If you click at the link on the top menu bar which says ‘Buy my books’ (oh yes) you’ll be taken to a page where you can buy directly or find sites to purchase some of the titles I’ve worked on. Easy! Please do spread the word and if there are any issues you encounter, give me a shout so I can sort them (…or make them worse).
Here’s the link for you in-page:
Story: Butterflies and Moths (magic realism drama, graphic novel, visualised and drawn by Jennie Gyllblad)
So, that story I mentioned a while back that I didn’t want to talk about during Christmas.
You’ve seen some previews of this tale, A Twilight’s Promise, before as it reached completion – it’s a one page story on the cruel and fleeting nature of life. It’s been released in Futurius‘ excellent hidden gem, the Tales from the Plex series, and available to buy here (http://www.indyplanet.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2962&osCsid=0hfph2dpeu3e9npdut05ocvvi7)
To be honest, it was both one of the easiest and hardest things I’ve written. I try to write stories to the medium and format I’m in, as I’ve painfully found out recently when trying to reformat a 50 issue series into three graphic novels; it didn’t work. The reason why it didn’t work was because all the plot, style and format of the story were designed to function within a series format, with the cliffhangers, storylines and even the way the characters progress in the story, all geared to a long running series. Condensing that into three graphic novels created all sorts of problems with the above and there was no time to adapt it fully, so I stopped trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
It’s easy to misunderstand, but adapting material from one source and format to another isn’t a case of saying “well, this book should work well as a film, so why did they miss things out or change my favourite part” and so on. Stories rarely work that way. Just because it works in one medium, doesn’t mean it will work in another simply because it seems like a perfect fit – it’s a bit like saying a Porsche engine will work well in a Ferrari because they’re both cars and drive fast. Nine times out of ten, something will have to change to make the story work and comfortably in its new form, because while you may live in a house, no one moves into a new property without making some adjustments to make it a home. Otherwise it’s just you sitting in a place which doesn’t quite feel right for you. Same with adaptations of most kinds, whether it’s from book to comic, or even from a short story to a larger form.
So when it came to A Twilight’s Promise, I thought about what would make a good one page story. Big problem = there’s little space for what I would like a great, engaging story to have (not so much it being impossible, more that I’m not sure I had the scope in my tastes to make it work). Action, character development and such… no room. It’s difficult enough for a prose one-pager, but a comic one-pager? Nope, not going to work. So after a long think, I realised that if this story is going to be brief, why not make that the point of the story and its main metaphor? Start it up, and before we even get a chance to know the characters, their aims, their thoughts, we lose them again. A person in their cruel twilight, as it were. I wrapped that up in a setting which we’d all be able to relate to, imagine and sympathise with, not to mention a theme and topic close to me, and that’s what ended up on the page.
Ariyana Vidya, the talent behind Butterflies and Moths: Fragile, did the artwork and captured it all perfectly – the pace, the emotion and even some of the visual effects I described in the script. All in one page. It’s not the most pleasant of stories and certainly my most depressing to date (however, my graphic novel, Butterflies and Moths, may take that crown this/next year) but it’s meant to be bleak. It’s meant to catch you in your gut and make you ask ‘why’. It’s meant to be far briefer than it is fair.
Given it’s only one page, you can read the whole thing in the preview section of the site where you can purchase the comics from the series. Take a look and let me know your thoughts – and I’d also recommend picking up an issue or two of Tales from the Plex as well. There’s a lovely range of styles and stories there for everyone and worth the rather small cover price (especially given how pricey mainstream comics are getting these days).
Catch you on the bounce and thanks as always for stopping by.
Later than planned, yet earlier than it would have probably been, this update comes with a modicum of Christmas cheer, sprinkled with a dash of weary caution that has come with 2009 so far. It’s been a year with a bewildering array of ups and downs that have kept punching me in the face/feeding me heavenly strawberries right up until now, and I fully expect that to continue right into its death-knell before we celebrate the arrival of a newborn 2010. That said, it’s better than having just a year of bad news with nothing to balance it out. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself…
In any case, the writing side of things has been mostly good and my sights are firmly placed on 2010 for things to get even better.
