Interview with Cherie Hellemeyer

Hello there, and welcome to redemptionwebcomic.wordpress.com! Could you start by telling us the name or names of everyone on your creative team?

Cherie Hellemeyer; I do all the art, story and promoting on my own.

Where are you all from?

I hail from the Midwest, in particular, Missouri, around the STL area. I’ve been here my whole life except the first year of my life, which I lived in Texas and California for brief periods.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

Early on, both of my parents noticed my talent for creativity and nurtured that through my whole life. My mom put me in lots of those science and art camps during school breaks, so I think that helped me experience a lot of different things when I was younger, and I enjoyed them greatly. My dad has his own screen printing business, and taught me how to do it, as well as showing me all different ways of going about making art. I graduated from high school, and went off to make bad decisions for the next 8 years… which had a negative effect on all that creativity.  I currently have an almost 6 year old in Kindergarten, who seems to have artistic talent as well. I’ve been with my partner for 2 ½ years now, and we’re trying to get into a better house.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

Oh gosh, Blighted: The Odyssey. This is my baby right here, and I do have to say: It’s long. It is a hugely extensive story, and it’s also a two-parter. Blighted: The Odyssey is just Part I, and it’s just now getting into the format I want. I wish I was faster, there’s so much outlined that I need to get into Photoshop and do the digital version.

This project has two main points:

  1. To improve my skills and style, on rough draft as well as photoshop.
  2. To get this story to you. To my beloved readers. It’s been in my head so long, and it’s grown so intricate that it must be told.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

It’s always been with me in some way or form, I just always kept trying to improve. I lack in both departments, in my opinion. I do think my writing and art style is improving here within the last few months, but I think it’s mainly because I’ve been practicing so much lately.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

Music and manga, actually. That’s the best way I can put it. I love to read manga in silence and draw listening to music.

How has your style changed since you began?

Toned down the manga vibe, but not entirely. I’m able to draw really detailed pieces with paper and pencil. Digital improvement was huge though. I still need to learn a lot to get where I want to be.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

Challenging: Finding time. I’m so busy all the time being a mom, working 40+ hours a week and drawing for 4-5 hours a night. Coffee is love.

Rewarding: Though it may seem silly, I love seeing comments and seeing how much people enjoy what I do. It really pulls me through.

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

I take pieces of everything. Not much from experiences, I tend to let my imagination carry out the scenarios and the like.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

Art is hard! -laughs-

But yeah, it takes a lot of work to get where you want to be, no matter how big or small.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?

Just… do what you can at your own pace. If you love doing it just because it makes you happy, do it. Unless it’s heroin. Don’t do heroin.

Do you have any links where we could find your work? How about social media accounts where people can follow you for regular updates?

ComicFury-This is one of the two comic sites I post on:

http://blightedtheodyessy.webcomic.ws/

Webtoons-This is the other:

http://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/blighted-the-odyssey/list?title_no=113815

Instagram-I post a lot here:

https://www.instagram.com/alpharieasmodeus/?hl=en

Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/AlpharieArtist/

Deviantart-I post other art here besides Blighted.

https://alpharieartist.deviantart.com/

Tumblr: Updates slow, because not a huge follower count:

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/blighted-theodyessy

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Interview with T. Perran Mitchell

Hello there, and welcome to redemptionwebcomic.wordpress.com! Could you start by telling us the name or names of everyone on your creative team?

My name is T. Perran Mitchell and I’m the Writer, Letterer and Creator of The Chronicles of the Tal Nor. I work with Kelsea Jewell, who provides the art.

Where are you all from?

I’m from right outside of Philadelphia, PA and Kelsea is from Washington State.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

I’ve always loved comics and storytelling. When I was in first grade I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and Dyslexia. Because it was the early 80’s and public school didn’t have the resources or programs for children with learning disabilities, I ended up needing to go to a special school for children with learning disability. Needless to say, this was not the easiest experience to go through. The one thing that helped me through it all were comics books. I latched on to heroes like Daredevil and the X-Men. People who overcame disability and being different to make the world a better place. For me if Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler and Storm had to go to a special school and wear a uniform, maybe it was OK if I did too.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

We just published issue 2 of The Chronicles of the Tal Nor. I’ve plotted out issue 3 and started to flesh out the details for that issue’s script. I’m also putting together a collection of short comics I’ve written with the hope of releasing it towards the end of the year.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

I remember writing stories and trying to draw comics all through grade school. As I grew older I saw that my talent was in storytelling and not illustration. That became my focus; however, after graduating college I needed to pay the bills. I started working in the software field and decided to try to make a career out of that. As they years passed I kept feeling like something was missing. About five years ago I realized that I’m not really happy if I’m not writing and decided to dive head first into comics.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

I’m most inspired by my experiences reading comics both as a child and as an adult. Comics gave me so much as a kid and I would love to give that back.

