Sunday, April 14, 2013

Creative Collaboration Causes Change

I'm alliterate.

Get it?

Okay shitty jokes aside, it's been one hell of a day so far.

As many if you know, I recently have teamed back-up with Alex Williamson for the art on HEROIC, my upcoming indie comic.

So this morning we had our regular creative conversation and as we discussed the script and the epilogue, we started to come to some interesting things.

I'll break them down by points.

1] The epilogue doesn't work, it would have worked better as the prologue for issue 2.

2] While Alex (or Jason, haven't finalized) is an interesting character, and his origin is interesting, he is not a strong character in my mind, which is why the plots for issues 2 - 6 tend to have things happening to him more so that him doing things.

3] A common feedback is that the prologue, the Lady America bit, is strong, engaging and going from that to Alex is jarring and leaves them hanging, wanting to know more about the first story and what "Activate number 23" means.

Now here's the thing.

I love Lady A.  I feel closer to that character than any I have ever created.  I know her like I know my own skin.  I know her heart, her mind and her soul.  I know why she is a bitch when she leads and I know why she never lets anyone see that part of her.

So Alex asked me, without preamble, why I wasn't writing a story about her?

Then I talked with my publishing partner Walt, and he said he found it odd that I hadn't focused on her either (also he wasn't a fan of the story until I added the prologue).

So this got me thinking.  How do I save what I have and make this about Lady A?  I mean, she dies in the prologue right?  Yeah, sure, you buy that don'cha?

There were always three characters that would eventually become the primary ones in this ongoing story.  I believe in the Star Trek holy trinity of characterization.  Body, Mind and Soul.

Kirk is the Body, he takes advice from the Mind and Soul, but he is the one who acts.

Spock is the Mind, he is the one who thinks things through without an over abundance of emotion.

McCoy is the Soul, he reacts from his guy and wears his heart on his sleeve.  He believes in right and wrong, and is the natural sparring partner of the Mind.

Originally Alex was to be the Body, a character named Isaiah the Mind and a third character called Molly the Soul.

Now without giving too much away, I ask this;

What if Alex becomes the Soul?  Isaiah remains the Mind and now, Molly, replaced by Lady A becomes the Body.

Complicated at a glance, I know.  That said, knowing what I know in my mind, it actually works and works well.

Plus I get to keep the Alex origin for a later issue when he tells his tale, so that saves me some pages of writing down the line.

The result of this was a brainstorming session between Alex and I that lead to expansion of the Zenith Universe, tightening of it as well and trimming some of the fat off.

All in all a very productive and creative process between an artist and a writer whose goals remain creating the best damn comics for your enjoyment.

Now I just have to write the damn thing.


  1. I had thought that Lady America's 'death scene' was part of a larger scheme you had (and might still be - so please don't give anything away). Just the same, I'm so glad to hear that she will be sticking around! I've really liked the commentary and images you've posted about her over the years.

    Also, the Kirk - Spock - McCoy thing is something I have never really noticed before. It's brilliant! I really like where you and Alex are taking this and I'm looking forward to this project's continued development.

  2. Hey Ben,

    Thanks for the positive vibes mate!

    I don't remember where I first heard the BMS analogy for classic Star Trek, but it makes so much sense.

    Also if you think about it, some of the best episodes are when they switch roles for an episode.

    Alex is an outstanding talent as an artist, and as a creative partner he has really "brought home the bacon" as it were by challenging me to tell a story that is more what I want to tell.

    As I said above, now I just have to write it.

  3. I'm sure you'll get that done without a problem. You've already accomplished way more than I have. I'll admit that what you are doing is really inspiring me! Keep up the great work, 'cause I want to buy this thing!

  4. Thank you man.

    Just need to kick it off, 14 pages, I got the middle, the end, just need the kick-off :)

  5. It's great to hear your still working on this, even with the creative changes that have come to the front! I have also been keeping up on the D6 work although I hadn't had the chance to respond (been in the hospital a lot lately)

    Keep up the good work on both, I am interested in seeing where this goes


  6. Hey Chris! I think you will like it a lot when it comes out. Sorry to hear you've been in the hospital of late. Positive energy to you my friend!