From Wildchild comes Saturn

Wow. I just proofread Saturn and Orion Book One. This book is near and dear to my heart and I'm ecstatic that it's finally ready to go to print. Pilot Studios decided to make this their first ever Kickstarter campaign, and I couldn't be more honored. 

It is amazing how a story comes together. Saturn was not always meant to be. At least not in the incarnation she is in now. Ages ago, my friend and I were chatting about a story idea. This book was called Wildchild. It was my first real venture into writing an ongoing series and had all the problems of a new writer trying to learn his craft. But the concept was damn good. I couldn't get it out of my mind. 

Over the years, I would try to get some traction behind this book. The thing is, I never let go of the original concept. The same flaws that were evident years ago were still there. I was too close to the project and was determined to see it work. I couldn't see the flaws. That's when Pilot Studios asked me to write a Daredevil type character. Obviously, I couldn't write Daredevil. That's when Wildchild popped back in my head. 

I decided think about Wildchild. I refused to pull up my old files. I simply went off of my memory. What did I remember? I realized that, after all these years, if it was still in my mind, that was the good stuff. That was the stuff that I needed to keep in the story. Suddenly, I had a new character, Saturn. 

The supporting cast and villain would come rather quickly. Again, what worked for Wildchild? Some of that stayed. Some went into the trash. Before I knew it, I was writing a script. You might say, the script wrote itself. The words flew on the page. Before I knew it, I had an emotional tale pitting technology agains ancient mysticism. I hit the jackpot. 

Now, Saturn and Orion is here for you to support. It will be launching on Kickstarter soon. I'm sure you'll find a link on this site. I would love to have your support. I really think you'll enjoy what you read. Maybe one day I'll even open those old Wildchild files and compare the two characters. Only time will tell. 

 

Another Contest

I have to admit, I dropped the ball on this one. 

I love writing stories based on characters created by someone else. I don't know why. There really isn't a reason for it. I have a blast running these characters through my filter and coming up with a new way to present them. Don't get me wrong, it's fun to build a world of my own. There's just something to seeing another person's world for what it is and making it shine. 

That's one of the reasons I love to enter writing contests. I mean, I would love to win, but let's face it, that's always a long shot. It really doesn't matter how great the script is. It's a matter of subjective taste. As long as I'm happy with the script I send in, I'm a winner. That and it makes for a great talking point when I run into the editors at a comic con. 

Where is this going? Yesterday, I found out about Darby Pop's latest contest. I knew it was coming, but somehow, I missed the start. By an entire month. That's nearly the entire contest. That put me under the gun. I thought for a brief second that I have a pretty decent workload at the moment and probably should skip this year's contest. Then I thought that would be a cheap cop out. I never thought of myself as a person to back away from a challenge. So I decided to go for it. 

Now, I'm practicing writing in crunch time. I have a week to get this story ready. There is no time to waste writing a page a day or to blankly look at the screen with writer's block. This needs to get done and done well. That's my goal. When I meet the deadline, I will be especially proud of the story. It doesn't matter if I win or lose. I just need to be happy with the work. 

Until the next time I have a random idea to type on this blog. 

 

Odd things

I'm really working hard to keep updating this blog on a semi-regular basis. First, I didn't win the Millarworld contest. It really doesn't matter. My script was good and that's really all I can wish for. I'll post that story in the sample script section soon. Enjoy it when it's up. 

I saw Rogue One a few weeks ago. I'm letting it digest before I see it again. I enjoyed it the first time and have no real complaints. It was well done and kept my eight year old's interest. She wants to see it again. That's a win. 

I decided to watch the prequel trilogy with her. This was interesting. Episode 1 is not my thing. It doesn't matter how many times I watch it, I simply don't care about the movie until Darth Maul appears at the end. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed Episodes 2 and 3. Dialogue aside, I like those two movies. The opening sequence in Episode 3 gets me every time. It's a wonderful display of special effects. You really feel like flying. I may also have enjoyed them because I'm in a Star Wars obsession. I can't get enough. 

I'm going to go back to writing a script that should have been done a week ago. My pointless talking is over. It makes little sense and probably shouldn't be published on the site, but I'm going to put it out there anyway. If I don't, I'm already putting off the rambling blog. Anyone who knows me is very well aware of my incoherent thoughts. They pop in my brain all too often. Get used to it. 

Later. 

Mark Millar Had a Contest

Let's see. It's been a while since I've found the time to update this little blog. Sorry folks. The good news is that I've been very productive. The bad news, I haven't updated the blog. 

