Sunday, May 31, 2009
Hey all! I just wanted to give you guys a quick update. Sorry I haven't been blog crazy lately. Wedding planning and various other family obligations have demanded a good deal of my time as of late. However, I can announce that there's going to be an exciting new feature on Surfing the Bleed coming up very soon, so everybody keep your eyes peeled! I'd also like to announce that I am now a first page Google search result thanks to this blog, so everybody keep reading! This Summer is going to be huge for comics and huge for us here at Surfing the Bleed as well. Keep the faith true believers!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The image you see before you is the cover of Excalibur #1, the first comic book I ever owned. I remember very little about the story, even less about the art. What I do remember is the feeling of being blown away at the introduction of this artform to my life.
I remember the day as vividly as I remember the first time I kissed a girl, the first time I made love, the first time I saw the New York City skyline or the first time I saw my father cry. My class (and the one above me) was on a field trip to Nashville to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus. I can remember being only mildly excited about seeing the circus but I was excited about spending some time out of school with my newest best friend, Jeff Brink.
Jeff was fantastic. He liked GI Joes, he had every great Nintendo game, he had cool older brothers, and his mom kept great snacks. Hanging out at the Brink house was always a blast. There was one thing, however, that Jeff was really into that I remained completely ignorant of: comic books. That all changed the day we went to the circus.
I can remember being inside the auditorium, surrounded on all sides by kids from other Middle Tennessee schools, just glad to be out of that stuffy, crowded school bus for a while. We were all sitting there, squirming and squealing and joking as kids are want to do, when they sent around a group of clowns (I think) to hand out orange drink, Jungle Juice, animal crackers and a stack of free comic books. Jeff was understandably excited and that excitement was contagious. He quickly took stock of the books they had handed us, deciding what had merit and what was worth ignoring. From my stack he pulled out Exalibur #1, informing me that it was an off-shoot of the X-Men books and therefore was cool. He didn't have such nice things to say about the Richie Rich book that accompanied it (I read it anyway).
The circus was unremarkable. Jeff and I spent the majority of it talking about comic books. He caught me up on what the X-Men were, what was going on in their world, and what I could expect from this Excalibur comic I was holding in my hands. The end of the circus couldn't come soon enough. I wanted to be a part of this wild world of brightly colored superheroes and hamfisted heroics.
I spent the whole bus ride back reading, both Excalibur and Richie Rich, loving every single panel, every single balloon, every single caption. When I was done with the books, Jeff continued my comic book education. It was an education that would continue throughout the course of our relationship. Pretty soon I was an X-Men expert, I knew there was more to Batman than Adam West, and I was shopping the wall of Mark's Cards & Comics (the local shop) with the longboxes, not the baseball cards. My love of comics was strong.
Jeff and I eventually drifted apart. We were at a tiny private Catholic school in my hometown which, for personal reasons, my parents pulled me out of after the fifth grade. Even at that age I had a problem with burning bridges even if they didn't need to be burned. Anyway, we lost touch, and with the loss of that friendship I lost some of my interest in comics for a while. It took Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis and Mark Waid to bring me back in.
But that's a story for another time.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
I mentioned here last week that I'd finished an 8-page Batman story for my portfolio. I've found an artist willing to pencil it so we're moving forward with that. Pretty soon I'll have two examples of my scripting complete with images and colors to add to my portfolio. Get excited!
Monday, May 4, 2009
I completed an 8-page Batman story last night. It's the first time I've ever tried to script Batman and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I'm also pleased with the fact that I took what was originally seventeen pages and narrowed it down to eight. The ability to tell a rich and engaging story in as few pages as possible is an important skill for someone trying to break in. Often times you'll get started out on anthology books, writing eight page stories about certain characters. At NYCC I was told by more than one editor that, when perusing your portfolio, editors love to see eight pagers in your file because it proves you can tell a story in the least amount of space possible. It proves that you know how to self-edit, how to cut the unnecessary fat away from your story. Now I just have to find someone to illustrate this thing. Any takers?