My collaborative graphic novel, Butterflies and Moths, is well on the way. I finished the complete draft of the script a few months ago, fired it over to my partner-in-crime, artist Jen G who has been busily working at it since, as you’ve seen already. I couldn’t be happier with her work so far and you’ll be treated to nearly half of the coloured pages from chapter one in a sneak unlettered-but-sequential preview in the next entry, all things willing. While you wont be able to read the dialogue, it’s testament to Jen’s strong storytelling skills that you’ll likely have an understanding of story’s bare bones from the artwork alone. Fingers crossed we’ll have a whole, entirely finished chapter ready to preview to the world in a couple months. Which makes me smile.
Regarding the actual script, well, I’m happy with it. It still needs tweaks here and there, which I’ll likely be doing right up until the book is nearly drawn in its entirety, but that’s the nature of comic books – as with anything creative, you cant help but tinker with it, but when you see the artist’s interpretation of your script you tend to crop dialogue which has become superfluous or change bits to better suit the depiction. It’s work all the way up to launch (and then after that, given the promotion) but it never really feels like work… and that’s part of the grand aim.
There are also a few other things around the corner, as you may have seen in the image previews dotted on this page… but we’ll get to those in due course. Oh yes.
Look out for the preview and have a fantastic Christmas/New Year!
Happy New Year!
(Yeah, I know.)
Thankfully, my start to 2009 has been far more positive than my work on this poor, neglected blog here. There’s actually a bunch of things to talk about, just finding the time to type it all up is proving difficult. But I’ll get there, bit by bit. There’s still a look into L33tspeak to come, as well as previews for more stuff down the line. Exciting stuff. Shiny. Like a silver piece sitting at the bottom of a clear lake. Or something.
But as I quickly run off to work on one of these said shiny exciting, lake-bound things, I’ll leave you with an updated preview of A Twilight’s Promise, the one page story which is due to be published later this year, drawn by the increasingly brilliant Ariyana Vidya.
Enjoy and I’ll see you soon. Really.
A Twilight’s Promise (2 panel preview)
(click to enlarge)
Although I’m hesitant to give it the usual kiss of death by talking about it publically, I’ve another story due for publication early/mid next year, courtesy of the good people of Insomnia Publications. By sheer chance I found out this UK based publisher was looking for submissions that were a little off-kilter, strange and different, which seems to be my bag (not just in my writing but, as anyone who knows me will tell you, just in my general personality). I dropped them a line, fired off my long suffering story, Butterflies and Moths, and waited.
Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long before I got a response. Which was, that despite liking it, B&M didn’t quite fit within their portfolio due to its length as a 22 page story. However, the company was interested in a shorter piece which used the same characters, for an upcoming anthology called Layer Zero: Choices. Suitably, my choice was to re-write the script to 12 pages, or write something new.
After mulling it over, I went with something new… and Butterflies and Moths: Fragile was born. And much to my relief, the script is nearly finished, too, in the final few stages of editing and rewrites. In the meantime, Insomnia’s Creative Director, the lovely Nic Wilkinson, did several things which made me very happy. She officially announced the story’s inclusion in the company’s blogsite, the Redeye, in this entry: http://theredeyed.blogspot.com/2008/10/trick-or-treat-choices-from-insomnia.html, convinced the artist who did the original sketches for the first B&M to draw the story (take a bow Ariyana – yep, the same extremely talented young lady who’s working with me on another story, the previous entry’s A Twilight’s Promise) and then made another official announcement in this entry: http://theredeyed.blogspot.com/2008/11/nightly-news.html along with the cover to the anthology.
So, Butterflies and Moths: Fragile is coming to your shelves in 2009, through Layer Zero: Choices, all things willing. There’s lots of things going on behind the scenes which are very promising, and this is hopefully just the start of that – I have a lot of plans in the pipeline as usual, after a far too long stint of moping and waiting and more moping. What’s capped off the whole thing so far is that my friend, Matthew Gibbs, has also been signed up for Layer Zero with his excellent story, Erratum. Expect more on that as well, soon.
