Filing Cabinet of the Damned

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Venturing Beyond the Land of Snark

In the spirit of fairness, I’ve been working on a comic of my own for next year’s SPX. After all, a critic who hides from criticism himself is a low, low creature. Plus I have an overly high opinion of my own talent, and I need a bracing dose of reality.

My plan is to create a book that would appeal to an average reader, someone unacquainted with comics. Among my family and friends, there is only one person who gives a rat’s ass about the medium, and I don’t see him often.

My goal: to create a comic that my wife will actually read and enjoy, not stare at it for a while and say “oh, that’s nice, honey.”

This will be tough.

Right now, I’m writing an anthology of short stories that try to exploit the strengths of the medium. My scripts thus far use big visuals in a few places, exploit comics’ unique ability to describe the passage of time, and play with the interaction between the words printed on the page and the images around them.

Hopefully they’re good stories as well, though that may be too much to ask. Gyaaah.

My two rules thus far: no parodies and no stories that would be better served by another medium. If it would be better as a prose story, chuck it. If it reads like television on a page, chuck it.

Twenty bucks and a box of donuts says the book will be soul-crushingly mediocre. But dammit, I have to try. It may be hackwork, but it’ll be my hackwork.

By revealing this plan on my weblog, I’m hoping to force my lazy ass to actually do this thing. We’ll see how that goes. A chorus of “hey, how’s the comic coming” might cause me to finish the task, if only out of embarrassment.

I tell ya, if it were possible to bottle my laziness, dilute it to one part per million, and spray it from cropdusters over the Washington metropolitan area, the entire region would collapse in a heap of sloth.

What will probably see me through is that writing this crap is a whole lot of fun. “Monkeys...I love monkeys. Monkey pirates? No, no... Monkey ninjas? Ah ha! A monkey ninja musical about Prussia? Brilliant! This writes itself!”