How has your style changed since you began?

With every story I write I try to become a better storyteller. I try to find more ways to reach the reader and connect with them on an emotional level.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

I love the understanding writing gives me. As I get into the characters’ heads and learn about their thoughts and feelings, I’m better able to empathize with the world around me and see things from other points of view.

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

I was lucky enough to have a number of incredible roommates in college. I draw on some of their traits to inform my characters. My comics are primarily fantasy and the world that my characters live in has been created by me from whole cloth.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

Issue 2 was the first time I tried my hand at a murder mystery comic. I feel like I just scratched the surface of the genre and would love to take another swing at it down the road.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?

Start small. I know we all have a grand epic we’d love to create, but we need to master our craft first. Make a 3-5page comic. Nothing is as inspiring and will help you fight the self-doubt we all feel more than having accomplished something. Once you have a win under your belt, you can move on and create bigger and bigger projects. Also it’s a lot cheaper to make mistakes on a smaller project and because it’s done faster you can learn from them faster.

Do you have any links where we could find your work? How about social media accounts where people can follow you for regular updates?

The website for my work is Tal-Nor.com and you can follow me on Twitter @TPerranMitchell

 

 

Interview with Grant Penick

Hello there, and welcome to redemptionwebcomic.wordpress.com! Could you start by telling us the name or names of everyone on your creative team?

My name is Grant Penick. I write and draw the comic while my Fiancee Alix, who is my Editor, she keeps me in line with dialog and grammar.

 Where are you all from?

I’m from Lubbock, Tx.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

Born in Texas, and moved when I was 7 to New Jersey where I picked up comic art from a friend in the 4th grade. Never really thought I would be creating comics later on in life, was just a fun hobby to pass the time.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

Well, just working on the comic as much as I can. My brother and I opened a graphics shop up, so a lot of time is devoted to that, but every free moment I have goes to the comic. Also have another comic in mind, developing the story right now and I will probably be starting that next year after I finish my first book with Osker.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

I picked up drawing comics in the 4th grade from a friend that I saw drawing a comic one day in class. Created some crazy adventures with my characters. Stole most of the teachers printer paper, I think she let us honestly. I didn’t start drawing or writing comics as a potential profession until I was 29. I went to school for 2d animation and game art/design and had Osker as a game idea at first. I couldn’t find a programmer to work with so I decided to put Osker into a comic. First story I’ve ever really created with a full story.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

Always been an artist, as long as I can remember.

How has your style changed since you began?

I first had a very loose style in my comic for speed, but the more and more I drew the pages, the cleaner and more colorful they became. The current pages are more my refined style, and most likely will remain like that. I’m a masochist in the detail of each page, that’s for sure. Some of the pages when I first began took about 5 hours to complete. Now, with the more refined, more detailed style, some of the latter pages I’ve drawn up have taken about 30-40 hours.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

It’s definitely makes it all worth it when someone reads the comic, and gets a big grin on their face about what’s going on in the story. Even though Osker is a dark, gruesome story, there is comedic relief and I try to keep it light hearted at times. The challenging part of writing and drawing the comic, is there slight changes in script after I have something set that I like that doesn’t necessarily line up and I would have to split the script, and figure out how to connect the new parts of the story, the dialog, or just the sequencing.

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

Not a lot, most of the characters in my story are completely made up, I might later down the line use some of the people in my life as inspiration for characters.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

Creating a comic is a ton of work.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?

Plan everything out, get a solid story/script, and it’s okay to change things here and there, but a general storyline is a must. I have several friends that have webcomics, that they don’t have a storyline and they are already having plot holes in the beginning of the story because they don’t have a guideline.

Do you have any links where we could find your work? How about social media accounts where people can follow you for regular updates?

The comic is here: Oskercomic.com

FB: grantpenickart

Twitter: @oskercmao

Interview with Paul Hobbs, Writer and Illustrator of Robot Love Cow

Paul’s artwork will be posted shortly. In the meantime, enjoy this interview!

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Hello there, and welcome to redemptionwebcomic.wordpress.com! Could you start by telling us the name or names of everyone on your creative team?

