiness lays in wait, but I've never the time to look for it.


And I mourn my own lack of writing. This is my diary. A public domain documentation of the person I am happy to present for display. On occasions I even read my own prior blog posts and smile at who I was, and feel proud that whatever was inside of me in that moment has been captured, and preserved perhaps forever.


So am I a blogger?

I'm certainly not a career-minded brand that exists in every corner of the world wide webs global reach. I'm too tired for that. The internet seems to keep displaying bad timing as far as I'm concerned. I haven't got the energy, and the energy I do have I am putting into other things that I am not always annotating.

I've got meals to make, a house to keep clean, a garden to tend to, a wife to support practically and emotionally. I'm sometimes exhausted by life, but I still want to be more.


But am I a blogger?

Right now, I am a comic book writer. I've only just started and I don't imagine my first run through will be particularly amazing, but I have wanted to do it for a long time, and I decided that October would be when I become that thing that I want to be, I'll just have to find time to be all those other things I still want to be.

And perhaps I should blog about my comic book writing, I'm pretty sure that is something I would have enjoyed reading about in the blogging hey-dey of whenever it was, before the whole world fitted in my pocket. Perhaps I will. Or perhaps I won't.


And I'm trying to tweet more often. Not for any real reason other than to stay sane and determine that I have things to say that are more interesting than boring things, but that is only a matter of opinion anyway. I am still slightly fascinated by twitter, not as a 'social network' (if that is still a thing...) but as what I always remember it being referred to when people referred to it and it was a novel idea... as a 'micro-blog’. Where I can think things, and express them, in miniature.

It's more time effective for a start to dash off a handful of sub-140 character nuances that nobody will read than to spend time crafting an exemplary display of the written world which will hobble onto my blog to be read by no-one.

But right now I have chosen to take my thoughts, mush my fingers all over a touchscreen and conjur up a rambling stream of consciousness that I shall drop onto my once well-attended soapbox and I've enjoyed the chiming sense of release that such a practise emits.


I call this a blog post from a far-too infrequent blogger.