Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yellow Brick Road

During the production and waiting game that was Beautiful Creatures, I had been formulating ideas and projects, a past time of mine that never quite seems to relent. Around the same time, I had been doing editing on Issue #2 of Vehicle magazine and had been really taking a shining to art by both Scott Kowalchuk and Tanya Lam.

At the time, I'd been constructing a story about four orphans who'd been given a new chance at life by a mysterious benefactor, empowering them where they were once powerless. The tentative title, The Intrepids, was actually where the story began. It was a name that popped into my head and suddenly characters began to form.

That same day, as I was rounding a corner in a bus (my day job), I spotted a young woman wearing a very interesting outfit. Sparing the details, her visual appearance became the basis for the first and central character. I got home and started getting ideas down, and it just flowed. The first issue script was completed in record time.

I began to search for artists in my usual spots: Deviantart, Comicspace and the Penny Arcade art forums. There were a few close matches, but nothing clicked. Then, I saw Scott Kowalchuck's piece, "Who Wants to be a Millionare" in Vehicle #2 and the email was written and sent a few minutes after.

At the same time, Tanya Lam's piece, "First Kiss", was so adorable that I felt compelled to contact her and try my hand at a type of story I'd never even contemplated before. A kid's book. The development of the story, just like the content, was a completely new adventure for me. Ordinarily, I approach the artist with project in hand, but I actually crafted the narrative around her artistic style. It's been a very rewarding experience.

Both of these talented illustrators are employed, either freelance or with a company, and it was set out from the beginning that these projects would happen when time permitted. It was a natural progression, very organic in that both Tanya and Scott had a lot of time to develop the story, which in the end has enhanced the final product.

The yellow brick road, of course, was my trip to the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle a week and a half ago. There, I planned to throw it all down. I was taking the first step towards really investing my life into writing and, hopefully, paving the road ahead towards an eventual career in this sometimes enigmatic field.

So, how was it?

The road isn't too far away, it would seem.

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