My name is Paul Hobbs, writer and illustrator with my brother, writer, Kevin Hobbs. He was the one who came up with the story for our book, “Robot Love Cow,” which was initially conceived as a short film we had planned on making.

We also worked together to come up with our series, “Finch, Former Sidekick,” later titled, “Finch and the Sidekicks.”

Where are you all from?

That’s a long story! We moved around a lot growing up. I was born in Independence, Mo. And Kevin was born in Jacksonville, Fl. We grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and spent a lot of time in the south, and in the Chicagoland area. We moved back to the Kansas City area, where I met my amazingly supportive wife, and where Kevin lives now. My wife, Sarah, and I live outside Austin, Tx with our dog, two cats, and five beehives.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

Like I said, we moved around a lot growing up. I also got to travel abroad through Asia. I went to four different high schools, but comics and art were always a constant for me. I was lucky. Unlike a lot of parents, mine were incredibly supportive of me persuing a love and interest in the arts. I was fortunate enough to attend Columbia College of Chicago, where I studied animation and screenwriting. I found that I loved the writing and storyboard aspect of filmmaking, which translates so well into making comics.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

I’ve got two projects in the works right now. We are getting ready to release a big compilation of our Finch, Former Sidekick stories from the past eleven years… except issue #3. It’s just bad. Kind of funny, but just awful!

I’m also working on a follow-up to a comic I did called, “Adventures of Hanuman,” based very loosely on the Hindi character who is a super-powered monkey. He’s a fun, virtuous character, and an homage to when comic book heroes were straight-forward good guys.

That follow-up issue will feature most of the Finch, Former Sidekick characters and be an homage to old 1950’s scifi movie serials.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

I started when I was very young…when I was old enough to hold a crayon! My mom said I would go through coloring books like crazy.

I loved, and still do, science fiction, cartoons, and comic books. They were a great escape for me as a shy kid, and I would obsessively draw my favorite characters, which were often Superman, Batman, Wolverine, and Spock.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

I think it was that I had a lot of positive encouragement when I was younger. I could create something and enjoyed doing it.

As a kid, I loved comics and Mad Magazine was a huge influence on me. They really inspired me to tell stories and to keep drawing.

How has your style changed since you began?

I embraced the simple, yet exagerated imagery in cartoons as an animation student. I also came to love how the starkness of black and white can enhance a visual image and story.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

I have to recognize my limitations. Sometimes when I’m writing, I have to ask myself, “can I make this look good on the page?”

The most rewarding part is just having created something and seeing traffic on my blog from all over the planet!

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

I would say that all of it, even the crazier stories we’ve done are based on situations we’ve been in, or just born out of our own philosophical ideas and beliefs. The two that are most literally based on actual situations I’ve been in are the Finch, Former Sidekick stories, “Sick Day,” and “Drive-Thru Drive.” I just like telling the kind of stories that entertain me.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

Puting together the Finch anniversary book, and finding some unfinished pieces that I’d like to revisit, have shown me how much I’ve grown as a storyteller and artist. Moreover, it’s shown me how much I’ve grown as a person from who I was when I wrote those as a younger person.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?

Always keep working at it. No matter if you are a professional, working artist, or a guy like me with a family and fulltime job not in the arts, love what you do and keep expressing yourself.

Most importantly: seek feedback if you want to get better. Share your work and be humble enough to listen to feedback and be willing to learn.

Do you have any links where we could find your work?

You can find our work on Amazon, and at finchcomic.blogspot.com. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram as @finchcomic.

 

Interview with Ben Russell

Hello there, and welcome to redemptionwebcomic.wordpress.com! Could you start by telling us the name or names of everyone on your creative team?

My name is Ben Dewitt Russell.

Where are you from?

I’m from southern Maine, born and raised.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

I am the eldest child with a younger brother and sister. Very independent family, we all kind of do our own thing, very different interests but they all sort of blend together well.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

I am currently working on writing a short graphic novel with a working title of Father & Son. Can’t spill too many details but I can say it’s a very personal story about a secret government mercenary and his son who becomes a anti-government terrorist as a result of his up-bringing.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

Very, very young. I wrote my first comics probably at age 9, one about a boy and his dog, and another about a superhero I created called Blueboy.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

It’s just how my brain has always worked. Drawing, painting, guitar, singing, etc have always been my outlet for as long as I can remember.

How has your style changed since you began?

