Book 3, Page 46 [End of Volume 1]

Here ends the first volume. Whoa.

I want to say thanks to those of you who have stuck with me through this, especially those who have had encouraging words to say. After an absence from the medium of comics for 20 years, I have been very much aware of this as a learning (re-learning) experience. These three books represent something I started at the end of 2009. We are now two thirds of the way through 2012. I feel like I am only now (drawing Volume 3!) starting to get a sense of my own style and getting a handle on how to really tell a story in this medium.

Volume 2 exists. It has been written. It has been mostly drawn. But I have been working with it in light of what I learned about comic creation in the development of volume 3. I don’t know if that makes any sense. I feel like now that I know what I am doing, I have to go back and edit what I did a bit.

I continue to be frustrated by my art. In Volume 1, I set out to make something that looked anime… like a cartoon more than a comic. Volume 2 evolved more extremely in that direction and I found myself not as fond of the results. Trying to “comic” it a bit, I drew over everything with (digital) colored pencils, which wound up making it look just cluttered.

That’s a ringing endorsement, isn’t it? You’ll be sure to stick around and check it out, won’t you?

Story-telling wise, Volume 2 will be a giant step forward. I promise. In Volume 1, I had only the vaguest idea what was going to happen in the next chapter. Looking back on it from the perspective of this page, it doesn’t really hold together as a novel. Volume 2 does. I expanded the character roster significantly. There is a definite story arc which ends in a dramatic climax.

Significantly, the principles of Volume 1—Mel, Max, and Dunk—become just a part of the character roster in Volume 2. I’m feeling like this is where the series is going. Like, each “Volume” will tell a story which will feature some combination of Mel, Max, or Dunk, but they won’t necessarily be the protagonist of the story.

The production issue right now is that Volume 2 has a lot more pages than Volume 1, but I still want to present it as a trilogy. Figuring out which parts go in which book requires a lot of organizing on my part. When it’s ready, it will appear here. In the meantime, the “blog” below will update the progress.

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Book 3, Page 43

If you’ve been reading up to this point, you are probably aware that I regularly include “nods” to other science fiction. The Laser Sword of the Space Knights, for example. And what is that “hovercar” that’s been driving around the last few chapters? There are a few reasons for this:

  1. At this stage of my writing, I thought these fannish references were funny. I have since realized that I am sadly incapable of writing genuinely funny comics. It should go without saying that the only way to find one’s voice as a writer is to write; it took me the first 100 or so pages as a comic creator to figure that out.
  2. Daz Studio was free; initially, I made the decision not to spend any money on this comic, but rather use only free stuff. Even by chapter two of book three, I had abandoned this premise; the airship, for example, I purchased from Daz. But film props were easy to find as freebies. As I’ve gotten more serious about my hobby, I’ve invested in a lot of 3D assets. In the future, you’ll see a lot more evocative stuff and less borrowed stuff.
  3. I like classic science fiction. When I first started doing this book, I thought of it as a homage to Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Serenity/Firefly, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica (more the original series than the new one). I even like then less-than-stellar ones like Starcrash and Battle Beyond The Stars.

Anyway, thanks for checking this out. Comments are welcome.

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