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johncomic: (Default)
Gotta tell ya, this thing looked a lot more impressive IRL than it does here... but this is what I got.

full moon 20190218
johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
that I did remember to get more raisins in so I could have them in my oatmeal this morning
johncomic: (Steve the Pirate ani)
having the day turn out quieter and more restful than I expected
johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
a walk in the sun -- I am becoming more aware of how much I miss and need this
johncomic: (Moss)
getting better acquainted with a new character -- this gives me hope for this new book and makes me feel more like a Real Writer
johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
stepping outside my comfort zone to offer help to a damsel** in distress -- and receiving a response of pleased gratitude instead of her being skeeved out by me

** she was about my age so I use the term pointedly

johncomic: (Steve the Pirate ani)
a problem that resolved itself rather than impinging upon me
johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
quiet moments to draw and to rest
johncomic: (Steve the Pirate ani)
I will never have to do today again.
johncomic: (Booth)
receiving welcome news
johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
being able to stay in all day when the roads are bad
johncomic: (Steve the Pirate ani)
clean dry streets to drive on
johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
one which I read days ago, but which has stuck with me, with cutting insistence, ever since:

The Old Poets of China

Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.

johncomic: (Booth)
a spectacular thaw = most welcome break from the polar vortex
johncomic: (Moss)
my books -- was just looking at them and thinking of the ones I look forward to reading, the ones I look forward to re-reading, how good it feels that they wait so patiently for me....
johncomic: (Moss)
a good idea, long awaited
johncomic: (Default)
a day filled with small things but good things
johncomic: (Moss)
a clear view of Venus in the cold dawn

clear cold dawn

Venus CU
johncomic: (SK BW)
I remember it was in 1985 that I started attending school in Toronto to work on my Ph.D. (which I never got, but that's another story). And it was around this same time that I was corresponding via snail mail with Scott McCloud and he got me into manga. Besides having him tell me about it and what he was getting out of it, I would at times mail him some cash and he would mail me back manga (untranslated in those days) from the bigger bookstores in NYC. No place around here carried them then.

But the bigger comic book shops in Toronto were starting to carry anime-related materials, including "anime manga" -- books created using stills from anime instead of B&W manga drawings, and then provided with word balloons (again, untranslated -- I wasn't the only geek willing to buy comics he couldn't read). It was these anime materials in Toronto that introduced me to Captain Harlock.

Not only was I fascinated by Reiji Matsumoto's unique drawing style, but the anachronistic mishmash of his visuals expanded my mind and helped wean me away from strict literal-mindedness in my enjoyment of things. Harlock struck me as so cool, he was the first time I was ever really attracted to the pulp trope of space pirates. Not long after, I got the first bee in my bonnet about creating my own space pirate comic.

My initial designs were heavily influenced by anime and manga, of course, but I deliberately drew upon other influential artists of those years to try and craft what I hoped would be a distinctive look. I settled on the name Vant for him, primarily so that its possessive -- Vant's -- would be a tribute to Jack Vance, one of my very fave SF writers.

Vant 1986

Over the next few years, I found myself doing reams of research for the sake of world-building for this series. I learned so much about the planetologies of the solar system, the mechanics of space flight and space living... but never actually wrote my story.

I had my pirate but had no idea what he was gonna do. A few half-baked notions came and went and got discarded. One story made it to twenty pages of script before I lost faith in it. And then life circumstances intervened and derailed the whole project for years. But I never lost this urge to create a rollicking adventure space-pirate comic.

And then, several years ago, I stumbled across a couple of volumes of Valerian I had picked up in Toronto back in the 80s, and finally actually read them. And something clicked, and I wanted to make my space pirate again. Since then, I have completely re-done my world-building, this time more directly influenced by Vance -- the only thing that survived was Vant's name. (I still dunno if I love the name, but have yet to think of anything I like better...) And I have spent the time sketching and tweaking, trying to nail down the visuals of my cast and incidentals of their lives, re-thinking my entire approach to the tone and theme of the series...


....but I still don't have a story! I have my pirate but I dunno what he is gonna do! A couple years ago I got as far as a new twenty-page fragment of a whole new script before I lost faith. Really hoping that writing this down will shake my brain out of this time loop and get me actually creating an actual story that I can actually draw and actually get people to read!

johncomic: (Steve the Pirate ani)
no longer snowed in = getting out to pick up a few groceries

February 2019

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