Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Scariest Thing in the World

It's the day before Halloween, so it's only fitting that I write about what I consider to be the Scariest Thing in the World. And I bet there's a fair number of writers out there that would agree with me. What could strike terror into the hearts of so many? Have a look:

The blank page.

Every story is born from this blank page, and yet it's always terrifying. As a reader, I've always preferred ongoing, serialized stories (i.e., TV shows) to finite stories (i.e., movies). I like getting to know a set of characters over a long period of time, and seeing something that happens in episode 2 have a consequence that isn't felt until episode 32.

So I suppose it's no surprise that the majority of what I write tends to be ongoing in nature. Most of my comic books have been ongoing series. Therefore, you're only really dealing with a blank page in the first issue. Each issue after that tends to spring from the one before it, so the fear of the blank page is abated. But now that Noble Causes is wrapping up, I'm at the point where I'm soon going to be faced with that blank page at the start of the new series that artist Yildiray Cinar and I are developing to take NC's place. I've already got a title (I find it hard to begin a story without having a title in place), and a premise, and some notes for the series. But I don't know exactly how that first issue will take shape.

Meanwhile, since I'm caught up on all my pressing comic book deadlines, I'm using this time to write my first feature spec script. I've got a handful of TV specs lying around from a few years ago, but this is my first crack at a feature, and the blank page has never been scarier. What's so scary (okay, "scary" is too strong a word -- it's really just frustrating) is how slow-going the process is at the beginning. I know what the general concept of the feature is, and I know the two main characters and I know their dynamic, but hammering out the actual sequence of events is a painstakingly slow process. It's a mystery story, so I'm basically having to plot from two different POVs -- one from the protagonists' and one from the antagonists'. So for the past week I've been sitting at my desk each and every day, and at the end of the day I may have a few sentences to show for my time. Make no mistake -- those few sentences often speak volumes, and deep down, I know this. I know that this is all part of the process, and each day I'm getting closer and closer to having the entire mystery (and therefore, story) figured out. And once that's figured out, the actual scripting is a breeze. But the Blank Page will always be my personal Boogey Man.

I wonder how you'd go about making a Blank Page Halloween costume...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday Previews

Here's a couple pages from Dynamo 5 #18, on sale Nov. 12th, drawn by Marcio Takara and colored by Ron Riley.

Also on sale Nov. 12th is the long-awaited Gemini #3, drawn by Jon Sommariva and colored by Fco Plascencia.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday Previews

This week I'm spotlighting some upcoming Dynamo 5 covers. Here's the cover to our special 99-cent #0 issue, which comes out in January. It's got a 10-page all-new story, followed by a 2-page text piece that gives a comprehensive recap of the entire series. Perfect for new readers!

Then in February is issue #20, our Valentine's Day issue. We're introducing a squabbling super-villain couple, War Chest and Strong-Suit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Previews

Most of the artists I work with ink themselves, so I don't usually see traditional pencils from them. Instead, they sometimes send over very rough pencils before going straight to inks. These rough pencils are great to look at because of the life and energy they have. Here are two pages of roughs from Jon Sommariva, from Gemini #3.

And here are two pages of roughs from Noble Causes #38, by Yildiray Cinar. Yildiray has a real love of sound effects, so in order to get the exact look he's going for, he's started drawing them in himself, rather than have them done later by our letterer.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

On Sale 10/15

Dynamo 5 #17 is on sale this week, and you can read an exclusive 5-page preview at Comic Book Resources right here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wednesday Previews

Clearly, I need to start updating this thing more than once a week. But it's Wednesday, so that means it's time for more previews. This time out, I'm gonna tease some upcoming projects.

First up are two pages from Undying Love, a mini-series that former Noble Causes artist Fran Bueno and I are working on. It looks like this one's going to be published first in a country other than the USA, which is a first for me. I'll give more details about it when I can. Fran is drawing and coloring this one himself, and it looks fantastic.

Next up is a currently-untitled crime story drawn by Koray Kuranel. Koray's based in Turkey, and is friends with current Noble Causes artist Yildiray Cinar, who introduced us. We're still in the pitch phase of this project, but those are some damned fine pencils, eh?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wednesday Previews

Let's pretend I posted this yesterday, okay? Gemini #3 is at Image and will be delivered to the printer in a matter of days, and Jon Sommariva is hard at work on issue #4. Here's a look at one of his pages from issue #4, which guest stars Dynamo 5!

And speaking of Dynamo 5, issue #17 should be in stores next week, on Oct. 8th. Here's another sneak peek at that issue.

And lastly, we've got a page from Noble Causes #38, which throws the spotlight on Rusty.