Dream to Hero? (vidHero)

quick question for anyone: has there ever been a hero who only manifested his alterego when dreaming?

Marvel/Miracle Man was reinvented into something that swapped dimensions with its alterego, and that other dimension was a sort of permanent dream state. Etrigan the Demon takes over Jason Blood… but I can’t remember if sleep is involved. Dani “Mirage” Moonstar could manifest illusions of people’s fears or wishes. and of course there’s Shazam, Sasquatch (alpha flight), the hulk, etc. plenty of heroes who seem to get knocked out, then pop back up as somehting more powerful. just now sure “getting knocked out” has ever been a requirement…

Feels like there must have been a dreaming hero somewhere in the DC or Marvel pantheon, i just can’t remember them right now. Help!
Continue reading “Dream to Hero? (vidHero)”

eReaders and digital books – doomed?

Has anyone seen any good examples of digital comic books? (on eReaders or otherwise) If so, please comment.

I’ve come to think of comic books as my pulpy guilty pleasure. but I can’t stand them in any digital form I’ve seen. Whenever the-inevitable-transition-to-eBooks comes up, i think about comics. I’m sure I’ll enjoy fine literature in an eReader (potentially much easier to look up words, or references, influences, other people’s insights, etc.). But I think this is because some part of me treats reading “great literature” as a form of work. I can’t deny that eReaders offer many advantages as a tool for exploring great literature.
Continue reading “eReaders and digital books – doomed?”

Kris Straub – Jacked by One-Note Plagiarists?

I’ve been following Doctor Straub for some time now, because he’s just damned funny. And internet famous (like small indie bands of yore? It still feels exciting to be fan of his, because he deserves more fame than he has?). So I was disturbed to read that he suffers from little plagiarism indiscretions (if not monetarily, then intellectually). (edit: er. or maybe he just sees friends suffering from it, and it makes him think about it)
Continue reading “Kris Straub – Jacked by One-Note Plagiarists?”

review: Kick Ass – a comic book you should go buy right now

Hey there fellow crits,

I just read through the first few issues of “Kick Ass” and was totally blown away. I cannot recommend this comic book highly enough. go buy it right now.

– Written by Mark Millar, who is supposedly well known (meh?). I don’t know the guy’s work, but the dialogue, situations, humor, and pacing all remind me heavily of the old Preacher comics (which is high praise). It’s like something garth ennis would write if he could drop the scotchirish obsession, and focus in on modern teen drama. The first issue perfectly sets up the dream (for a modern person, based in our reality, to decide to put on a costume and try to fight crime. Just because it sounds bad ass). In the first couple pages it shows you why you wouldn’t want to do this with two loveably gross examples, then it settles back into establishing the character. It’s possible i’m too easy, and these examples are a little too pop culture (the “that’s not me” trick seems a lot like something out of Powers. The “this is me. suffering… but i’m getting ahead of myself” trick feels like KissKissBangBang, or FightClub.). mayyyybe. But even if the snooty connoisueueueurr wants to call the writer out on these story telling tricks, they efficiently serve to ground the comic in a certain style. that i happen to adore.
I’m digging the writing mostly because: having read 4 issues, it occurs to me that i’ve really just spent a lot of time watching a kid have some teen problems. But i didn’t notice this while reading. nor was i bored. because the ultraviolence that punctuated each issue was so plausible. And i didn’t have to read a lot of text to feel like i’d spent a lot of time with the characters. And because it felt like a great indie movie, except with characters who really stood out from the cliches i’m used to.

– Drawn by the legendary John Romita Jr. Need i say more? he’s a personal hero (drew a lot of the x-men comics that hooked me hard as a kid). And it’s heart warming to see just how polished and amazing his style has become. I read some spider man comics a couple years back, thinking initially “aw shucks this guy is still working?” but was ultimately left thinking “Holy shit, this guy has become better than any other artist i’ve seen in years. wow.” and that spiderman run was mostly just people sitting around talking and having dramazzzz.

– Kick Ass is also mostly about small time reality probs in high school. drama (a four letter word for me. it sounds like the name of a drug when i read it).

But it’s paced punchy, and littered with pop culture (youtube, new york’s gay prostitutes, blah blah). And then each issue squirts in an excessive amount of blood and gore, for loveable shock value. I love how RomitaJr draws blood thick, like play-doh. I love how an eight year old girl can show up and be disturbingly dangerous (delivering some grotesque violence while calling her victims cunts).

it’s just very alive.

In many ways, it’s everything i want to be doing with storytelling. so i’m very excited.
(and terrified about all the ways i’ll need to change the direction of my own comic, and step up my game, so I won’t be seen as a bad rip off).

hmm. anywho. Apparantly it’s very indie, despite some of the big names involved. And supposedly a movie deal has been signed? fuck. (the whole thing overwhelms me with envy. It’s a triumph. right down to the excellent name).

