Back in the Saddle – Feminism and “Daughter of Titan”

When I reluctantly shelved my first comic project De Profundis after numerous setbacks, I felt pretty deflated. So much time, passion and effort had been invested into it that it was hard to look beyond it.

But rather than dwell on that perceived failure, I dove straight into another project; something that would allow me to explore another area I’m interested in. Otherwise I would invariably procrastinate excessively and sometimes you just have to get your head down and power through.

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The Art of Conversation, Depicting dialogue in comics.

Let’s face it, dialogue can be a pain. Too often characters are let down by poorly constructed dialogue that makes them sound forced. But in visual mediums, comics especially, even great dialogue can be let down by the presentation of the scene.

The last thing you want is a repeat of the same two panels as characters talk back and forth. No matter how good the dialogue is, the stagnant art direction will have readers skipping to the next page. And anything that causes readers to skip is a cardinal sin in writing.

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Why “Blank Page Syndrome” is so much worse for comic writers.

It’s 3am. I’m sitting looking at a blank page wondering how to start. I’m tired and frankly fed up, but I refuse myself sleep until I have solved the mystery of the opening page.

I let out a lugubrious moan going back to the screeds of notes I had hand-written, looking for inspiration to grease the wheels of creativity. Nothing. So I sit there, mired in my own sense of inadequacy while that blank page looms ever higher.

This is one of the many joys of being a comic book writer.

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Glasgow Comic-Con 2016

Upon entering the crowded exhibitors’ room of my first Comic-Con, I felt out of place. I stood awkwardly as Batman stalked past, growling at people menacingly followed by Thor and Loki arguing about some origin story. Then I bumped into Boba-Fett and I’m sure he was giving me daggers beneath that helmet.

The next hour was spent timidly looking at stalls for no more than a few seconds in case one of the indie creators would engage me in conversation. I feared that in doing so they would discover I haven’t been a fanboy all my life and drive me out, such was the community feeling around the place. But I wasn’t there for all that. Really I was there to do one thing: to look Dave Gibbons – legendary artist of one of the greatest pieces of modern literature – in the eye and tell him “Thank you”.

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Images from Words

So the first issue of “Uptown Chronicles” has been met with success. Hopefully as the months go by more people will enjoy it and a fan-base will develop. But in the meantime I wanted to show the evolution of the art that takes place once the script has been finished.

The importance of the script cannot be underestimated and there will be plenty of posts that will focus on my script-writing process (and scripts in general) at a later date, but for now I merely want to bask in the amazing feeling that comes from the artistic process. The feeling that accompanies watching words – which at their most fundamental are nothing more than individual shapes that we as humans place next to each other to convey meaning – manifest into visual scenes of sequential art is truly amazing.

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Choosing an Artist

So after a long and deliberate process I am very happy to announce the artist who will be working on the art of De Profundis (even if it is only a few pages to add to the pitch, which I’ll talk about at a later date).

But I’m very pleased to be working with the immensely talented Craig Howes. I’ll be posting some of his art at a later date as well.

But for now I wanted to share the process that led me to choose Craig and hopefully aspiring comic writers and artists alike will learn something from this entry.

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