Storytelling Specter 9 – Building From Scratch


I have several superheroes rolling around in my head that were going to be the basis for a big launch of an epic universe which everyone would love and adore. After my last column on this subject, though, I come to understand more deeply that the epic-ness of, let’s say the “Marvel Cinematic Universe,” is due to the fact that there are 75 years of backstory to these characters that everyone wants to see on the big screen. No one cares about Captain Schmuckatelly and the Infinite Nobodies. That is on me to create those characters and MAKE them that epic.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been working on my own shared universe for a long time. I have also mentioned that some of my characters started out as blatant rip offs of other characters and have either since become their own character or have been moved to the wayside. What I need to do now is take what’s left, combine ideas to make them more unique, and start writing SOMETHING in order to actually prepare to publish my own series.

Yeah, I’m going to concentrate on writing a single, monthly comic that will be distributed digitally… and probably initially free. I’ve got a name for this title, which I won’t reveal at the moment, but I do have a name for the company that I’ll be publishing this as… you guessed it, Emerald Specter Comics.

This single monthly is either going to be an anthology of smaller stories (i.e. four 6-page stories) or will concentrate on a single character (or team) for a specific number of issues for an arc (let’s say 6 to 8 issue arcs). That will allow me not to be roped into a single character and to develop a larger world (which is what I’d like to be doing). Unlike writers out there who claim they’ve always wanted to write a single book all their lives, I want to write all kinds of stuff. I’m not married to any single character, team, or book. Hell, these days, I can’t even say I’d like to write Action Comics because the damn thing reboots every few years. What the hell?

My idea is simple: tell stories in a pseudo-linear fashion with the characters I have created and then actually start producing an end product. I think my own personal art style isn’t good enough to accomplish what I would like to see the book to be but if I’m going to do this I don’t really have a choice. I can’t afford to hire an artist for between $300-$1000 to draw my book without any guarantee of making money in the end. I know, I’m told that this is how comics are made… but if I do this all myself then I’m not spending anything to produce (essentially) a PDF of a finished product. Maybe that will eventually attract an artist to want to work with me.

This means I need a schedule. If I’m doing this monthly then that means I need to be able to draw so many pages in a month. I can write here and there, fitting that in with all the Pages apps and whatnot when I have a chance, but actually sitting down and drawing is another story. That is something I’ll have to figure out as I go.

Maybe it’s time I changed the cover art for this column to be more “comic style”?

Write on.