Comics have always inspired me, so I sought out training specifically aimed at that as a career, so the Joe Kubert School really helped with that. Helped me focus on better and faster drawing, with a specific aim at sequentially telling a story through art. My style is always just shifting depending on how I’m feeling right then and there.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

Being original. The art is a little easier in this respect, as there’s always some sort of angle or shot that no one has tackled before, or that you feel you can do better, but writing is hard. Dialogue, especially.

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

I’ve always had this sort of intuition of people, so that definitely comes in handy when writing, you always draw from experiences and that helps me personally think about how most people in general would react if they were thrown into the circumstances I put them in in my stories.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

That it takes a lot of patience, especially when you are the entire creative team.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?

Writing – just focus on what real people would say, how they would react, stale dialogue always takes you out of a story no matter how beautiful the art is.

Do you have any links where we could find your work?

BenDewitt.deviantart.com

Interview with Alexander Aghayere, Creator of GRIM GENESIS

Hello there, and welcome to redemptionwebcomic.wordpress.com! Could you start by telling us the name or names of everyone on your creative team?

My name is Alexander Aghayere.

Where are you all from?

I am from Aurora, IL— a small town about an hour away from Chicago.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

I was raised in a very open and loving household with my older sister. My dad was originally born in NIgeria, where his household life as a child was practically “black” to my “white”. However, in contrast, my parents made it really important that me and my sister knew we were loved and more than that fully supported in whatever we loved. Unfortunately that didn’t stop me from being misunderstood early in my childhood especially in school. I had no sense of how others felt about me when I was young so as a result I never really understood myself. Art really saved me from that.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

So, aside from my graphic novel, Grim Genesis, which is still in progress. Im also a fine artist working on building my portfolio for the gallery scene. I recently was invited to sell my work through Artbuys.net and artworldcollection.com, two prominent art publications, so that’s pretty cool.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

I fell in love with cartoons, like real love, when I was in junior high. I found the ability to create a whole world, a whole actual story extremely interesting. I also had been a fan of comics for some time so when the two loves collided in high school I found a voice and a reason/ muse to tell my own stories, whether it be through fine art, illustration, or most presently, Grim Genesis

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

Art really is a mirror. When we look at any image we don’t just see the art and the narrative and or feelings it holds, we also see ourselves by reflecting on our perceptions of artworks. It’s with that idealism that I found art to be my craft of expression, I loved seeing my feelings, raw and unfiltered. Art honestly showed me who I am.

How has your style changed since you began?

It’s strange when I think back, I really don’t think that I had a style through all of highschool and a lot of college as well. Grim Genesis truly came from the “heavens” solidified a perspective within my artwork that eventually turned into a style that I feel is really recognizable as my own.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

I think the biggest challenge of creating anything is being able to balance creating something for yourself that is genuine and authentic for yourself only, instead of for others or commercial success. People can tell the difference, I feel. I know I can with my own artwork. Luckily I feel that writing and drawing is much more rewarding than it is negatively challenging. I love storytelling and I honestly think there is no better way to do that than through comic books and graphic novels.

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

When I think about it I feel that it’s about 50/50 between my own experiences and things i’ve either been inspired by or made up. Naturally, I think farther into that question and come to the conclusion that I don’t think that there is much of a difference. We are all connected, the ability to express emotional empathy is proof of this. I truly believe that my story is not really “my story” alone, there is only one story with multiple perspectives and billions of actors.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

Going big is worth it, every time. When I started Grim Genesis I had nothing but nostalgia fueling my reasoning, I wanted to do something to help escape the close mindedness of college, subsequently, I brought to light a story that I feel has taught me how to survive, how to actively live.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?

Make. Keep making, for only you so others can get learn from your perspective. Also, don’t worry about making good looking art, that goal is overrated and is objectively impossible to achieve without giving up who you are.

Do you have any links where we could find your work?

Go to my website Supreme.Grim, and you can see all of my illustrations, fine art and other things.

Announcement of Hiatus

Hey everyone,

Well, as sad as it is for me to say this, REDemption is going on hiatus. The balance of work, life, and comic books is a tough one to maintain for any length of time, so Johnny and I have decided to take a break from it.

He will still be generating a PDF copy of issue #1, so this thing won’t be completely lifeless. Plus he has also volunteered to draw sketch art. This would be cool because then, instead of waiting years for us to get to some of the cool events that happen in the future, you can get a preview of it NOW.

In the meantime, I will continue to post the comics that have been sent to me as guest submissions. Thank you to all who took the time to contribute. Also, I will resume posting the “Origins of REDemption” series of blogs soon…most likely next week. I just couldn’t bring myself to write it today because this hiatus decision was reached this morning, and it kind of took the wind out of my sales. Just because it’s the choice that HAS to be made doesn’t mean it’s the one that will make you HAPPY, as I’m sure some of you know.

