Changes Coming Soon

Johnny and I have been discussing changes to the way we approach this comic. Once we have settled on something, y’all will be the first to know! Actually, Johnny and I will know first, but you will be second! In the meantime, enjoy some sketch art of Fitzsimmons (the guy we saw popping out of the trees on the July 11th post)!

The Origins of REDemption Part 9

This has to be the slowest Thursday ever. As proof that it has knocked me for a loop, I am only just getting around to writing this blog post! Well, they always say “better late than never.” Now I am going to prove if “they” are right or not, my dear readers!

When we last visited the history of the comic, I had just whipped up an approach and outline to Part 4 of the story. (REMINDER: I modeled their search for the Immune Child after Captain Willard’s pursuit of Colonel Kurtz in APOCALYPSE NOW.)

However, there wasn’t enough time in my day to let me type up Part 3 while also writing Part 4. I had to choose, so I decided to focus on typing up the mammoth of Part 3, which (in handwritten form) had filled up FOUR 3-subject notebooks.

Needless to say, this was going to take some time. I didn’t want to lose touch with Part 4 completely, so I would take a couple minutes every day to just pore over the outline, making sure it was as tight as I could get it.

Somewhere along the way, I was talking with an old friend from high school about the comic via Facebook. I told her how the protagonists needed to go beyond the quarantine wall to look for a functional lab. She told me about the National Institute of Health (known as NIH going forward) and said that any research into searching for a zombie virus antidote would be bound to happen there.

I’d never heard of NIH before, so I looked it up. (Got to love Google!) While I was not able to get pictures of the interiors of the buildings, I DID manage to find a map of the entire grounds, with each building labeled. This got the old creative juices flowing.

At first I got hung up on the fact that I did not know what these buildings were set up like on the inside. Then one day I decided, “If people can suspend their disbelief and invest in a story with zombies and what not, then they can also accept the fact that I am going to manipulate the interior of every single NIH building.”

So that was what I did. I came up with a plan for how the team could invade the NIH, and I wrote up an outline for Part 5 with that as my starting point.

Needless to say, there is a LOT going on in Part 5. The team has to safely make it all the way east to the NIH. Not only is the Federal government still after them, but they also have to worry about other survivor groups. We are also introduced at long last to a full-blown view of the Unexpected Enemy. Last but not least, I created another major HUMAN antagonist in the form of an insane Army leader named General Phillips. Imagine if Thunderbolt Ross from THE INCREDIBLE HULK comics was completely insane, and you have General Phillips.

There were also some neat little twists that I threw in with FBI Agent Bill Davidson. I don’t want to say too much about what happens with him or we will wander into a spoiler mine field. Needless to say, he is not your typical one-dimensional, stone cold, humorless Agent Hotchner (Thomas Gibson’s character from CRIMINAL MINDS).

Eventually I finished typing up Part 3, and I dove right into writing Part 4. By this point the outline was incredibly well-crafted, so it was just a matter of taking each bullet point and fleshing it out into a full-blown story. Some bullet points took longer than others to bring to fruition, but in the end I think every last one of them was expanded to the necessary length.

My previous pattern had been to write a section out by hand and then type it up. However, that was only because I found myself temporarily stumped with how the action should flow in Parts 2, 3, and 4. I did not have that problem moving from Part 4 to Part 5; both outlines were written one after the other. Therefore I decided to move forward with writing the last segment of the tale. As always, the story flowed out of me almost faster than I could write it down; it’s like the words were all just sitting there in my brain, waiting to be discovered. Whenever a story writes itself, I take that as a good sign.

Now you may have noticed that, all while I am talking about the process of me writing it, I have done very little talking about any artists stepping up to draw it. In fact, the only artist I have mentioned is my former coworker Clarence.

For those of you who may be wondering what was happening on the visual side, fear not! I will address this in next week’s post because guess what? Just because I am closing in on the end of the writing process doesn’t mean the history is done being told!

