Friday, May 30, 2008
In reality there will always be people in this world trying to take advantage of someone else's work. Whether it is identity theft, pyramid scams, piracy, etc. That doesn't mean that we are without protection, nor should we stop living our lives and doing the things we enjoy. I take the time to actually copyright my work regardless of the law stating that everything is copyrighted once you create it. I’d rather put my trust on paper and have it archived in the Library of Congress. Still, I put a little "Beware of Dog" sign on my blog (see right column) as a reminder to the morally elastic.
Besides, if someone steals my work, all that’s going to happen is we go to court, where I'll bury them in evidence (aside from the copyright), i.e. concept art, original scripts, breakdowns, character concepts, original files, etc. In return for my trouble, I get money in damages, free publicity for the book and an insider’s view of court procedures that I can use as reference for future projects. Not too shabby.
Like the S.A.S. (Special Air Services) motto says: "Who Dares Wins." There is nothing worse than to live life in fear. I'll see you in the page.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
We see traces of this idea in the psychic studies conducted by the
Every society is comprised of a number of subcultures. Every occupation, religion, hobby, criminal group, etc. form a part of the multi-layered tapestry of our world. Whether they are fantastic or not, it’s an intriguing fact of the human psyche. I’ll see you in the page.
Monday, May 26, 2008
I always liked to see diversity in comics, but we rarely got to see what was going on in the rest of the world, and when we did, it was usually grossly misrepresented.
You can say that
Friday, May 23, 2008
In the beginning I wasn’t thrilled about writing yet another vampire story, but the fact that I’ve never seen a story about a psychic vampire, and the idea that I could bring the fiend back to its roots, started to become appealing. The psychological implications of an amorphous entity entering a sleeping victim’s home, to feed on their helpless bodies as they watch in terror, brings the vampire back to the realm of nightmares from whence it was originally spawned. Elements associated with the vampire such as flying, invulnerability, shape-shifting, and night prowling are still present and perhaps even more plausible by the assailant’s lack of physicality. I’ll see you in the page.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The challenge becomes even greater in comic books where you rely solely on images. Yes you can do something gory, or some cool monster, but how can one convey fear? I wrestled with that question myself as I wrote Reverie. When the reader finally sees the psychic vampire, does it really have an impact? If we put things in perspective I guess the answer is yes. If a person sees some sort of strange vapor floating on top of their bed and they can’t scream or move, they will be frightened, but can you really make that connection on the page? I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
When you reach your “Jaws” moment, and by that I mean the anticipated reveal of your nemesis, you’re arriving at a pivotal moment in your story. It’s a sink or swim moment (no pun intended), in which an artist can be tempted to unleash some sort of extreme monstrous creation to convey a sense of danger. I opted for the subtle approach, relying on the story’s atmosphere and hoping that by now, my readers are already immersed in it. After all, Reverie was envisioned to be an “it can happen to you” type of story, that’s grounded in a plausible reality. I can only hope, in the nicest of ways, to make some sleep with their lights on after reading my tale. I’ll see you in the page.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Evolution can’t be stopped, so the major hurdle is to make the new pages fit the old ones. It would be a real mood-breaker to go from one page to the next and find two different styles telling the same story. My task is to keep the same vibe, same style, same vision; but thanks to the time my craft has spent marinating, I think my art is more refined and I have a few more tricks up my sleeve.
I’m satisfied with the way the new pages look. You can see a progression in the art, but the look still remains. There are many challenges as I work towards completing Reverie. Metasearch as a concept has seen many permutations throughout the years, and I have no idea where it will lead (if it actually leads anywhere). But the experience gained and the satisfaction of carrying a task to its completion can’t be taken away. I’ll see you in the page.