I will do what I can to keep REDemption in people’s minds so it doesn’t completely evaporate from memory. After all, someday I would like to find an artist to take up the mantle, as there’s still 99% of the story left to tell.

However, don’t feel you have to wait for me to post a call for artists. If you are a penciler/inker/letterer reading this, and you would like to pick up where the story left off, feel free to email me samples of your work:

redemptioncomic2016@gmail.com

While I may not make a firm offer of partnership to anyone right now, I want you to be confident in the fact that I will look at ALL submissions, and I will tell you if you have a chance of consideration in the future when I decide to pursue this endeavor again.

I’m proud of this story. It is still my magnum opus, and I don’t just mean in length. Even if the story had 10% of the page count it does, it would still be epic. I am also proud to say that, out of all the comments Johnny and I got, not one of them was negative.

Lastly, I am proud of the work Johnny did on this story. This issue #1 is 150% closer to the vision I had than the previous rendition. Thanks for your hard work and sacrifice, brother!

The ride isn’t over just yet, folks. I still have several weeks’ worth of guest comic submissions to post. Plus there is the “Origins of REDemption” and whatever sketch art Johnny sends. So don’t be too sad because this isn’t good bye just yet.

~~~~~Steve

Interview with Barry Linck, Creator of PHINEUS

Hello there, and welcome to redemptionwebcomic.wordpress.com! Could you start by telling us the name or names of everyone on your creative team?

Barry Linck: story, art, colors and design.

Where are you all from?

I’ve lived just outside of Pittsburgh, PA most of my life. Except when I went to Edinboro University.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

I grew up in a lower middle class household with my mom, dad and two younger sisters. I went to Edinboro University of PA and graduated with a degrees in Animation and illustration in 1992. I’ve been working in the printing industry since graduation, while self publishing my comics.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

As always, I am producing Phineus as an ongoing comic, going on 26 years, now. I also do a few other comics, on th side, such as Phines: Teen Wizard, Gil:The Walking Dead (or Vampires suck), Creephunter and Bastard Who. I also did and finished a comic strip with Brian Babyok called Weirdlings.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. I’ve been doing comics since elementary school. In fact, the character in Phineus were created in their otiginal form, in high school.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

Probably seeing movies like Jason and the Argonauts and Star Wars and wanting to do that, too. Plus, my grandfather was a photographer for the Steelers, so I’ve been around that always.

How has your style changed since you began?

Well, as a wise man Chuck Jones once said to me, every artist has has a certain number of bad drawings in them. The key is to get them all out early. Practice, practice, practice. I draw more deliberately, no matter what style. I am also trying, with every page, to better myself as a writer and an artist. I have more my own style, than aping my favorite artists like used to.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

Drawing is hard. Writing is hard. Doing these well, or at least better to tell stories, create world’s and character and have readers makes me so happy. Plus, I am so blessed to get so much fan art and fan fiction. It makes it all worth it.

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

Well, my stuff takes place in our world, in the city in which I live, but it’s definitely not reality based. It’s It’s a urban horror/fantasy, that takes place in the present. My main character is loosely based on myself, I have other characters that are taken from friends and family, but it’s not a biography.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

I have become a good writer, a better artist and have learned to never be satisfied with my art, to always strive to make it better.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists? 

Basically, just do it. Make stuff. Even if you suck, make more, you’ll get better. Always be drawing. And if I never meet you, I’ll bust your balls about when your next thing is coming out. I am the artistic foot in the ass you never asked for, but we all need.

Do you have any links where we could find your work?

My main site, which links to all my projects is: http://www.phinmagic.net/phineus/

A Brief Pause in History Due to Other Projects

I don’t want to write a long post about history today. There is too much else going on, both personally and with other projects. Today I just don’t have the energy for it.

What else is going on? Well, I am not going to discuss the personal things. I may be a fan of social media, but I don’t believe in using it to air my dirty laundry. Some people do that to get pity or the gratification of someone “liking” their post, but it makes them look pathetic and desperate. Let’s just say what’s happening with me now would be enough to drain ANYONE’S battery.

As for writing projects, I am more than happy to talk about them. I browsed through a whopping 25 poetry collections, finding lines that were visual in nature so I could share them with a gentleman who is helping me create artwork and format each collection.

Then there is my novella “Maybe the Dream Knows What is Real.” Starting next week, that will be posted in serial format on the website Writer to Writers. This week they posted my “warning label” about the upcoming work. I’m terrified, but excited.

Last but not least there is my novel THE SIZE CURSE. This is also going to be serialized on the same website/ I have been going through and editing it, dreading the section that has always felt like filler to me. Well, I reached that section yesterday. Rather than struggle with what to write, I simply cut the offending passage from the main text and pasted it into its own file, just to see what I’m working with here. Turns out if I excise this section, I am losing a whopping 8,000 words.

Do I look forward to having to do this? No, but I have to. Plus I came up with plenty of other ideas that could easily replace this section.

My plan is to continue editing up until the end of the novel. Then I will circle back to the offending passage. I have time. After all, the last section of the novella won’t be posted until October 30th. Before I post any of SIZE, I plan on writing a little “note from the author” post. That means I won’t need to have the novel ready to post until mid-November. Even then, that’s only the beginning of the novel; the part that has to be rewritten is more than halfway through it.

In other words, I am way ahead of schedule on this. I can relax. 🙂

 