 

~~~Steve

Brief Intermission

Our main man Johnny has been a little under the weather, so we have to pause in our regular posting schedule. However, to fill the gap I wanted to share some promo artwork. Here is a vision of the soon to be main protagonist of the story, our very own butt kicking, zombie killing Molly Burroughs.

New Story Available on Kindle: “Slackers from the Stars”

One of my few forays into science fiction, this story is exclusively available at Amazon!

One night, astronomer Nigel Pynchon is out on a date when he hears a startling announcement: an alien spaceship has landed on a nearby farm, and everyone is told to head home and stay inside. He and his date attempt to leave the restaurant, and the scene is utter chaos. In fact, they barely make it home alive.

Eventually Nigel gets to a TV and watches news reports of the landing but, instead of having his curiosity satisfied as to what the aliens look like, he finds himself stumped by one simple question…

WHY CAN’T HE SEE THE ALIENS OR THEIR SHIP???

For an unusual and intriguing take on the alien invasion motif, head over to Amazon and buy this story now for only $0.99!

“Slackers from the Stars”

My Short Story “He Was Loved” Has Been Published!

Yes, it is time for shameless cross-promotion, peeps!

Long before I had the idea for REDemption, I was a writer of prose. The following story came to me in high school. I held on to it for years before revising it with my 40-year-old brain. Give it a read!

http://writertowriters.com/he-was-loved-short-story-by-steve-grogan/

 

The Search for Content on a Weekly Blog

I’m sitting at my computer this morning, wondering what to write here. I have a tiny notebook (small enough to fit in my pocket), in which I wrote down exactly 156 ideas for weekly blogs. That’s enough to cover 3 years.

However, as I review them, I see that many of them are about things that have not been revealed to you, oh faithful readers, in the comic book pages yet! There are things about certain characters (how they came about, how I decided on their looks, etc.), the hidden references to other zombie novels/movies/comics, and so much more.

To write about them before you know them would not only have zero impact, but would also be blasting you with spoilers.

So then…what to discuss? There are some random, off-comic-book-topic things. I could discuss the influences on the comic. By that I don’t mean the drawing because when it comes to the pictures, we would have to defer to Johnny Carruba for that.

I mean what inspired the story, as well as my writing style in general. It wasn’t just influenced by the authors I have read; it was also influenced by movies and music. See, I believe there are certain things about the creative process that can be applied universally to ALL forms of expression.

For example, one thing I learned from the Smashing Pumpkins is that there is no reason to limit yourself or what you can do to one genre. Those limitations are imposed on artists externally, by some record executive who wants to label a band simply because it will make him more money.

I feel this free mentality can be applied to writing as well. Why do I have to say “I’m a horror novelist, I’m a romance novelist, I’m a science fiction novelist?” Tell me why I can’t just say, “I’m a writer” and then write whatever story comes into my head and my heart.

It’s bad enough that other people want to restrict you. Don’t impose limitations on yourself.

So…that is one topic. Another would be the history of the comic: how I got the idea, the different outlines I wrote for it, the struggle of searching for an artist, etc. I want to give one fair warning if I get into that: it’ll be long and involved, so I will most likely have to split it into multiple parts.

We’ve got (1) the history of the comic and (2) discussing influences on my writing. A third idea for content would be reviewing books/movies/music that was influential on me. Idea number four would be interviewing some of the other awesome webcomic creators I have been meeting lately, and featuring their work on here.

Yep, I think I’ve got enough topics to carry me far enough into the future, to the point where if I write about any characters or any story “Easter eggs,” I won’t be spoiling anything!

 

~~~~~Steve G.

It’s ALIVE!!!! The WebComic Has Posted!!!

Well, the moment has come. As of approximately 8:45AM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2017, I posted the first handful of pages for REDemption.

This is a comic book that has been in the making since November 2010. It was not completed until April 2012. When I say “completed,” I mean the writing part. Then began the long, arduous search for an artist. Future posts here in our blog section will recount this story, so I will not go into it here. For now, I want to focus on the positive.

It has finally happened. The comic has seen the light of day. What do I think? It is freakin’ amazing! No matter what anyone says about me or the story, they cannot deny the fact that it is finally out there. Johnny and I finally did it. Even if we get bombarded with hate mail and stop posting after 10 pages, we still put it out there for consumption.

So how’s it looking? Not too bad. For some reason, it is loading “backwards” in comparison to most webcomics. What do I mean? Well, usually when a webcomic gets posted, the website will display the LATEST page uploaded. If you want to start from the beginning, there is usually a button that screams “FIRST.” You hit that and can read from the start.

Not so here. My latest upload is what displays first. Then you have to hit “PREV” instead of “NEXT” to go to the next page. I’ve got some questions posed on the WordPress forums to figure out what is going on here.

In the meantime, just go to the first image (the girl on the hillside with the cat) and hit “PREV” until you get to the Page 04 and 05 image. That’s all the story we are sharing for now…a little prologue to entice you…opening with a BANG to draw you in.

I can’t wait until next week!

~~~~~Steve