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Comic Creators Thread: Ways to Stay Motivated, Creative, and Productive?

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  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Okay dudes, I've been out of it for a couple of weeks, but I figure it's time we had that second creative session. I'm thinking this Saturday afternoon, but I'm really open to meeting any time during the weekend.

    I'd like to guide the session towards an overall purpose and give you guys topics to think on prior to the session. The first thing to do, though, is to agree that our primary goal is creating a collaborative comic. Our secondary goals are sounding out other ideas not related to the comic and generally motivating one another in our creative efforts.

    For this next session, I'd like everyone to do the following:
    Come up with an entirely new character that has nothing at all to do with any of your prior ideas. There is no restriction on the type of character, and they aren't required to be super powered or anything like that. Backstory is optional.
    Come up with a plot or scenario in which this character will play a part, but will not be the sole protagonist/antagonist.

    From these two items, we'll attempt to create a cohesive story. Come prepared to explain why your plot and character should be a part of the story. We'll try to merge the best ideas together, but also massage the other ideas to get them up to the right level. We should all keep an open mind about what kind of story we're trying to create, as I don't want us to get bogged down in writing just a super hero story or just a mystery.

    Everyone that wants to participate, let me know, and indicate the time that'd be best for you.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
    Twitter - @liberaltruths | Google+ - http://gplus.to/wwtMask | Occupy Tallahassee
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'd like to participate. Noonish 'til the afternoon on Saturday or Sunday would probably be best for me, in the Eastern time zone.

    Incidentally, since I missed the creation of this thread and the first meeting, is there any catching up I need to do?

    Robos A Go Go on
  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I should be able to join in. Be good if we had an artist around though.

    Scooter on
  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Sunday would be cool

    Calamity Jane on
    twitter https://twitter.com/mperezwritesirl michelle patreon https://www.patreon.com/thatwronglove michelle's comic book from IMAGE COMICS you can order http://a.co/dn5YeUD
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    That's fine for me too, I guess. I suppose I could make any time on Sunday work.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Sunday is fine for me. Also, you guys are free to start posting your ideas for discussion prior to the meeting. I'll probably post my "BIG IDEA" tonight. Still need to create a character though. D:

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
    Twitter - @liberaltruths | Google+ - http://gplus.to/wwtMask | Occupy Tallahassee
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Sunday is fine for me. Also, you guys are free to start posting your ideas for discussion prior to the meeting. I'll probably post my "BIG IDEA" tonight. Still need to create a character though. D:

    I came up with my ideas in the shower this morning!

    I'll let someone else break the ice with theirs, though, to give me an idea of how fleshed out things need to be for these meetings.

    Also, can we settle on a time? I'll say noon onward is fine for me.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Okay dudes, let's shoot for 5 pm EST Sunday evening.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
    Twitter - @liberaltruths | Google+ - http://gplus.to/wwtMask | Occupy Tallahassee
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Okay, here's my "big idea" for the story. No title for it just yet, and it's still a really underdeveloped idea.

    The story takes place about 200 years in the future, about 100 years after an unexplained apocalyptic event that wiped out most life on earth. One of the few pockets of life left is in a huge "mega-skyscraper" that, due to its size, weathered the catastrophe without too much damage. Over time, nature has begun reclamation, such that the building's huge ten story atrium, whose windows are now broken and is exposed to the elements, has become overrun with vegetation and trees and animal life. Higher up in the building, similar things are happening, but at a slower rate, and several other atrium levels leading up the building are in similar shape. Throughout the building are small pockets of people, and the higher up the tower, the more civilized they are (and fewer in number). On the lowest Atrium level, several small groups of people live in tribal fashion. At the top are a handful of people who live mostly comfortable lives thanks to still intact technology (mainly personal robots). Below the ground level are several levels of sub-basements holding yet another group of people who've been cut off from the surface by fear of what killed everyone outside. Actually, all of the humans in the building, even the ones on Atrium levels, have a deep fear of leaving the confines of the building. Besides humans, there are also mysterious worker 'bots that continue to do their maintenance jobs (not always effectively), and while power is mostly gone from the place, there remains some technology that has fallen out of use or knowledge that still exists and works.

    The main thrust of the story would be to follow characters at different levels and get an insight into how the people changed to accommodate this new world. It should be explained that, despite how permanent the place seems, the building is vulnerable. Beyond that, I think there are several main plot points that could be explored. Do these different groups meet each other, and how often do they do so? Are there conflicts there? What caused the near extinction of man? What's happening in the world outside the building? Why and how is nature able to so aggressively reclaim the earth after such a short amount of time?

