So a couple of weeks back i said I’d be restarting my old Jump On review column but couldn’t find anyone who would host it. Eventually I went to the Webcomic Overlook and offered to do a review of Dumbing of Age since I’d done a Looking for Group review a while back.
It went up and El Santo, the guy who runs the site, needed more content while he was dealing with life so I wrote a couple more articles once a week before my holiday cruise across the East Coast of Asia.
When I came back, I asked if I could keep going, he said yes, and so I’m going to be sending him articles to be posted once a week about general webcomic things, mostly writing and stuff.
So yeah, let’s see how long I can keep this up.
So I’m going to be away until the second doing a cruise up the east coast of Asia. Don’t know what to expect but at least I can soon say I’ve gone further overseas than New Zealand. And further north than Cairns.
I’m thinking of doing a pulp novel.
See my current novel is taking a while because of advance plotting and erasing details and the like. I’m in the middle of the third chapter but I had to stop and rewrite chapter two because one scene didn’t make sense in the grand scheme of things. It’s one I really want to get right.
So I was thinking the main problem was the last time i wrote a novel it was when I was sixteen, it was only 140 pages long and it was the first draft. Eight years later and I’ve only written comics which are done chapter by chapter or in some case page by page.
The idea is basically to put the current ‘true project’ on hold and bash out something based on an old comic idea I had. Just do it in one draft, throw it up on an ebook distributor under a psuedonym and use the new found experience to better help me when I write my main novel.
It might even help motivate me to get it finished if I’m not worrying about continuity or character’s being logical.
A guy tries to attack a little girl in an elevator, gets his ass handed to him. Badass.
She threw him out of the god damn elevator! This kid is bad ass!
So I was going through some files from my old computer and found a rough plot outline for a three volume manga idea I had back in 2006. See my sister used to read some teen harem manga like Midori Days and DearS so I came up with an idea that kind of subverted the ‘first girl wins’ basis. I even remember drawing a couple of pages for it but my mother threw those out before I could scan them and they probably sucked anyway. So I thought why not share it with the Internet since I need to upload more posts to Tumblr anyway.
So the comic starts with a stereotypical cheerleader type named Kim getting hit by a car or dying of a drug overdose (It was going to be one of the two) and meeting her mother in Heaven. However, since she was such a bitch in life, she doesn’t get to go in, but they’ll give her a chance to redeem herself. She has to go back and haunt a boy she used to pick on, named Brendan, and convince him she’s a good person at heart.
Unfortunately, she’s so self-centred she assumes he already loves her.
Throughout the first volume we get a sense of what type of person Kim was and see how the other students felt about her dying. It’s not exactly ‘Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead’ level of joy but most are not exactly sad to see her go. Her best friend, named Lisa, actually comes up to Brendan and apologises for all the crap she put him through and the two start to become an item.
Lisa finds out what is happening after Kim attacks Brendan (Kim can interact with people and things, but only Brendan can see her) and writes a message telling Lisa to stay away. Lisa and Brendan manage to contact each other, with Lisa promising an exorcism. They banish Kim and the two celebrating, happy she’s gone, but she isn’t. She’s just no longer possessing Brendan and so is stuck on the mortal plain unable to interact with anyone or anything. This causes Kim to finally realise what she’s really like and despair over her fate, when another boy, Will, says hi, with the first book implying someone else can see her.
Volume two would have been about Will helping Kim become a better person, although it’s a slow process. We also get some flashbacks to explain why Kim is the way she is. However, Heaven rejects this as the goal was to convince Brendan, not Will, she was a good person, and so an angel tries to get Brendan to give Kim another chance but he refuses. They inform him that Will is going to be given the possession status and so Brendan and Lisa, fearing retribution, request to be able to see her and prepare to send her to hell.
Volume three would be a huge shades of grey story. Brendan and Lisa’s animosity is completely understandable but we have seen Kim is capable of retribution. After a couple of skirmishes, Brendan is injured and Kim sets his bones and finally apologises, truly realising how horrible she must have been if Brendan and Lisa are so determined to get rid of her. Kim’s heartfelt apology finally gets through to Brendan and Heaven accepts this as redemption and she leaves.
So right now I’m writing a murder mystery. It’s a 4 issue mini-series that I would like to see be my break into the industry. Maybe Shadowline or Oni Press would be interested and I have the artist in mind, if he’ll do it. It has a bunch of red herrings to keep you guessing and also some character moments I’m proud of. There’s just one problem though:
I can’t decide on who the killer is.
I think I should start up my review column again.
“Wait, David, you had a review column?”
I’m not surprised you’ve never heard of it. Back in 2011 I saw a post on Gail Simone’s forums asking for columnists to talk about comic related things. At the time I had been considering starting up an Atop the 4th Wall style show and decided to turn that into a column. The deal was every Tuesday and Friday I would talk about a graphic novel I liked that I thought was a good starting point.
It last for about twenty entries over four months (Lots of schedule slip) before I got bored and quit. No one seemed to be reading the comics or even visiting the website so I gave up on it.
But something that was pointed out to me is that not all writers stay within the same medium. I usually satisfy this by writing novels or screenplays, but I was also reminded that some people write columns and blogs. As I’ve said before, I don’t like forcing my opinion on others and I don’t think I have anything interesting to say.
However, in the past I have heard many people say “What’s a good starting point for Batman or Spider-Man?” and then I respond with Hush or Ultimate Spider-Man (I don’t read main universe Spidey). I’ve also found annoyance with people who respond with “Just go to a comic shop and pick up something that looks good” because more than likely, you’re going to jump into the middle of a story with no clue as to what’s happening, much like I did when I first started out.
So I’m going to go to all the comic sites and offer the column, which will be weekly this time. I probably won’t be given a shot, and even if I do make it I likely won’t be paid, but it’s experience and it gets my name out there.
Plus, if I do it right, there’ll be more comic fans out there.
I swore to myself that this would be the year I finally made it to ECCC. Yeah, that didn’t happen. And now I’m looking at the guest list and going ‘FUCK!’ because God damn there are so many people I want to meet.
Hoping to God I can make it to either next year’s or the 2015 one.
I’ll email a friend, and I won’t hear back, and I’ll start to worry that either I’ve a) committed some unknown offense or b) start to worry that something’s happened to them.
Sometimes, I have a very hard time just being, y’know?
Yeah, I get like that too.
Do you also do that thing where you order something online and start to worry that the company didn’t send it when it doesn’t arrive right away?
I admire columnists. I really do. people who on a weekly basis write five hundred or so words about their life and their views and yet have no problem with making it interesting.
That’s always been the reason I can’t blog. I just don’t know how to make myself seem interesting. And any stories I do have I usually save for my comic.
It could just be a self-confidence thing but I just find my opinions to be boring, my life to be boring. Every thing about my reality to be boring. It’s not bad, but I just don’t see why other people would want to hear about it.
I guess that’s why I love writing fiction more, because then I can change the boring bits and make them more interesting.