Friday, May 16, 2008
From script, to breakdown, to final art, it is easy to follow your own story since it is ingrained in your brain, but what about the reader? Readers will see your story for the first time with no other concept than the one you present. Is it clear to them? I always show my pages to other people before I letter them just to see if the sequence is clear. I also used to get defensive when some one couldn’t follow the story with just the pictures… not anymore. If someone can’t follow the plot then I didn’t do my work, and it’s back to the drawing board. Panels are remade or all together discarded, sequences changed, shots rethought, and sometimes pages rewritten. There is a lot of work that goes into a comic book, even in today’s computer age, which makes me admire the old school guys even more. I’ll see you in the page.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Bands like Portishead, Dead Can Dance, Bauhaus, and Pink Floyd (for some Gabriel scenes) became a sort of a soundtrack to Metasearch as I was working on the script and some of the pages. I find it curious that I associate a silent art form with so much sound. Maybe it's the armchair filmmaker in me, or perhaps it's my frustrated need to convey a fully immersive experience to the readers. I for one believe that life would be so much more interesting if we had our own soundtrack; and no, I don’t mean whatever we listen to our in mp3 players while we walk around.
Maybe there are people that listen to music when they read comic books (or web comics). I’m not one of them, but I’m sure there has to be someone who likes to make the experience just a little bit more personal by adding their own touch. Music is the language of the soul and we like to hear its rhetoric. I’ll see you in the page.
Monday, May 12, 2008
I have yet to meet a person, both believer and skeptic, that doesn’t have a strange event that happened in their life. These events are usually so personal that it triggers a mixture of reactions on the listener. If your mother tells you she had a conversation with your grandfather the night of his death anniversary, most people will likely go through a wide spectrum of thoughts from “Holy shit!” to “Nah! That was just a manifestation of her subconscious grieving for grandpa,” to “Why would my mother lie to me about such a thing?”
In the end you don’t really know what to believe. One thing is certain, your primal fear of the unknown and your evolved sense of logic will be at odds. Which one will come out on top depends purely in what the person chooses to accept as true. If you feel like sharing your own unusual experiences, please drop by the forum. I started a new discussion group about the topic and I’d love to hear what you have to say. Believe nothing, but keep and open mind. I’ll see you in the page.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Leonardo da Vinci said: “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” Going through the back pages of Metasearch, I couldn’t agree more. A change here, a little editing there, it seems that there is always something that could be just a little bit better. I think an art piece is like a finger print that encapsulates who we are at that moment; a frozen sliver of time left behind as we continue evolving. Every now and then, when I look at some of my old work, it reminds me of what was happening in my world when I created it, almost like going through a time capsule… well, enough of this nostalgic babbling. I hope you enjoy the new lettering. I’ll see you in the page.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
As for the plot, I usually get the beginning of the story right away, work on an ending, and then the middle pretty much writes itself. At this point, the characters are so alive in my head that their dialog feels like taking dictation. I take my time with every project, sometimes an astonishing amount of it, especially when I have to do research. There is a lot of work in the beginning, but once the world in which the story takes place is defined, everything else comes out very organically. I’ll see you in the page.
PS: You might have noticed the change in lettering. I'm in the process of re-lettering the book, so soon all the pages will be updated.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Unlike my childhood stories, these days I only write open-ended stories. Not only do I feel more satisfied as a writer, but I find myself being more creative when I don’t have to worry about a follow-up. As for Metasearch, I specifically designed it as a series of open-ended graphic novels. If I have a great story to tell with these characters, all I have to do is write another case. I don’t have to worry about churning out stories month after month. The characters have their own lives outside the Metasearch context, and the cases they deal with are so extreme they just don’t happen everyday.
I guess when we like something, we want it to last forever. Maybe it is the instant gratification world we live in, or a reflection on or own mortality, who knows? I’d rather go for quality over quantity anytime. I’ll see you in the page.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Three drafts and two dinners later with a professional psychologist, the whole scene changed dramatically. Every single detail was taken in consideration: The objects around the office, the positioning of the characters, their body language, their clothes, and their dialogue. Looking back at Claire’s introduction, it was a lot of work for only four pages, but it was worth every bit of it. I had achieved the level of realism I was looking for.
I often compare the creative processes with sculpting. You have this huge chunk of rock i.e. research, plot, characters, ideas, etc. And you start chipping away until you get a nice polished sculpture. I’ll see you in the page.