Friday, October 25, 2013

Dinosaurs Running Amok

I've had a bunch of these pics adding up, and figured I'd post 'em.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Narrative and Character Development > behind the Temptation of Howard Bolam pt. 2

The Temptation of Howard Bolam was an interesting moment in the story to intentionally set our two protagonists against each other for a moment to explore how far they've developed since the beginning of their tale
Compare the rough pages with the finished pages at this link.
Casey is willing to stand up for his beliefs.
Of course we can remember Casey Miller being the timid, self-conscious scientist who was too conservative to let his imagination provide inspiration or motivation. Yet, when faced with higher stakes, for love, career and even for his life, he's had opportunities to confront his inhibitions and tackle obstacles head-on.

In the second half of this scene, he swallows his fear and jumps at the chance to not only stand up to Howard but also to the hulking Turk (who apparently has been hired as a security escort for the Sadducees).

And at the same time, Howard Bolam doesn't appear to have learned anything, he remains willing to sacrifice what he knows to be "the Christian thing to do," for personal gain and advantage. We know that this brings him shame and discomfort, but he's never felt that shame so much that he's ever resolved to discontinue taking advantages when they present themselves. 

There's an inner fury Casey releases, which continues to overcome unsuspecting antagonists.
I felt an extended action sequence to be overscored by the narrative exposition might be a balanced and enjoyable way to tell this part of the story. I probably should have used this method earlier and much more often! A lesson learned.

One of the initial mysteries I set up at the beginning of the story was, "Who was in the tomb beneath the church at Gobekli Tepe," if you can recall (here's some help, if you can't). While I was editing/rewriting the third act before publishing the pages, I realized I hadn't really answered that question, though I had fully intended to.

In any case, this answer was shoehorned back into the story, and probably isn't as rewarding a payoff as I had hoped. BUT it does satisfy some of the mythology I constructed in Lazarus's life story - - that one of his sisters, either Martha or Mary, had continued to spread the word of Christ and opened "ministries" outside of the Roman Empire to build the church.

And as the archaeological intepretation allows, great monuments and churches were built on top of the tombs of some of the most reverant leaders of the first church (like Lazarus's tomb beneath the chuch in Lanarka).

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Friday, October 4, 2013

It's all Fiction, but it Comes From Somewhere Real

Not so long, long ago in and not nearly as far as a galaxy far, far away:

Two summers ago my former place of employment rellocated to new office space and I no longer had to commute through King St. to get to work. It was a breakwater moment for the King St. Capers - -

It felt weird not seeing Mr. Minestrone every day, not seeing Beard-o, not seeing his Tim-Hortons-toting companion with the concert t-shirt and side-stepping all the cigarette butts laying all over the sidewalk. But, the new officespace was really great and most attractive were the big scenic windows at my workstation.

The sun pored through the glass warming everyone and everything. It was brilliant, in both the colloquial and literal sense of the word. And as much as the old characters I used to spot / detest every day on my way to work were in my past (though still only a few blocks away) I was unprepared for the new cast of characters that I'd be able to see, not only on my daily commute, but through the window while I was working. 

Crackhead is one of the guys.  

More after the break - - 

You can see I drew the crackhead-behind-the-tree element separate and then layered it in to the final product. I drew a second Crackhead to include in other iterations of the strip. Ultimately, I think the quality / fidelity of the final image suffered for it. It came out blurry and garbled. A lesson learned. Images need to be created much larger if they're going to be included in composite products.

Panels 3 & 4 feature in "Have to be on Crack" and "This Street Sucks," panel 2 is "Casual Fridays" (which was fun to make!) and Panel 1 is "Case of the Mondays".

- - continued

Crackhead is a bit of a conglomeration of many of the people down at street level in the busy dirt parking lot located across the street from a downtown Tim Hortons. There was a LOT of weird foot traffic. One guy looked like a cracked-up Bob Dylan, lots of folks with tatoos and baby buggies, and plenty more smokers just ... standing around doing whatever it is they enjoy doing while they smoke all the time.

However, with no need to return to King St., I sort of forgot what it was all about, lost the feel for actually walking down the road and just being pissed off at every step while people stepped out of the parking garage and flicked and tossed torched cigarettes to the pavement.

This past Crackhead story arc was a fun integration of how the two worlds might have interrupted one another had they ever converged. Don't get me wrong, there were a load of crackheads on King St., but they were more "down by the river" types than they were "out in front of the barber" types.

The guys in the parking lot between Tim Hortons and downtown - - those crackheads are the "out and about" types. They were on the go. In any case, it was fun bringing those elements together into the Capers, and especially as it all culminates in a big cameo appearance from another out-of-towner that Ontarians will definitely recognize.

And the Business Man @ Home bits are sort of a more modern extension of my work experience, too. While the drug-addled chaos from King St. remeained outside the office, inside the conversation and articles I was writing revolved continuously upon discussing improvements in the workplace, human resources, health and safety, and other business matters.

I suppose the creation of Business Man can be considered a result of the Culture Shock from spending your days in an environment where you're continuously researching and discussing those workplace issues, and then having all that crash into the unadulterated ego of a toddler, fulltime.

Ultimately, this is all a work of fiction, but it's derived from a very real place from no-so-long ago, and just around the corner.
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