Tomorrow, Mark Millar will reveal the winners of his second annual talent hunt. I wrote a great script last year and didn't win. This is disappointing in a sense because I loved that script. That's exactly where the disappointment ended. The experience was great. I got to write a short script, which is not exactly easy. I met a deadline. That's huge. And, really, with all those entries, it's a long shot. I was happy with the script and that's all I can do. I think I was really impressed when the winning script was similar to mine. It proved to me that my idea was sound. Check it out in the sample script section of this website. 

I sit here in anticipation because I feel the same way about this script. I'm sitting here waiting for my kids to finish up dance class thinking, "Will I win?" Who knows. This story impressed me and the two or three people who read it. In essence, I'm already a winner. It would be nice to see that story make it into the annual. 

Well, the kids are about to leave their class. Hopefully, the next time I post, you will hear great news about the contest. Or you've already heard the news because you read it online. 

Till then. 

Busy, Busy, Busy

I promise I'll update the blog soon. I have so much on my mind. I've been crazy busy writing, which really isn't a bad thing. 

Consider this under construction for a little while. 

Learning Lessons

Okay. I just wrote this blog about my first script. The site crashed on me and I lost the post. I really liked that blog, and just like that, it's gone. Now, you get to read the second version of that story. 

I just received some feedback from Top Cow regarding this years talent hunt. It reminded me of the first script I ever wrote. This thing was awesome. It was a masterpiece and was my ticket to the big time. Or so I thought. 

Somehow, I managed to get this script into the hands of an editor at DC Comics. Don't ask how. Just know that it happened. You see, I had been reading comics for a long time. One day, I read a mini-series and didn't like how it was executed. I decided I could do a better job. I'm not one to talk. I simply do whatever I say. So, I sat down and wrote a script. And it was amazing. A bloody masterpiece. This thing was going to get published. 

Then, it was placed in the hands of the editor. I couldn't believe how easy it was to get this done. After some time, he sent his feedback. And, as you predicted, it was horrendous. I was devastated. My perfect story was a hunk of junk. That wasn't right. The editor had to be wrong. 

I didn't handle this critique very well. My storytelling was sound. I executed exactly what I wanted to do. The thing was, he didn't like what I was attempting to do. I get that now, but not back then. It was a tough lesson to learn. 

When you write, the people who read your writing need to give you feedback. It's tough to come by. Plenty of my friends and family read my scripts and they love everything about them. I always ask what they didn't understand or enjoy. They never seem to have anything bad to say. . 

Today, although it is tough to handle, that's the feedback I value the most. What is wrong with my story, people? Thankfully, I've grown and understand that opinions are valuable. They don't always need to be agreed with or listened to. They need to be processed and digested. From there you either take the advice or don't. It's your story and you need to make the hard calls. 

Now, the Top Cow feedback turned out to be sound. I half expected them to say what they did. I took a chance and wrote some stuff that falls outside that illustrious box. Turned out, they didn't love it. Hopefully, it's an easy fix. We will see. 

I think I'm going to put up some of my published and unpublished scripts for you to enjoy. Who knows, maybe I'll put up my first script. You can judge how bad id is for yourself. 

The first version of this story might have been better. Who knows? It got lost in the internet for all of eternity. 

Till next time I'm bored with ta laptop. 

When is it good?

I amaze myself sometimes. When I sit and write a script, everything is awesome. It's simply perfect. First draft is the only draft. 

Now, if you've ever written anything, you know that everything I just said is a load of dog poop. So, how do you know when you've done something that is really good. Truth is ... you don't. I write for myself. If I'm happy, then I have succeeded. But I'm not just satisfied with a script. Sometimes, that script I wrote is exquisite. Then the art comes in and I realize that I didn't convey the image properly leaving the artist with little to work with. One time, I called for a slave to fly a plane. You can see the panel in "Divided We Stand." When I saw the art, the slave came across as a white man. I was not happy, but it was not the artists' fault. It was mine. I was not clear. 

So, how do you know when something is really good. I had the honor of witnessing a few people read my comics in front of me. One of the most notable moments was when a friend of mine was reading the third Don and Ray book (not uploaded yet). We was sitting near him twiddling my thumbs anxiously. He gets to the moment in the book designed to get a big laugh. This guy starts pointing to the panel with a big grin on his face. He looked at me to let me know exactly how funny that particular moment was. 