    Visually, I'm thinking of the savage land juxtaposed with a modern office building. The main Atrium I see as a kind of jungle ruins look. Other atriums would probably be like grasslands or farmland, maybe miniature forests. From the outside, the building would be still tall and imposing, but also with greenery creeping up the sides, and the windows mostly all blown out. The people would be basically just like us, but probably worse off looking and younger.

    Thoughts?

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
    Twitter - @liberaltruths | Google+ - http://gplus.to/wwtMask | Occupy Tallahassee
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I've heard something in this vein before, though it was more about an exaggerated class system that literally elevated the wealthy and buried the poor and lacked most of the plot elements you reference. In any case, I do like it and think it has some strong possibilities.

    Personally, I see a story in this setting starting at the top of the building with the characters that most closely resemble us and whom we can most easily relate to and then following one as he descends to the bottom and moves closer to what lies underneath man's technologies and creations and finds out what man is without structure and civility. Keeping in mind what you said about their still being some functioning electronics, my idea for the plot would be something along the lines of a kid searching for a pair of batteries at the request of his grandfather, who really wants to listen to his favorite song one more time, but is fresh out of Double A's. I guess I think it'd be humorous to turn something so mundane into a heroic journey, and I do think it's in keeping with the premise for the characters to regard the tech we take for granted with the same reverence we'd show museum pieces from bygone eras and perhaps even religious relics. After all, if they were so terrified by the encroaching nature that they regard it as evil, then conversely the building itself and all its gadgets would become almost holy for the refuge they offer.

    The only concern is whether or not a building can realistically offer enough variety in scenery to keep people interested for very long. Perhaps that's addressed by the term Mega-Skyscraper, which likely means a wide variety between floors. Nonetheless, I'm inclined to see this as a short story or miniseries rather than the sort of thing one could continue indefinitely, but then I'm the kind of guy who lost interest in The Walking Dead pretty fast.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    My ideas hold considerably less detail.

    1). Humanity makes contact with alien life and eagerly joins the Confederation of Planets. Being by far the least advanced member of the Confederation, and lusting for alien conveniences, technology, and art that can only be purchased with alien dollars, humanity capitalizes on the novelty offered by its recent introduction to the universe by turning its planet into the tourist capital of the galaxy. Production of inferior human goods cease, and every member of our race becomes employed in the intergalactic tourist industry.

    Well, almost every member. The idea of a God was a uniquely human one, and the day humanity stopped being the premier race was the day human ideas were put aside. Some groups held onto their religions, though, and sought new opportunities for evangelism in space. Most of these groups soon died, thanks to a variety of misunderstandings and accidents. In fact, there is only one left. He's a boy who has spent the past few years of his life hassling travelers at a space port (as his parents taught him to do, before they were mistaken for stray animals and killed by a new security guard) while pointing to a book written in a language only he can read with ideas only he can understand, sort of. He's useless, he's miserable, but, when God shows up after forgetting to set his alarm and leaving creation unattended for several millenia too long, he's the only one equipped to handle the problem.

    2). The main character was once an assistant manager at a fast food chain. One day, learned the company's dark secret. The mascot, rather than being a colorful peddler of fun and food, was actually a dark god.

    Dozens of years ago, dark religions were on the outs. Who looks forward to the apocalypse, after all? With a decrease in followers, the god's power and influence waned, and soon it seemed as though he was done. That's when one inventive acolyte decided that soliciting worship directly was the wrong way to go. So, he refashioned his wretched messiah into a friendly clown, and sought tribute in dollars rather than prayers. Surprisingly, the plan has proven to be a success, and with each burger sold the malevolent force behind the smiling face becomes ever more powerful. At 10,000,000,000 customers served, the world ends.

    Of course, our hero isn't having that, and so he abandoned his former career and took up the mantle of another, nicer god. Now he's on the run from the followers of the clown and selling hot dogs out of cart in hopes of reviving the lost benevolent force who might just save us all.

    3). When the secret to coming back to life as a ghost was discovered, mass suicide soon followed, and these days the corporeal are a minority. Among them is the main character who, thanks to an irrational fear of death, neglected to off himself when his family did. Now he's the only meatbag in his own town, and it's tough. Structures have fallen into disrepair, nobody makes food anymore, he can't touch his girlfriend without going through her, and the local bullies won't stop haunting him. It's almost, but not quite, enough to make a dude jump off a bridge.

