Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Geek Alert



Long before the label somehow became "cool," I was a self-professed Geek.

I was into anything science fiction, anything super-hero related and for the first time I will admit in the darkest corner of my home office closet you will probably find a 20-sided die. Yes, I was a chaotic-lawful Paladin with a +5 shield and an impressive amount of hit points.

I say this like it is a shocker, but most of you who know me are thinking, "No shit. You're a geek. It's written across your entire genetic code."

But at least I was a well rounded geek. I had my gnome like friends who shunned sunlight, I had my borderline psychotic friends who played nothing but war games and built concentration camps for gypsy moth catepillars and I had my athletic friends who I played soccer, basketball and stickball with. I was the only geek that knew Cyclops' real name was Scott Summers AND could throw a curve ball. My Six Million Dollar Man poster was right next to my Thurman Munsen poster.

But I don't mean to sound like I am defending myself. I wave my Geek Flag high, especially since those bullies from school don't know where I live and it suddenly became hip to be a Geek. Plus, I actually got a girl to marry me, let alone let me touch her boobies.

Everyone has a dream - some kids want to walk on the moon, some want to play for the Yankees, some just want pubes - but every kid has a dream. I am 34 and one of mine is about to come true.

My friend Marc and I have written a comic book that will actually be published and available on newsstands, Amazon etc. It is called "Monster Isle" and it is a wise-ass, hopefully funny look at what life is really like on a South Pacific island inhabited by giant lobster creatures and 500 foot long killer worms.

For those not interested in the process, I probably lost you when I mentioned the 20-sided die, but for those with any interest, I thought I would tell you a little bit about producing a comic book.

First off, if you are like me and Marc, you completely under estimated the amount of work and sense of the craft needed to write one. Marc and I have written several screenplays so we naturally thought, "We've written 120 pages of dialogue, comic characters talk in little bubbles. How hard can this be?" How hard, very?

Forgive me for forgetting which famous writer said this, and forgive me again for butchering the quote, but here it goes...

"Dear Friend, I apologize for writing such a lengthy letter. I did not have time to write a shorter one."

That, to me, sums up comic book writing perfectly. It doesn't just mean you are writing less, it means you have less room for error. Every word in every short sentence in every tiny bubble has to contain information, charactoer reveals and propell the story forward. That my friend, is a craft.

Plus, in screenplays you deliberatly give no direction. A director wants to direct, not be told how to direct by a screenwriter. A good screenplay makes almost no mention of the camera or specific shots anywhere.

In a comic script however, you are simultaneously the writer and a story board artist. You have to describe every frame, every action, every page layout - unless you work in a big factory and already all speak the same shorthand. We created a very detailed guide, while leaving ourselves open to any input the eventual artist would have.

Luckily the script was received extremely well by the publisher/editor and required zero rewrites - which is amazing,

Through mutual friends, contacts and industry folk, we came across the artwork of Robert Atkins - an extremely talented artist who, for some unknow reason, is not as big as he should be.

The last few weeks have been really exciting. Robert has been doing character sketches based on our script. It has been really amazing to see people and creatures Marc and I made up out of thin air come to life. To those more experienced you may find that reaction and sense of wonder naive - and you know what? Fuck you - it's pretty fucking cool whether you are Adam No Name Freeman or George God Damned Lucas.



So, inbetween my usual obnoxious ramblings I will keep updating the progress of Monster Isle for those interested.

And for those fellow Geeks out there waiting for one of their dreams to come true - don't worry, those pubes are due any day now.

1 comment:

Aunt Elise said...

Congratulations to you and Marc! I looking forward to framing my signed copy of your first comicbook! Very exciting! Glad to see your talents are being recognized! I was wondering .... do you still have your Star War sheets and pillowcases and your Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker figurines you had on top of your wedding cake? Love, Aunt Elise