Back to work

I spent the last week in Florida with my family.And the week before that getting ready for the trip. We did Family Christmas while there, so that week was spent making and shipping gifts. It was exhausting and stressful to scramble all of that stuff together, but it was well worth it to see the results. My girlfriend, Bekah, and I each got dedicated writing notebooks. So, while my brother fished for sheepshead in the intracoastal waterway, I was able to sit and write for a little while. I also managed to punch a few keys on the two flights on the way down. All told, though, this was NOT a productive fortnight.

Now that I am back in my routine, though, I think I know what I need to do. I have a few scenes to re-work, but the characters seem to be moving into position.

There is a confrontation at the climax of issue two, about which I have not done enough thinking. Ideologically it makes sense. The characters are in conflict with eachother. One represents a subject about which the other is in deep denial, so it makes sense for her to respond with strong emotions.... which in superhero terms means FIGHT! I just have not paced out the escalation of that confrontation.

Once that is done, I can put this issue to bed.

I just hope I don't go too far over my page count. It is dense as it is and I would hate to have to chop things or move them around.

It occurs to me now that if I do need to cut some pages, I can set up that fight, and leave the pay-off for the next issue. That has the added benefit of putting that fight in what will be the last issue of this story arc.

And, hopefully that will mean that the third act will wrap itself up with minimal coaxing and I will be able to get back on deadline for next month.

As always, keep up on my blog here. And read my Rapid City scripts here.

Laws of Motion

This is one of those cool writing things that just happen sometimes. I have been writing this experiment/comic book about a superhero struggling to get started. It is a metaphor for ME struggling to get started. It is a lot of fun to watch it develop organically.

The character's name was originally "Rampart" in "defensive structure". But, during the writing of the scene where he decides on his name, in conversation with the character Monkey....the name Kinetic arrived all on its own.

It happened in real time, right on my keyboard. The dialog tag even said "Rampart" as i wrote him arriving at a different conclusion... Kinetic.

The other day I was struggling to come up with a way to open issue 4. I needed a bit of room between the end of the previous issue and the action of the current one. I already had the second scene written, I just needed that buffer in there.

I started thinking about the word "kinetic" and a great idea occurred to me.

"Kinetic" means "motion". Our universe is governed by "Laws of Motion". Laws of Kinetics if you please.

As I said above, my story is a bout a character struggling to get started.

Any High School graduate should be able to tell you that Newton's first law of motion states that "an object at rest tends to stay at rest until acted upon by an outside force".

How about that. That is exactly the theme of my first story arc.

So now I have a guiding concept for my next two story arcs as well.

My first deals with objects (and lives) at rest and in motion.

So this means that my second and third arcs will deal with gravitation and equal and opposite reactions respectively.

Still not sure how that will present itself, but now I have an overall concept and possible titles.

I love it when things work out like that.


Beta Ray Bill: The Green of Eden

HAVE AT THEE! Beta Ray Bill: The Green of Eden

Kieron Gillen Dan Brereton

Beta Ray Bill is a constant favorite of mine. He is one of the things that is so cool about comics. He makes just about no sense. Try explaining him to an outsider. However, within the complex Marvel Universe, he makes so much sense that he is almost essential to validate the complexity of the universe. If there is really THAT MUCH strangeness going on, of course there are going to be bizarre hybrids. Their world has gods and aliens and robots and monsters, it only makes sense for them to all come together. The “fact” of his existence makes the Marvel Universe one big thing rather than isolated story pockets. What could drive this point even further home? If Bill married Rogue from the X-Men. No really, actually think about that for a second. It would be SO awesome. It would be another firm tie between story worlds, and it would just be awesome. Picture the bachelor party!

Anyway, Bill played a great part in Secret Invasion: Thor. There were cool oathes sworn and bad-ass declarations. A follow up wasn't demanded b any unresolved plotlines in that story. But, it did shine an big light on Bill on he huge stage of Secret Invasion and may have left a whole bunch of potential new fans clamoring for more. If this book is a test run, to see if there is enough interest to support a Bill book....count me in. THIS would finally be the cosmic Marvel book that I would actually buy.

What worked: The story was straight-forward, exciting, and plotted specifically around Bill. This stor could only be about a kinda-god in a universe of god-like beings. Sometimes these one-shots feel like they may have been pitched for a different character, and altered to fit which ever character had an opening in an editor's agenda. This is NOT just a warmed-over Black Bolt story. The main conflict arises directly from who the character is, and he resolves in a similarly suitable fashion. This story spun out of Secret Invasion, but stands on its own strength.

What did not work: A common problem with the even expanding scale of super-heroic comics is the lack of plausible villains. The real character conflict of this story would have been just as relevant if Beta Ray Bill did not have an Nth-class bad ass to throw down with....But, as fans, we demand some throw down! We need to see Bill brawl! So, it is really our fault that the physical threat posed to him seems a bit tacked on. It wasn't exactly a flaw in the story, it just didn't really flow naturally from the more emotional central conflict. Though, perhaps this is simply a genre conceit. Like in a kung-fu story, each world-view and perspective is embodied by a different kung-fu master...maybe in a Cosmic/Norse story, each point-of-view will be expressed by some slightly-random cosmic bad-ass.