Thursday, August 14, 2008


Throughout these 58 pages, I’ve been delivering Metasearch every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Alas life and work have caught up with me, and hence page 59 arrives a day later. What's more, I’m taking off on a much-deserved vacation for the next two weeks, so Metasearch will be on hiatus until the first week of September. For some time, I’ve been resisting the delivery of the book to less than three times a week, but I’m afraid my workload will force me to do so. I hope those of you who have followed the story so far will understand, and keep honoring me with your time. Like I said before, I’m here for the long haul, and Reverie will be finished. After all, this book is very important to me. I’ll see you in September and I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman out

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hidden Place

I’ve always envisioned “Balefire Books,” Acantha’s esoteric bookstore slash loft, as the kind of place that only occult connoisseurs will know about. Your garden-variety spiritual store is full of mass produced trinkets, soft cover tomes, burning incense, new age music, and announcement boards scheduling a myriad of events. I wanted Balefire to be the opposite: Hard cover books, no music, unique items, and no sponsored events. People will go in asking for something specific like a 1487 edition of the Malleus Maleficarum, pay some good cash and off you go. It would be the kind of place that, if you enter it by mistake, you’ll know immediately that you shouldn’t be there. That’s why this unassuming store is on a one way street. After all, Acantha is the only one in Metasearch that devotes her full time to the supernatural. I even considered taking away the sign out front; maybe I’ll change my mind in the future and remove it. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Friday, August 8, 2008

Fear is the Key

At last Anya gets some sleep via Mr. DeNegro and his prompt intervention… and some badly needed energy healing. You might ask why Gabriel uses telepathy when in astral form and Anya doesn’t. The answer is awareness in the astral plane. Anya’s out–of-body experiences are unconscious and quite accidental; an event is akin to a nightmare. So she acts pretty much as she would in the physical realm. On the other hand Gabriel leaves his body willingly and fully aware; plus it helps being psychic.

On an unrelated subject, I stumbled upon a webcomic community which linked to this blog from their forum. The question posted in the forum was quite interesting “A truly scary comic… not possible.” I have tangled that same idea in this blog for a while. Like I’ve said before, Metasearch is a paranormal thriller not a horror comic. Any dwelling into the horror genre comes from the fact that the stories deal with the unknown, but is not meant to scare anyone. The whole horror genre in comic books is labeled such by their content and not their effects. Television and film have created our modern fictional nightmares. I have yet to hear from theater, although that in itself is an interesting premise. Literature has been the source of many a horror story, but I haven’t read anything that has scared me yet. The only story of this type I have ever encountered was someone who told me he read William Peter Blatty’s “The Exorcist,” and he had to sleep with the lights on for a month. Interesting enough, the original “Resident Evil” game for the PS made me jump a few times, and I was left with a sense of paranoia afterwards. And no, I wasn’t high. Come to think of it, the first “Rainbow Six” game for the PC made me paranoid about going up and down a flight of stairs, but that’s another story.

Based on the video game reference, I can only surmise that fear comes from the level of involvement of the viewer. I played alone at night with all the lights off, a big screen, surround sound, and I was pretty invested in the concept of a person alone in an abandoned mansion. Unlike drama, which is universal, horror and comedy are very subjective. I think the closest reference we can get to answer the fear question in a comic book is photography. Forensic books will make you cringe and shock you, but you will not be afraid that the man hit by a boat’s propeller will come out of your closet and eat you alive. I’ve seen photographs that have stirred all kinds of emotions in me, but never fear. The same goes for books, comics, and plays. Radio has scared me more than once when I was a kid. I was, and thanks to the web still am, a big fan of a radio show a la “Ripley’s Believe it or Not,” and some of the stories haunted me. Radio has the advantage of music, tone, passing, voice, and sound effects. Like a book, the visuals are left to your own imagination. So, I guess immersion is the key. Now good luck figuring that out in a comic book. My art in Metasearch has to do mainly with atmosphere, but how engaged my readers are, is up to them. I can provide the vehicle, but they have to be willing to be taken by the story. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Man Comes Around

Just like Claire had her little moment in the sun on pages 47 and 48, it’s time for Gabriel to claim some of that spot light. I always thought about how that scene would look like when I wrote it. When you’re dealing with things that aren’t tangible, you always run the risk of making them look out of place. I knew they would have to be fantastic, yet they had to be grounded in the reality of the story.

Gabriel’s astral form is no different than his physical body. His abilities in this plane are energy, or light based. I kept the glow of his second chakra (the mind’s eye) blue, as it’s usually described; just like his aura, when it protects him from the psychic vampire’s tentacles. Blue is allegedly the color of protection amongst certain metaphysical circles. The light projecting from his hand is universal energy channeled through him. No, not like the Silver Surfer, but more like prana, chi, ki, or whatever else you want to call it. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)

Instead of doing yet another attack scene in Anya’s apartment, I decided to re-write it into a nightmare sequence. I didn’t make the decision based only on variety, but on visuals. I could go off into a more surrealistic moment in a nightmare sequence, and then hook it up to the real attack. It also helped to make the book darker without having to compromise the reality I already established. Of course, even though we’re dealing with the realm of the extra-physical, I wanted to keep things somewhat subtle.

Films like “The Sixth Sense” and “The Others” take the subtle approach to fear. Yes, there are supernatural elements, but it’s more psychological. I love this approach. Then you have the visceral approach of movies like “The Exorcist” or “Ju-on,” which works as well. There are degrees between them of course, and although Metasearch is in the subtle end of the spectrum, it threads into the visceral side at certain moments. After all, we have a red cloud with tentacles and a face floating about. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Friday, August 1, 2008

War Within a Breath

I have to say, I love this page. Not only was it fun to do, but I love the way it looks. I can definitely say these are the most extreme panels I’ve done so far. I wanted to show a progression with the psychic vampire. The first time we meet him, he is opaque and feeble. But as the attacks continue, he gets bigger, stronger, more substantial, and bright red like a hellish storm. For this latest attack I wanted him to look like blood in water, instead of just a cloud. That would give him an eerie fluidity and substance, more in tune with an extra-physical realm.

This time around I used the voiceovers as a way to show what is going on with the environment. As I create along, I keep pushing my own lettering limitations in trying to be more creative. In panel 2, the blurry letters denoting muffled noise, and the subtle fading of the words in panel 3 to illustrate how sound has become muted. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out