Sunday, April 20, 2008

Script Frenzy: Update the Sixth

There are now a little less than 10 days left in the Frenzy. I'm just about to wrap up my third story storyarc which will put my page count at a staggering 198. But leaves me only in the middle of the pack of the 18 issues of my comic that I planned to write. On top of that, we're entering Hell Week where a bunch of other things I've been putting off come past due.

It's going to be difficult but, once I put the last few touches on issues #7~9, I'm going to jump straight into the next storyarc, in issues #10~12. If you'll look at the psuedo-outline I've posted, what I'm about done with is the series of issues known as Home for the Holidays.

This arc features our college aged protagonist making a return trip to his hometown accompanied by a pair of love interests. He's there for winter break and the storyline leads up to a confrontation with an old foe and a few revelations. I think it's some of my strongest work yet - although, no, you can't see any of it yet.

I think issue #8 is the one where I really nailed the tone of the series, where the characters stopped feeling like pieces I was shuffling about and starting becoming real (Which is weird because it's usually around page 8~9 that I figure out what each issue is about. That's - through no particular planning on my part - where the hook or the twist or the theme and often all three keeps landing.). And then there's issue #9 which I call the Horror Issue not because it's particularly creepy or scary. But because during the home invasion by the villain I use tricks and techniques from horror films, from slasher pics, and I think the shift in style is effective without being jarring. It was also pretty fun to write. And that's really the important thing, at this point.

But, by getting my characters out of their familiar environment and shoving them on a road trip, I discovered a lot about what makes them tick while having an opportunity to display facets of their personality that I knew about but weren't really coming through the page yet. The result is that they're much more three-dimensional and rounded.

I think I also figured out why I was having such a hard time with the set pieces in the previous arc. I don't do decompression. Normally, my issues are chock full of characters and plots and, if anything, I'm cramming way too much in and it's all lacking the air to breathe. While set pieces are all about focusing the majority of an issue's running time on one, single event. It feels off to me because there's not enough going on - they stand out from the rest of the series. But, with the frentic grind house pace of issue #9, I think I did much better.

Now, I want to head right into the next arc with all the momentum I've built up. It's, if you'll recall, entitled A Rider Approaches. The Rider - also known as the Cowgirl - is a character I'm really fond of. She's a superpowered mercenary who's way out of the main character's league. And the arc is all about putting her on a collision course with him and it's something I've been building to since issue #6. And I really want to do her justice.

If I can get the next batch of issues done sometime this week then I think I can make a last minute mad dash towards the finish line and reach my ultimate goal of a full 18 issues. I might have to skip the back-up strip for now - which is a shame because the back-ups for #9~12 are some of the more intriguing ones for me - and I might only be able to get thins blocked out rather than in a state of finished readiness. But if I can't, well, issue #12 is as good a point to leave off as any. Not only is that a full year's worth of monthly comics, it's also a good midpoint to the story. Sort of the Empire Strikes Back of my trilogy of three volumes.

So, yeah, I'm about to put my comfy bathrobe back on and slip into my fuzzy slippers because I've reserved a slot on the crazy train for the next several days. Expect blogging to be sporadic.

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