This is Red-One. She is the protagonist of the comics collaboration that Angela O’Hara and myself are undertaking. One day, to inspire herself, Angela decided to create this digital art piece. It is a conceptual drawing of Red-One at about seventeen years old or so, and she is definitely quite beautiful.
So, I did end up naming the characters that we are working on. That might seem strange given that it is supposed to be a silent comic, or a comic without words, but it is a point of reference for us to work from and it adds more character and background to work with too: to bring across onto the page through facial expression, body language, and action.
We have also decided on a structure for the comic. It will be about twenty-four pages and it will have panels. There is just too much, even with the basic story structure that I’ve already made, to dedicate a page each to a different action. Panels will actually give us more room by giving us more pages to work with in expressing the narrative. Like I said, I do have a basic story outline finished and I am going to attempt to do at some point is take a scene from what I wrote, expand on it a bit, give it to Angela and experiment with panels and the page layout.
Panels and page layouts are diabolical in that they both seem to be the same thing, but they’re different. For instance, you can make one panel and then have to decide what goes on in that panel, whereas the page layout is actually how more than one panel–or lack thereof if you want to get experimental about it–is arranged as an overall pattern on paper or screen.
I have attempted with previous works to include panel breakdowns and detailed layout structure for each page into script form–this without an artist partner–and I have to say that it is challenging at best. Luckily in this case, I can hopefully communicate the essentials of what I want to see to Angela, talk through it, see a few versions, and come up with a happy medium. Angela has also been working on a few more conceptual drawings and eventually things will be coming together.
So there is that.
Another thing I have been doing lately is that I am looking into published other works while this collaboration continues. That is to say, I am going to now actively–again–send out stories to electronic and material magazines in order to get more things published. I have a few candidates and a few ideas with regards to what I am going to send. I think I’ll go into that a little now.
I’ve had at least three Lovecraftian story ideas that I have been building on in a purely note-written or scribbled way for a little while now. When I’ve finished one or more, I might send some to Innsmouth Free Press, or Weird Tales (which right now is closed to Fiction Submissions, oh well). I love the fact that Lovecraft is not only public-domain, but there is so much potential to his ideas. His stories are mainly “congeries” (he loves that word, among others)–or connections–of seminal ideas: of things that have informed so many other works long since his time.
Lovecraft’s mythos is not the only thing I am focusing on however. I’m also contemplating sending a science-fiction story of mine to Strange Horizons. There is also a story of mine that I meant to finish long ago, set in Toronto, which I may send to Broken Pencil’s Death Match Contest or directly to the magazine itself.
In addition, I have a few stories I’ve already finished that I realize may be tapping into a niche that is emerging or has been emergent for quite some time now. The niche, paradigm, or Zeitgeist (the “Spirit of the Times”) I’m thinking of is the 1980s-and onward geek nostalgia that is becoming more prevalent every day as well as the usage of allusions and literary references to video games and comics. I have actually been experimenting with this for a long time and I have been polishing off what I have.
I guess the danger is whether what I relate to in this regard will become obsolete sooner than I can do anything with, or even in the future. I mean, will years from now someone know what Google is if it is referenced into a story or will it be some small obscure technical footnote somewhere? Or is our society changing so much with regards to technology that Google and other programs, and even video games will become part of a historical documentation: if only an electronic one? I’m pretty sure cultural shifts celebrating “retro” elements come in cycles, but you can never really predict these things. Sometimes, you just have to go with it.
As for me, the reason I am making strange stories like these–tapping into this–is because I can relate it and it interests me. I can’t tell the future (which is probably for the best) but I’m doing my best to express the forces that have influenced me in the way they have influenced me: if that makes any sense.
So these are my goals along with a few others. I hope to be able to Blog more about these other developments and also be able to keep up with the challenges that I have set myself.