Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beautiful Creatures - Continued

The response I was most interested in was from Red 5 Comics. I had the chance the year previous to have a talk with co-founder, Paul Ens, at the Calgary Comic Expo at his booth and was really impressed with his vision. He was an editor and business owner actually concerned with protecting the creators who were published through him, and desired to see said creators succeed and grow in the industry rather than turning them over for a quick buck. (Of course, that's implying there is a buck to be made, which is another blog post entirely)

After a handful of emails and phone calls, Beautiful Creatures become part of the Red 5 line. A full year after I had drafted the proposal and almost giving up on the series.

It's always interesting how events turn in a direction never expected, but this was definitely a case of never stop trying.

There are other hurdles in the comic publishing world, realities that I wasn't aware of until I actually joined the circuit and had to leap over them. Along the way, we've managed to meet all goals and I'm proud to say on September 23rd, you'll hold the little engine that could in your hands.

So, what next?

If the series sells well, and Red 5 wants more, I have two more story arcs in my head featuring our lovely heroines. And who knows, with all the positive early buzz and reviews, it may do just that.

I'm always busy and I'm not far from having a couple more pitches ready, and this time I won't give up so easy.

The world has a lot more to hear from Kurtis J. Wiebe.

Beautiful Creatures

I suppose it's time I discussed material that originated in my brain. Until now, all my bragging rights have been cradled in the ownership of other people's hands. Snow Angel was the start of something much larger, I'd say, but when I approached that story, it wasn't mine from the start. It was created at the request of another.

That said, it was an amazing experience, and something I thoroughly enjoyed. Then came Vehicle, of which I am a major contributor, but again it was a product of another individual's creative investment. I am happy to be part of it, no question, but along the way I've really started to get selfish.

And I think it's about damn time.

On September 23rd, Red 5 Comics is releasing my creation: Beautiful Creatures. It's a long story in the telling, but the point is fairly clear: I'm published.

The origin of this fantasy comedy series is uninteresting, truth be told. Like most of my material, it's a smash up of various story ideas that eventually made the transition to a comic script. The interesting bits are the lead up to finally landing some interest.

In March of 2008, I emailed an artist named Ash Jackson about the script I'd written. His style was perfect for the heart of my story, a cartoony vibe with amazing characterization and an eye for dynamic camera. He replied shortly that he was interested in collaborating on a pitch. By April, he had the first five pages completed in pencil, but at that point I had yet to find a colourist. I lettered the penciled pages, had one page coloured by Hilary Jenkins, and started to submit.

Of course, as was something I was prepared for, the rejection letters came back fast and furious. Disheartened, I abandoned the project for the summer. Then, fall rolled around and I was still lamenting the lack of progress in my writing career. I decided to attack all my submissions again, revisiting, in particular, Beautiful Creatures (then titled The Reborn). I contacted Frank Zigarelli, an extremely talented artist, about coming on board to colour the pitch. Amazingly, he too agreed and our team was complete.

With six pages now, Ash having completed one more for good measure, I hit the campaign trail for our project.

A few submissions later, I had two positive responses.

(To be continued)