So i hope you’ll support it, either for the “support indie” angle, or for the “get in on this hip shit before everyone else” angle.

more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kick-Ass

hmmm. where is the track

Soooo. what did i do today? um. bought some comics. picked up some cash to hold me over until my new check card arrives (i cancelled my current card during PAX, when i thought i’d lost my wallet). spent all this cash on groceries. cleaned up parts of the kitchen. i’d swear i did some actual work work in the morning, but can’t remember for the life of me.

in the afternoon, just before bundling up our comcast modem and taking over to a friend’s house (since he moved out last week and needed the modem to setup his new internets), i blew a bunch of time reformatting my initial storyboards into a word doc that could be edited by my employers. looks great in open office, so i hope they can actually edit it in the word97 export. hmm.

just now i spent a couple hours sorting a big backlog of emails that have been hovering for months. (reducing my hotmail inbox from 190 to 30).

it seems like there is much to do. but I’ve only just come out of the haze of last week’s insanity, and haven’t regained the trains of thought that were piled up before.

occurs to me i need to refine at least 5 story boards, which were basically sloppy stick figures. shouldn’t wait for the employers to call me on them. hmm. but i’ve been kind of mystified by their lack of communication so far. hmm.

also need to work on the “fun funeral” flash game, so i’ll have something to show at the next meeting. came up with an idea on how to circumvent the over-long intro animation (for now). hmm.

but really, i feel like i should be working on vidHero #2. because i’d planned to have it finished by september, and here we are. EEK. i keep thinking about it. at least 3 different times during every day, for a week or three now. many strange conflicting thoughts about goals (dumbed down. action packed. reinventing the flashback. obsessively true to downtown portland building layouts), and arbitrary rules (beginning and ending each flashback with words that cover the transition. handling each moment of violence with at least 3 buildup and 2 aftermath frames, to improve the pacing/reader-thrill. working in more bullet holes that show last and next page artwork).

and part of me recalls jotting down many different specific notes in text files and on artwork and binder paper, while i was cranking out the first issue. i’m kind of dreading the process of digging all of these up and seeing how they all work together (or conflict). In general, the whole idea was just to make the second issue tell the story of a climactic violent fight, and fuck around with flashbacks to work in more “boring/funny” scenes that i cut from the first issue. It doesnt’ do much to sum up my thoughts on joey shoemocker though. which became the point. at some point. hmm.

anywho. that is where i am today. just thought i should post for posterity.

PDX Zine Fest : Happening Now!

Sorry for late notice.

I will be at the PDX Zine Symposium today and tomorrow, running a table for SolidFuelStudios. I’ll be selling the brand-new first issue of VidHero, VidHero t-shirts, and left-field mini comic about dreams (“Chimera Chic”). If you’re in the Portland area and would like to stop by, check here for more info: http://www.pdxzines.com/

I’m kicking myself for not budgeting prep time to get the websites updated. kick ick. erk.

More later! Soon even!

May I Bleed to Death Beneath the Burnside Bridge

Page 20 bummersthat headline was another alternate title for issue two (been fiddling around with various goofy/bad phrases).

in related news, Issue one is officially done. sent it off to 2 pals for thoughts. will print out on my crappy printer for other friends to review/comment on.

But really, i think it’s close enough. Only planning to entertain advice about glaring typos. All other feedback can be applied to issue2, cuz this bitch is cooked.

Next up is the cover (color! eek!), and then prepping extraneous pages to flesh out the print run (letters, copyrights, sketchbook, previews, etc.).

So I want to be excited! but instead i’m kind of exhausted and defeated by the process. woof. more later.

mmmm hmmm.

well, two good friends have commented on the “final” revision of issue one.

a little disconcerting that it appears the issue “works much better” now. but is also totally derailed from what jonason was thinking of when initially helping me write the script. it’s no longer about two movie geeks going to the movies. now much more of a rumination on Joel Schumacher and his movies (to a fault? is it too much Schumacher for any audience to enjoy? or not enough? wha?) and it’s pretty dense with text again.

i’m a little bummed at the moment, as I’d hoped to put it to bed happy. so i’m thinking i’ll go back and try to work in more of jonason’s dialogue where/if i can, to preserve some of the character. not sure if this is possible but will try. and then i’ll put it to bed angry. Hope it works despite the total change of tone.

It’s like turning Clerks into Daredevil. Kinda worried that it’s just massaging the worst of both genre’s (failures?) and not nearly daring enough.

Hoping strangers will be able to pick it up and enjoy it. that is the only remaining goal. urgh. And vaguely praying that it will indeed get better in the remaining two issues. and that Jonason won’t just jump ship completely because it ain’t his style of story anymore. eek. urgh. sleep. work.