Another way I can tell if something worked the way I intended is on my reading of the actually comic. It just happened. I finished uploaded "Back to Hell." This is the second Don and Ray book. When Ron and I were working on this book, I had a brilliant idea. Granted what is brilliant in the creative phase may not translate to brilliance in the actual book. I have to say, it has been years since we created this book and every time I turn the page and that one panel catches my eye, I have to smile. It's uncontrollable. That's how I know that idea worked. 

I'm not going to tell you where these specific moments are for me. You need to read and judge for yourself. Feel free to email me and let me know where you smiled. I'll tell you if you hit the right moment. Thats for the laughs. One day, I'll discuss how I know if those somber moments work in my books. 

Later. 

Everything Old ...

I have to admit, I don't get to the movies that often. Three kids will do that. This year was not different. I saw a few movies aimed at the kids and a few movies with my wife. Three stand out. Creed, Jurassic World, and Star Wars. This movies found a formula to bring people back to theaters in a big way.  That formula ... nostalgia. 

Sure, you're probably thinking, nostalgia only goes so far. The movie still needs to be good. Look, I'm not arguing with you. Simply putting out a movie based on an established property is not enough. I'm looking at you Point Break. There is a certain code that needs to be cracked in order for these movies to resonate with their target audience. If you've seen these movies, you probably know where I'm headed. 

Each one, in there own way, gave enough nods to the source material to make you take a trip back in time. When I saw Jurassic World I smiled the entire time. I literally looked at my wife and said, "I'm thirteen all over again." All I needed was a John Williams theme and a kid running to the window to look at an open park. I didn't need to see the dinosaurs. Then, I got a treat. They visited the remnants of the original park. All of a sudden you realize what they are doing. They're telling you this is the same universe. We aren't rebooting completely. Those nods became the key to the code cracking that needed to be done. Sure, Starlord helped too. 

Creed was amazing. I couldn't help but notice how they took the best parts from the original four movies and incorporate them into this "reboot." That's right ... it's a reboot. But at the same time, it's not. The pieces we loved from the originals are all right there. The material is picked front he elements that worked, and what didn't, disappeared. That's right, they didn't seem to mention anything from Rocky five or six. That or those movies are just not memorable enough for me. 

Star Wars might be the guiltiest nostalgia movie of the year. And it's setting records like crazy too. The biggest "internet" complaint is that simply retells the first movie with different characters. Isn't that what Star Wars has always done? In the end, does it really matter. All the elements you and I love were right there on the big screen. If I had to guess, I'd say you couldn't stop smiling. The nostalgia chords were strummed. 

Nostalgia is a powerful drug making these old elements a key to success. I guess we will have to sit back and see what movie tries to use this same key to success. We know they're going to come out in droves for some time. 

Time Flies

I don't really have much to say. I've been writing, which is key to getting stories done. (Insert sarcastic comment here) I'm happy with my progress and really feel that this site will bring attention to me and my stories. That's what my gut says. 

The indy comic world is interesting thing. At this point, I couldn't tell you how many complete scripts are getting art done. Some of these issues are nearly complete. Every time a new piece of art hits my feed, I smile. It's interesting. I think the best thing to go with here is patience. You, as a new writer, might not realize how long an issue can take to get done. A script, to me at least, is easy. I sit at my computer and think. Then ... poof ... the words appear and my story is done. That's just the start. From there, you send the polished piece off and it's in the artist's hand. 

I have to say, some of the artists that I'm currently working with are amazing. The things they come up with based on my words are mesmerizing. I wish I had the ability to draw what I see in my head, but, alas, I don't. Even if I did, it wouldn't be anywhere near as good as what I get to see. 

I love the collaboration of comics. It's that thing that draws me to this medium. You really don't get a whole story without the handwork of many people. As I'm currently discovering, some of these stories are going to take years to complete after the script is sent away. Others will never see the light of day. That's the joy of indy comics. It's an amazing world and I"m happy to be a part of it. 

THE SITE IS HERE

This site has been a long time in the making and it's finally here. I'm hoping to litter the space with my published work as-well-as the work that is in development throughout the world. 

This year at New York Comic Con, Ron and I decided to bring back the Don and Ray books as a weekly web series. I'm starting with the first 12 page book and, hopefully, we will continue updating on a regular basis. Now that the site is up, I better get writing. 

I want to use this space to showcase works that are in development. My plan is to show everybody concept are and sample scripts. This way you can get a look at my scripting style. I might even toss a pitch or two on the site as well. 

I hope you enjoy what you see and come back frequently to see what I have to show the world. 

Thanks for stopping by.