Change of Tact

Caught a fantastic two part documentary last week and last night on ABC1 called ‘Comic Book Heroes’ following how Gestalt Comics have risen as a publisher of comics and graphic novels in Australia. If you haven’t seen it, it is available on the ABC iView for a short while. Having met some of the guys very briefly whilst working at OZ Comic-Con, I was keen to watch it to see how they have risen in the industry. It was quite a hard slog for them, particularly attempting to break into the American market using San Diego Comic-Con as the launch pad. Whilst watching the second part that aired last night, it got me thinking about my superhero based novel ‘Reign of the Super-men’ (working title only) and reworking that into a monthly comic.  I do love my comics, mainly the superhero genre including the X-Men, Spider-Man etc. The novel is taking the team approach but grounding it a lot more to reality, with some smaller fantastical elements appearing. It has been partially inspired by the approach the TV series ‘Heroes‘ had with it’s characters and story lines, plus the concept of no tights.

As the novel stands, it’s only around the half way point, with twenty six-ish chapters written, which is easily just over 2 years worth of issues. Being the first volume in a proposed trilogy, it is laying a lot of ground work for the characters, settings and relationships with the characters. I might give the first few chapters a try at converting from prose to a comic script, using the Gestalt guidelines as shown on their website.

It certainly is a new area to try. To attempt this it will be a case of finalising the cast of characters and plotting out the rest of the story. As this was originally written in the ‘Panster’ style for NaNoWriMo, I will need to do a major reread of each chapter and marking out the major arcs for each character. At last count, I had a fairly sizeable cast of 15 or more.

Thankfully, Scrivener has a template for script writing, including one for comics, which I can use to start the process with. Developing the first few chapters to fit this format would be a great way to sell the concept, even if it goes mean moving a few chapters around to introduce characters earlier. Each chapter of the novel follows one character, with the appearance of others happening as well. The antagonist and protagonist are introduced in the opening chapter, although at the time we don’t know this. The characters come from all walks of life, ranging from the military, a samurai, a war photographer, another being a descendent of the 1972 Munich Massacre.

This is something that I will make a start on in the coming days, with hopefully a submission sent soon to Gestalt.  If nothing happens with it, I will see it as a new learning curve for me in approaching another way to write.

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Exhibition Launch

There is something about seeing your own work that inspires other artists out there. As part of the Riverland Creative Writing Group we decided to put on a small exhibition as part of the SALA Festival. The theme chosen was Secrets in the Open and we had 3 weeks to write up to 3 pieces of a maximum length of 800 words. Mine was about 600 odd, quite possibly the shortest piece I have ever written. I was very unsure how it would go to begin with but ended up with a small piece entitled ‘The Door’ that I was very happy with.

One night of the Writing Group, I read the piece out, picking up on a few minor errors, but it was very well received. That was the Wednesday before the piece had to be submitted. That week, the pieces were submitted and then a local visual artist was paired up with a story.  We had no idea who the artist was going to be at all.

It wasn’t until today that we got to see them at the launch of the Exhibition at the Renmark Paringa Council chambers in Renmark. It was a small gathering to see the works on display at last. When I saw my piece I was very excited to see how they had responded to it. It came out a bit darker than I was aiming for, but the more I look at the story the more it fits. It was meant more with a slight fantasy edge, but I can see how the artist has gone with it. I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

 

The Door

The Door artwork by Nic Tubb.

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Only the Perfume Remains by Debbie Dionne, artwork by Charmaine Quinn.

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The Veggie Patch by Jenny Semler, sculpture by Tim Baulderstone.

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The Heart of the Rose by Jenny Semmler, artwork by Suzanne Macpherson (Zuska).

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Forgery, Ponies and Photos by Shelly Green, artwork by  Esther Vanderveen.

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The Lamp Lighter by Grizz Ball, artwork by Taylor Schramm.

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Secrets in the Open by Jenny Semmler, artwork by Terry Marter.

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Six Days by Karl Raams, artwork by Lorraine Marter.

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Nic on the left and myself on the right.

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The Writing Group and Artists that attended the event.

Thanks to Alysha for spearheading this initiative and everyone who took part.