~~~~~Steve

The Origins of REDemption Part 11

When we closed last week’s part of the history, I had the first print issue of REDemption in my hands, courtesy of an artist named Chuck. (At this point in time, the story was known by the longer name The Redemption Project.) Unfortunately it was the only issue he would ever draw.

Looking back, I don’t think his departure was a bad thing…not that he was a bad artist or a jerk, but for other reasons. I’m not going to get into all of that here, other than to mention what I have said previously: he thought I should rearrange the story, which would have screwed up my vision.

Now that I think about it, he didn’t say this to me until AFTER he had resigned. So maybe it was just a friendly suggestion in the form of parting words. Who knows? He hasn’t worked on it since that issue, so I guess the importance of his intent is long gone.

This left me floating in limbo. I could not afford some of the rates that people were asking, but I knew it was asking a lot to expect people to draw all of this for free. I tried shopping around via message boards and Craigslist ads again. Eventually someone responded: a young woman whose name I have forgotten, so I will just call her Christine.

At first, Christine told me she was willing to work for a rate of $10 per page. This stunned me, and I asked how she could possibly get away with that. She said it was because she still lived at home and had no bills. I said, “Well, that works!”

I sent her a couple character biographies, and she sent me back samples that were amazing. Then I gave her the script for Part One. Again, incredible results. Finally I said, “Okay, if you are ready to come on board, then I will send you the outline of the entire comic.” She said okay.

And that was where it took a dive.

She wrote me back with a critique of the story, saying how this and that tangent had nothing to do with the main thrust of the plot (meaning the search for a cure to the zombie virus). I can’t remember every change she suggested for the story, but I do remember her closing the email by saying, “In the end, these are only just suggestions. It is your story, and I will draw it like you want.”

I wrote back, saying, “Yes, the story stands as is.” I may have even offered a brief explanation of how the comic was “Dungeons and Dragons meets a Romero movie,” and then explained how D&D campaigns are LOADED with side adventures that have nothing to do with the main story.

Well, she proved her previous statement (“I’ll draw it like you want”) was insincere because once I set that boundary of her being the artist and me being the writer, she never contacted me again. This bummed me out because of the quality of her work, but if the alternative was to compromise my vision, then it’s better we didn’t wind up working together.

A handful of other artists came and went. Some were such blips on the radar that they aren’t even worth mentioning by name. Let’s just say it was a tough search and leave it at that, mmm-kay?

At one point, I got so fed up with the search that I decided it was time for me to take on the artistic duties myself. After all, I was the one who drew that 24-page origin story “Of Forces Beyond” back in high school. Why not?

I asked around for the best books that might help someone learn how to draw. Chuck recommended a trio of books from DC Comics. There were also a handful of books recommended by Jason Brubaker, who is infamous in the webcomic world.

I bought all these up…and then I never got around to opening ANY of them. Life was just too hectic at the time. The freelance writing work was coming in at a fast pace, and those assignments had deadlines so I could not push them aside. Plus my day job did not pay very well, so I had to keep doing overtime. There was a brief point in time where I just gave up on it.

Actually, no…scratch that. I never gave up. However, I had to accept the fact that there were other things in my life that required more attention.

Sometimes we have to put our dreams to sleep, because even they need to rest.

Join me next week for Part 12. I cannot say for sure that will be the last installment, because I thought we’d be done by THIS point! However, there is one thing I know for sure: it will be a fun-filled, passionate read!

~~~~~Steve