Work on webcomic projects ground down in April and May— besides just having a whole year at my day job, I hit the stage where I started putting the art I prepared onto pages with lettering, and once I did that, I could finally read things as a comic, and finally go, “Oh, I’m making a terrible, terrible comic that should in no way be brought into existence.” (I don’t really know how to judge anything from scripts yet).
So, that set off a few months of cutting, rejiggering, writing-from-scratch, and self-loathing, I guess. (Tried using those story circles; helped a little, actually, to spot the problems— still fell on my face on the “come up with good ideas to fix those problems” part, but). One chapter still doesn’t work at all, AT ALL…
So, it’s in a little better shape now, though still basically…troubled. Besides just the story and characters and this one chapter in the middle that I just can’t get to work, the thing that bugs me is… I don’t want to make a comic that feels like a movie, because I hate comics like that, but I’m doing a comic set an approximation of the real world, with non-fantasy characters, no narration, no sound effects, focused on talking heads spouting off incessantly, and with very few-to-none stylistic tricks to slow down the reader. How do you NOT make that feel like a shitty movie? (I started out aiming for shitty play, but…)
You could just be one of those “well, I wouldn’t make a comic about regular people— i’d make them all werewolves” people but … that’s just really not my default.
Other thing that’s jumped out is that I don’t have enough art elements— I was going to go HEAVY on clip art, but right now I’m projecting somewhere less 225 pages— 200 to 225 pages. Chapter one of the 11 chapters is done, but figure … I think I need 1-3 pages more of art for the other 10 chapters. Which is going to take me a while because that’s actually a lot for me.
What else… A lot of webcomic talk in the world the last couple weeks; that NY Times article on Waid’s thing or Ellis’s interesting thing. Ellis’s thing was decent— obviously, having made Freakangels, anything he’d say on webcomics is worth some thought. But I feel like all the talk has been premised on scrolling being somehow defective… which … I guess I just don’t understand. Seems like talk for the olds, really— some teenager on tumblr who’s scrolling constantly going to have those same problems? Doubtful. (do you like that word “olds” the kids use? I do. The one I’m not big on is “cisgender”— I learned that the other day; I ain’t using that word, the kids can have that one, but…)
Or it’s talk by people who are very oriented towards worry about printing costs on a per page basis— which I see the necessity to have those commercial considerations, but it’s also very sad because … the internet doesn’t have per-page costs. You can rethink what comics can be when you subtract those costs. Which means rethinking EVERYTHING because you no longer have to cram every inch of a page with art and text— you no longer have to have horizontal sequence then go down a row, horizontal sequence, right? The limiting step of a webcomic is time, not papyrus, right? You can rethink so much. So, the conversation is interesting, but there’s also a sadness to see conversations about how to keep working with weights tied to your legs… Which— I think the part of that Ellis article that was most interesting for me— and maybe what’s made Freakangels tough for me to get through so far, though I do want to it being one of the more successful long-form webcomics, that and, what, Dreamland Chronicles— is he sees that he can do whatever-the-fuck with pacing, with webcomics, which … at least reflects an interest in more than recreating the tedium of the print industry, a mindset that i don’t know that the examples he’s talking about, Waid, Rucka, whoever, that they reflect…
(The people I really want to know more about though are this wave of French lady webcomic-bloggers. There was a translated Margaux Motin book at the shop the other day, from Self Made Hero— not my sense of humor by the looks of things, but very figure-oriented with lots of chit-chat; kind of that Feiffer school that I like…)
So, anyways, work proceeds too slowly.