Sunday, January 18, 2009

The difficulty of being original

This thing that I've working on. The project that's been floating round in the head in one shape or form since the mid nineties.

For the longest of times in was called Zaibatsu. But that really didn't click for me. Then it was Gods and Monsters. But there is a film with the same name. Recently I decided to call it The Shadow Of The Beast Chronicles. But after a looooong conversation last night with an wise artist friend of mine I decided it not worth my time incurring the wrath of Psygnosis/Reflections/Sonys legal department who could quite happily afford to buy my dead body 10 times whiles i'm still alive! So, I've actually had to sit back and think of something that speaks about the tale I'll be spinning. About the themes I'll playing with. It's almost as hard as writing the bloody story! It's so easy to lapse into cliché and avoid the pain of being original. Still. Originality has something going for it. A sense of danger and empowerment.

The search and the work, as always continues.

Edited to include: Sometimes its best to go with name of your protagonist. Which was the name I dismissed very early on as being "not iconic enough". Dumb.

Friday, January 02, 2009

End of year review: 2008 was the year that....

2008 was the year that I finally got over my hang ups and committed myself mind, body and soul to creating that which has given so much joy and inspiration throughout my life: a comic. Though it was ropey and badly drawing in places, it was a firm start.

A thing that existed in my head now existed on paper. A physical thing that other people could see and hold in their hands and criticise. This was the single most empowering thing that I've ever done in my life.

Much more next year.

2008 was the year that I could actually see improvement in my work. I could see who far I had come from that day waaaaaay back in summer 2002 at Warren Ellis signing at Forbidden Planet when I decided to start drawing again. It been a long long road., there are still miles to go.

2008 was the year that I accepted that it okay to draw completely differently to everyone else. That you don't have to conform to a certain art style. That as long as you have a firm understanding of the foundations, your work can be as unique and iconoclastic as you wish.

2008 was the year the Ashley Wood, Sean Phillips, Jae Lee, D'israeli, Alison Bechdel and Nihei Tsutomu had their hands firmly in my pocket. I think I've got more manga by Nihei Tsutomu than anyone else in the UK!!

2008 was the year I discovered Milton Caniff, Sergio Toppi amongst many, many others.

2008 was the year that I read my first Stephen King book and cursed myself for not have read any of his work before.

2008 was the year I realised that good art takes time. That something the process of discarding a finished drawing that doesn't work, although it looks nice and you like it get you closer to something that does work.

2008 was the year that I took my writing as seriously as my art.

2008 was the year I finally came out of the closet as a trekkie:)

2008 was the year that I was more strapped for cash than any other year previously: I REALLY, REALLY didn't like that.

2008 was the year that I saw the would change and history happen before my very eyes.

2008 was the year that I stopped attending comic conventions. No more conventions until I've got shit to show.

And that's that.

Good luck to us all in 2009. We're all going to need it.