Tuesday, 26 April 2011

No Creeping Reclamation

I've gone and had another comic posted on that there internet! Now, if only I could get paid for this. Anyway, a little background:

Back when I was a spotty teen, the first short story I wrote of my own accord was "Green Fingers". An every-day tale of Death by Vegetation.

Years later, I had the idea of a sequel: "The Growth." This involved scientists trapped in a bunker, Dawn of the Dead style. They would bicker and argue and die while alien plants tried to get in. The idea went nowhere.

Many years later, one of the very first comic scripts I wrote was a one page variation of The Growth. Looking back, it was way too wordy. Each panel was a paragraph or more of description. I still find it hard to strike the balance between sufficient description for an artist and over-bearing amounts of extraneous, stifling, detail. But it did have a line I have always liked: "This was no creeping reclamation, this was an invasion."

Now, many, many years later, that script has been brought to life by Josh Mathus. You can go read it at Hadron Colliderscope, right  here. It looks a lot better than my rambles deserve.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

"Kingpin gone to seed"

I'm a comics magpie - easily impressed by shiny, pretty pictures.

As a kind of follow up to my previous post, I should say that I am in awe of anyone who can draw a comic strip. The simple act of drawing the same character more than once, but getting it to look the same each time, is beyond me. So to follow a script and capture what a writer was thinking - well, that's doubly impressive.

Dan Cornwell (who I think is more talented that he realises) did just that when he drew Extras, another script I did for Clint. It's been hosted at Hadron Colliderscope, right here: Extras. Thanks again to Jim Campbell for lettering this.

In idle moments, I plan about putting together a portfolio of shorts and some longer stuff to put to editors along with a script. This would, I think, have been ideal for Wasted but for the fact it's already been around the internet (what with it being a Clint submission). Still, that's no reason for me not to plug it here!

I found it hard to cut a panel that didn't feature naked flesh, but here is one of a character I described as "Kingpin, gone to seed." I think Dan nailed it.

 You don't want to see what's happening in the
background. Especially if you're at work.

Be warned, this one is really not safe for work. REALLY, REALLY, REALLY not. I can do stories without naked ladies. It's just that the two I've mentioned here (Extras and Malignancy) were done for Clint and so I upped the naked body count. (Did I mention that my latest accepted script features hot succubus action...?)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

If I had talent, I'd be famous.

I wish I could draw. My artistic career peaked at age 9, when I came second in an art competition. I got a medal from Glen Michael and have plateaued since. Thing is (call me a radical thinker, and maybe it's plain crazy talk), but I reckon that having the artistic ability of a nine-year old holds you back if you want to make comics. Sometimes I think I should just give up and focus on prose.

It's a problem for blogs, too. I peer jealously at the postings of artistic folks, sneaking a glance at their pictures like a digital urchin - nothing more thatn a grubby chimney sweep on his tip-toes staring through a window at all the pretty things he is denied. I'm green with envy at your effortlessly cool postings, filled with esoteric babbling about layers, and filters, and pens, and boards. It's a lost world to me.

But, then again, this is my blog. So, in true comic-creator style, here's a Judge Dredd I doodled. Brian Bolland will be trembling.

 There ought to be a law against this!

Hopefully this will change. I am working on stuff. By typing this, I am procrastinating over a couple of short comic strips (a risqué five pager, S.T.Z. and a time travelling tale of the credit crunch, Futures), a proposed graphic novel (Mr Tuesday, with Dave Thomson, if we actually get the collective finger out) and a prose story (working title: Dave Marsh Gets A Life). Of course, I still then need to find someone willing to draw them, which isn't always easy.

That said, I also have stuff that is being, or will be, drawn: three scripts with the folks at Zarjaz, a strip in Chris Cronin's up-coming small press anthology (my story is The Second Ringer), and three for Hadron Colliderscope (The Price, which is an entry to the 2000ad board's monthly regular story competition, and two old one pagers, Paradox Man and The Growth).

Part of the purpose of this blog is to give me a boot up the backside and make sure I keep writing. The lack of art is, I fear, down to the fact that I have been lazy and not produced enough stuff. The plan is that I should eventually have a steady trickle of images taken from comics I have written and that I can use to illustrate my ramblings. Pictures better than this:

Most feared being in the Galaxy? I think not.

So, I think radio silence is in order until I have something easier to look at to put on a post.

Oh, and if anyone who is working on my scripts happens to read this - then please note that the art in this post is entirely your fault. I look forward to you turning my words into pretty pictures. And if you're not quick then I might just do it myself...