With CHAMBERS on the books, THE UNDOUBTABLES poised to begin serializing digitally within the next month or two, NEW LIFE halfway complete, UNIT 44 in full-on production, and several shorts in various stages of completion, it left me with a well of new material that was on the verge of going dry.
Sure, INNOVATION is kicking behind the scenes and we’re releasing a new tale every few weeks, but in the comics game, creators always seem to be working roughly a year ahead of schedule. With 2014-2015 belonging to the titles mentioned above, I found myself wondering, “What about 2016?” As I grow older and time continues to move in fast forward, I knew that the year would arrive well before I was mentally prepared for it. Here’s to being proactive.
Looking back on the past month, updates have been sparse across this ye ole website, and the main reason being is because I’m in the process of writing my next comic book series.
I knew I had to get something going if I wanted to keep my name associated with comics, so in mid-April I hunkered down to begin what will (ideally) be my big release for 2016. The biggest problem with writing a new comic? You actually have to sit down and WRITE IT. As it turns out, these ideas don’t manifest themselves as written scripts while I sleep. Lame, I know.
I keep an “idea” file of different zany thoughts that come across my mind at any given time. Some are short, one-sentence riffs while others are full paragraphs and even others are full pages. When I need something new to work on, I go to that file, re-read everything and see what sparks my imagination.
One of the things I’ve learned about myself as a writer over the past year is that I had read enough comics that fell into the categories of “dark and gritty” and wanted to focus on things that were a bit lighter (Hello, Unit 44!). But because readers seem drawn to those dark comics, I thought it might be fun to tackle a subject that could be dark when it needed to, but also be a lot of fun. So, as I took a final scan through the ideas folder, I landed on an idea that will eloquently meld the qualities together.
This idea will take the reader to dark places and find the light within.
It will be funny.
It will be entertaining.
It will be absolutely, completely bonkers.
It’s also one of the most autobiographical things I’ve written and I’d even go so far as to say that it’s (slightly) based on a true story. In my mind’s eye, I see this impending comic book as the perfect narrative to bring together fans of CHAMBERS with fans of UNIT 44, and I’m all about the unity. Sure, I’m being vague on the details, but that’s because they’re still being worked out. Why would I show you what I got you for Christmas before I wrap it?
So, where am I currently? Before I typed a word of script I spent several days connecting plot lines, building characters and giving myself a general outline to work from. I’ve completed work on issues 1 & 2 out of a (proposed) four issue series. I’ve also revised the first issue four times, with a fifth scheduled. On my past works I’ve done two revisions, maybe three if I’m really trying to get a certain theme across, but this book will likely have more love, care, time and attention put into it than all of my past works combined.
It’s interesting how as a creator, as soon as you put work into the public eye (where you can never take it back) you begin to notice everything that’s wrong with it and you have fleeting moments where you can’t help but feel like a complete hack and an utter jerk for coercing people into reading it. And while I’ll always stand by my past work, the benefit of these fleeting moments is that it shows me just how much I’ve learned. With that learning comes vast improvements to future writings. Everything I’ve learned from the books mentioned above is coming in full effect on this new script and you’ll eventually receive a story that is better for the missteps I have made in the past.
I’ve also been working on this narrative alongside reading The 90-Day Rewrite by Alan Watt, which is a fantastic book that has armed me with innumerable tools that have only strengthened what’s to come. If you’re a writer, I highly recommend this book. It’s like having a person in your corner who will yell at you and make you feel comfortable all at the same time.
So, why am I writing all of this?
For one, I fear that a lack of updates to this website indicates a lack of productivity. For two, because I’m excited about what’s next. Because I’m excited about the future. Because I’m excited that I found something else that I want to say through the comic book medium.
Most of all, I want you to be excited too.