I hate love revisions.

A look at my writing process. However it comes, I get a general idea of what I want to happen in a comic. Characters meet. Characters fight. Ice blankets the city. Whatever it may be. Then I tease and work those elements together into a story. In the course of doing this, I write and re-write each scene several times. Once they all work together, and do what each needs to do in order to help the story do what it needs to do... the comic is done. The Normally, it sits until it goes to the artist. When the pages come back from the artist, I go through the script again and make sure that it still fits the art. Some parts will need to be expanded, while others can be cut away. Then maybe some touch-ups from the letterer. And that's it.

My current project, Rapid City:Below Zero is turning out to be a bit different. For starters, it was conceived initially as one, single, story. Each plot point, and issue, had its place in the grand scheme. This is restrictive, but it also allows me to have a much stronger handle on the proper function of each story element. What used to be "That is cool! Let's see where it goes!" became "This moves the story forward, but is it doing so in the most compelling way?". Another change in this project is my very long lead time. Extra time, and a focus on plot functionality have really changed the revision process for me. Now that I know what each scene and moment is required to accomplish for the story as a whole, I can zero in and tighten up those nuts and bolts. That part of the process is now much less intuitive, and much more technical. That actually makes revisions much more satisfying. There is more concrete functionality. Then, once the walls and floors are built, I can start adding the furniture and decorations. I can play and make the scenes all pretty now because I know they are doing what they need to do. It is like a wild guitar solo in the middle of a structured rock song. And, that is what I will be spending my snow-day doing!

-Josh Dahl

The 16th of March

It is the 16th of March, and I have no new rapid City script to post.That is not a sad thing, however, because Kav and I have been working on a different script project. This method we are using is much more collaborative, and that makes it harder to predict how long it will take to get it done. That script is not complete, but it is done to the point where it is at least usable by an artist.

I am not really happy that i missed this deadline, but i am not crushed by it either. I have been a few days late in the past... and I am breaking in a whole new method of getting comics done. So, I give myself a little grace period there.

Decompressed podcast

I have been listening to Kieron Gillen's podcast, Decompressed. It is, without a doubt, the best thing I have ever heard on the craft of making comics.

It is a writer talking to other comics creators about the craft of making comics. I have heard some good writing podcasts where a writer simply gives advice, or podcasts where creators tell stories from behind the scenes, and there are others (like ifanboy's Make Comics)... and they are great. But none of them do what Decompressed does.

Decompressed is comics creators discussing the application of theory to the craft of making comics. Form first-day novice to Comics Grand Champion, you have something to gain from discussions like these.

I wish there were new ones every single day.

If you make comics, go listen to these. -Josh

Rapid production

As I have mentioned elsewhere, Rapid City is in a few different stages of production at any one moment.I am constantly writing scripts. In fact, this project began as an experiment in which I challenged myself to write a complete comic book script every single month. I used this site to post those scripts, and updates on my process of creating them. Over a year into that script project, Kav started to draw comics from those scripts. He is churning out issues faster and faster, but I never let up on my script-a-month schedule.

Kav is doing an amazing job drawing Rapid City #6, but at that very same moment, I am starting work on the script for Rapid City #35.

The fun situation that this creates for is that Kav, who probably knows more about Rapid City than anyone outside of my head, is still more than two years out of date with what is going on in Rapid City!

Earlier today I posted the notification that issue #34 was finished, and in doing so I called it a "supervillain comic book". This led Kav comment...

I thought it was a superhero book dude. -Kav

Kav, it is a superhero comic book. But things change. You may have noticed an already darkening tone in the early Rapid City stories. I don't want to spoil it, but in issue #24 some very big decisions are made. And then, from issue 25 on, the series focuses the supervillain community in Rapid City.

But don't worry, by 37 or 38 it will be a superhero book again. -Josh

always breaking the rules! great! PS what if some Rapid City Superheroes visit their nemeses in Slowville?

-kav