Fragile itself will be talked about a fair bit in the coming months as the promotion for the anthology starts up, so I’ll save my spiel for then, but I’ll leave this section with a tiny bit of blurb and some artwork that Ariyana did for the original B&M which will be developed for Fragile. Hope you enjoy this tiny glimpse.
Butterflies and Moths: Fragile – coming in Layer Zero: Choices, in 2009
What would you do if the one person closest to you asked you to do something that put her life and your soul in danger?
What if the one person closest to you asked you to do the impossible?
What if you could do the impossible…
…and didn’t even know it?
Before the strike of 12, Angelica Delapz opened her 18th birthday presents. On the strike of 12, she was imparted with another gift.
And through a horrible, horrific explosion of blood and destiny…
Hopes, desires… lives… everything can be broken… as if distantly flying on the fragile wings of a…
What the hell is going on?
Well, as you already know, my WipEout HD fiction was published last month. What you may not have known is that indie anthology comic series Tales from the Plex was re-launched as a monthly in November, which you may have noticed via the banner on the right hand side of this site. The book will run through the rest of 2008 and all of 2009, with a variety of different stories available each month. It’s also the home of a comedy series I devised, called L33tspeak, which I’ve mentioned a couple times on here before, drawn by the lovely and wonderfully patient Stephanie O’Donnell, (not only the artist of L33tspeak but also the great talent behind the excellent The Original Nutty Funsters, a drama/comedy strip which is really starting to gather some much deserved attention after the release of the collection, A List of Grievances). Tales from the Plex will also be the place where A Twilight’s Promise will be published, next year. Yay!
VIRTUA-GIRL by Chris J Powers & Matthew Weldon, IT’S THE BEER TALKINGby Russell Hillman & Sergio Calvet, L33TSPEAK by Corey Brotherson &Stephanie O’Donnell, CROW’S FOLLOW by Cassie Summer (illustrated byBrian J. Crowley) and GUSSY AND PETERSHARK by Jesse Farrell.
28 pages, black and white, RRP: $2.50
MY OLD FLAME by Jesse Farrell, DEMI-DEMZ by Daniel Lundie, DOWN BY THE RIVER by Chad Nevett, Ze Troia & Nate Thompson, COLOSSAL BOY 3 Part 1 by Daniel Lundie, Celina Hernandez, Mike Murphy & Darren Schwindaman, L33TSPEAK by Corey Brotherson & Stephanie O’Donnell and TACO ON THE BEACH by Shironu Akaineko
Buy it here: http://www.indyplanet.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1467
I’ll talk more about L33tspeak in coming entries, but Issue three of Tales from the Plex will be out later this month, alongside its publishing stablemate, The Darkling by Chris J Powers, a great monthly limited series about a young girl trying to find her way through life… by being dead. Oh, did I mention she’s blue skinned vampire? And has to deal with some really, really weird stuff? It’s Bridget Jones meets Interview With The Vampire – a madcap fantasy comedy drama that’s unlike anything else in the graphic novel medium.
Buy it here: http://www.indyplanet.com/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?osCsid=730f357c8da3f2554031232145f9c6d5&keywords=darkling&osCsid=730f357c8da3f2554031232145f9c6d5
Why not give them a try?
And that’s me for now. Thanks for reading, as always.
Ok – I know I said I have a lot of news, and as it turns out I’ve actually got way TOO much to tell in one post. So this is merely part one of the super-large update which I’ve been planning since… well, a long time. You’re… erm… still here… right?
I’ll tell you more about A Twilight’s Promise when it gets published – by who, where and when I’ll explain in the next update (oh yes, slacker-no-update-boy went there). In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview. Only one panel, because, well, it’s only a four panel story. And even in its half completed state (no speech balloons, dialogue captions or finished artwork quite yet – but what Ariyana has done so far is fantastic) giving away a one page story that will be sold in the near future is a little loonier than I can go for right now. At least wait for the opium to kick in…