Oh, look there. A new template, and it appears that I’m still inordinately fascinated with #ffffff, #000000, and #990000. I’m sure you will all cope, especially since most of you have fucked off to RSS readers by this point. Anyway, I’m going to masturbate about process and whine for a bit so if you want to skip this one and wait for the next Design Fetish post or whatever, I completely understand.
Explanation 01 For The Paucity Of Content
As I said a while back (and in the header graphic that was replaced by giant letters that can be read by even the most Precambrien of slugs,) I’ve been much more interested in creating content than talking about other people’s work. Plenty of people do that just fine, even if I wish that Tucker Stone would stick to being a dick about d-grade superhero comics on video and devote his writing hours to something more interesting to me. Don’t get me wrong — nobody savages shitty comics better than he does — but there’s a practically reptilian, savage intelligence in there that should be unleashed in a manner more creative than telling the audience “No, really, Gotham City Sirens belongs under the outhouse from Slumdog Millionaire.” If they couldn’t work that out themselves, then they deserve the fate they’ve chosen. (That said, the TV writing on Factual Opinion is sublime, even for series I don’t watch. Perhaps it’s the air of collaboration with other people good at stringing words together that helps that kneejerk cockbag response to the downward spiral that is The Simpsons or whatever go down better.)
(In other words: Tucker, find an artist, make comics. I’ll host them or help you host them or whatever.)
While I’m only writing three web comics right now (two of which are weekly,) there’s some other things sitting on the back burner that are slowly being brought to temperature. The Loneliest Astronauts, truthfully, requires only a bit of work from me — write something that Ming can draw awesomely, ruin it with words. (If only that were the truth and just not me using “truthfully” to sound like it’s really easy to come up with something that best takes advantage of Ming’s work. She works best with bigger panels, and writing one-or-two panel gags is actually more difficult for me. This week’s strip and next week’s are examples of me trying to work a bit more within her style instead of forcing my “No, seriously, can I just have people chat their heads off for forty-five panels” idiocy onto her storytelling.)
She Died In Terrebonne is the most difficult of my strips to write, but it’s also the one that makes me feel closest to writing, if that makes sense. I don’t have the time and space for cheap jokes, so I have to boil everything down into the dose. While it looks like we’ve got a lot of room each week, you try packing a satisfying chunk into eight or nine panels that’ll have people wanting to come back next week. So far, I’ve been stunned by how popular the strip has been. It started off as an experiment in serialized storytelling for myself and an artist who happened to make the tragic mistake of wanting to work with me: I had a rough idea of the plot, of the beats I wanted to hit, but hadn’t settled into who/what/when/why/how when I started writing it. I was happily trucking along that way until last week, when someone asked for a print proposal and I had to actually lay out who the killer was, so now it’s entering its second phase, I suppose, just in time for Act 1 to wrap up in a couple of weeks.
Then there’s that old standby, The Rack. I have the most difficulty writing nerd-punchline gag strips for it, frankly, and most enjoy doing the longer-form work that lets me and Birdie tell stories about people doing things. The shorthand explanation I’ve been giving lately when people ask me what the strip is about is that it’s “WKRP in a comics shop;” the comics are a part of the setting and yes, there are gags around them, but I’m much more interested in writing about people than about things that happen in publishing offices in New York City. (The short version is that I’m glad that Let’s Be Friends Again exists so we can be the PvP to its Penny Arcade.)
There’s other things that I’m working on. As a teaser, I’ll say Max Riffner and I have been dancing around a thing ever since Lydia wrapped up, each of us waiting for the other to make the first move that codifies it and brings the hammer of the fiction gods down upon us. It’s different, bigger, and more ambitious than anything either of us have done before, but already there’s a spark that we’re hovering over, cupping our hands around and fanning from time to time.
So, yes, the fact that I spend a lot of time writing is why I don’t write so much here anymore. Writing is a big chunk of what I do for real-world money too, so when I do sit down at a keyboard and open up WriteRoom for myself, I want it to be something I created, not something that was a reaction.
Explanation 02 For The Paucity Of Content
I hate you all.