One of the main things we (from here on out, when I say “we” I’ll be talking about myself and James. That should have been obvious, but now it definitely is) agreed upon when coming up with this story — I say that like that’s actually happened; it hasn’t — is that there needs to be a conflict of some sort. Like, that needs to be the actual flesh and blood of our story. It’s not terribly original, but you can’t have a story without it.
We don’t want to have traditional “bad” and “good,” though. We’d cheat ourselves out of some potentially really good, deep characters if we went that route. But we can’t even start imagining the sides to this conflict without the conflict itself. And that’s where I think our home base will be for the near future: Coming up with the Today World. What will the present tense be for this thing?
Well, we’ve done some of that work already. The idea of new frontiers is a fascinating one; I get my impressions of “uncharted land” from westerns and similar works while James immediately demanded, fist-in-open palm (over the Internet, no less) that we go with space. That was kind of our first step, really. If you say “Space Cowboys” you’re not allowed to see this page anymore. Or “Cowboys and Aliens.” The point is that we aren’t doing anything like that. Our interest lies in a bit of sociological/psychological discourse: How do characters/societies/individuals respond to the unknown on a singular level, and then how do they do it en masse, with and against each other?
I feel this is good.
That said, our favorite parts of graphic books tends to be the ink. Let’s get real here; we want to draw shit and have it be cool. And I hope we can add sufficient style to it when the time comes, because the chance is very huge in the beginning for this thing to be corny, and of course we don’t want that. But style won’t come without substance, which of course is the story, and that leads us back here.
Our Today World, then, exists currently without explained context. In short, there’s two major factions of people: 1) A group that calls a relatively new planet home, that has taken a leap of faith generations ago and been rewarded for it, and 2) the group that has been left behind via its own obtuseness. These sides oppose each other. 2 wants what 1 has; 1 has seen what 2 has wrought long ago. This is the conflict: A battle for this new world, still not entirely known even to Group 1, between those looking to salvage their own existence and those looking to form a new one in a new way. Greed will be a theme.
More to come.
Forgive the Biblical reference, but it fits. My friend James and I are combining the two things we like to do — write and draw — and we are also assuming we’re halfway decent at both. We want to do a graphic novel. With him in Oregon and me in Northern California, this is a bit tough.
Of course, the Internet helps with that. Just yesterday I talked to James on Google Talk, and we went over ideas. He’s infinitely busier than I am, seeing as his job is real and doesn’t require him to watch sports most the time, so he hasn’t been able to put as much time into this thing as I’ve wanted to early on. I’m ready to go and I will, but his input and talent are invaluable to this project. Also I just don’t want to do it all.
We’ve dedicated a couple hours to hashing out the storyline of this thing, and to be frank, it’s still kind of this ethereal, floating entity. I’m assuming that’s how most stories start; we aren’t panicking. The one thing we’re sure of is that we don’t want a graphic novel that just has a bunch of pictures and a throwaway plot. We both are video game geeks and agree that story these days is almost as important as gameplay, and has always trumped graphics. Different medium, we know, but our beliefs are firm.
That said, we’re going to be posting our thoughts here as they progress (unless we don’t, in which case I’m just blowing smoke right now — not farfetched). The idea is to develop a story, and then introduce art once it’s fleshed out. We aren’t going to draw a damn thing until we have a “world” created, so to speak, and an idea of what people in this place are going to be doing. And as I say that, I look at several character doodles I’ve done as concept art and know this will be kinda an endeavor to stay on track.
More to come (again, unless it doesn’t. That’s going to be a caveat, you understand). — Travis