    4.) A man invents instant teleportation and, after testing it himself, is pleased to discover that his body has been transported from one spot to another 100% intact. The only problem is that his soul wasn't teleported with it. Now he's a disembodied spirit, unable to interact in most respects, and his body has been robbed of its conscience and is planning on doing something unspeakable. What is a body without a soul? We're going to find out.

    These are my half-thought ideas. They're brand new and I only came up with them to join the creating, so I have no real attachment to them and won't react poorly to suggestions or even having them outright shot down.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • CrimsondudeCrimsondude Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Mask, I like your idea and want to share some info with you that was written for a different plotline, but which has some pretty useful background information for how such a building would be designed and operate. The mega-building arcologies are a staple of cyberpunk and related sci-fi literature. There's actually a long out of print book for the Cyberpunk RPG that even had a large foldout map of an arcology in Chicago that took up a goodly chunk of downtown detailing what was on each floor.

    Really, I cannot describe in so few words the kind of changes and events that went into this building. It was a global setting plot plot unto itself (and where, btw, my story ends ... in blood). The interesting thing though is that this was a building about half a cubic kilometer in size (1 km tall, pyramid-shaped, designed to withstand a nuclear blast set off on the street out front). You could fit 100,000 people inside as residents and visitors.

    Anyway, that's that and your idea is yours. But if you would like that background info, I'll send it to you.

    In other news, I'm not going to make the next meeting.

    Crimsondude on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Robos, you have some good ideas there.

    Crimson, I'll be happy to get any research info on mega-buildings that you've got. I actually based this idea on a building concept called Sky City that I saw on the Discovery Channel.

    I also had a couple more ideas to throw out:

    Entangled - the story of an ordinary man who blinks for a moment, then opens his eyes to find every person has disappeared. The world carries on without the people, though, and he nearly goes crazy seeing cars continue to drive themselves and doors opening. Eventually he discovers that other people didn't disappear; instead, it's him that disappeared into a parallel Earth where there are no people. Further, to explain why everything is moving, he learns that most of the matter on his earth and the parallel Earth are quantum entangled, and he suspects that whatever entangled the two planets also has to do with why there are no people on the parallel earth and why he was pulled into the planet.

    A couple characters:
    A lazy bastard who has the curse of inverse fortunes. This means that things go exactly the opposite of everything he tries to do.

    An unemployed, two strike ex-felon and father of six children lives in a shitty, run down inner city neighborhood that is rife with crime. He's suddenly endowed with a conventional super power set (heightened strength, toughness, flight) and uses it to clean up his neighborhood. Now established as a hero and enjoying the importance and recognition, he decides to fight crime as a costumed hero (keeping his identity a secret). However, saddled with the burden of providing for his family and with no job prospects at all in sight, he reluctantly turns to moonlighting as a criminal to support his family. At first it starts off with robbing other criminals, but one he's cleaned up most of them, he's turns to real crime. In addition to his hero work and his criminal work, he's also got to deal with a united underworld gunning for both his hero and villain alter-egos.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
    Twitter - @liberaltruths | Google+ - http://gplus.to/wwtMask | Occupy Tallahassee
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Robos, you have some good ideas there.

    Crimson, I'll be happy to get any research info on mega-buildings that you've got. I actually based this idea on a building concept called Sky City that I saw on the Discovery Channel.

    I also had a couple more ideas to throw out:

    Entangled - the story of an ordinary man who blinks for a moment, then opens his eyes to find every person has disappeared. The world carries on without the people, though, and he nearly goes crazy seeing cars continue to drive themselves and doors opening. Eventually he discovers that other people didn't disappear; instead, it's him that disappeared into a parallel Earth where there are no people. Further, to explain why everything is moving, he learns that most of the matter on his earth and the parallel Earth are quantum entangled, and he suspects that whatever entangled the two planets also has to do with why there are no people on the parallel earth and why he was pulled into the planet.

    A couple characters:
    A lazy bastard who has the curse of inverse fortunes. This means that things go exactly the opposite of everything he tries to do.

    An unemployed, two strike ex-felon and father of six children lives in a shitty, run down inner city neighborhood that is rife with crime. He's suddenly endowed with a conventional super power set (heightened strength, toughness, flight) and uses it to clean up his neighborhood. Now established as a hero and enjoying the importance and recognition, he decides to fight crime as a costumed hero (keeping his identity a secret). However, saddled with the burden of providing for his family and with no job prospects at all in sight, he reluctantly turns to moonlighting as a criminal to support his family. At first it starts off with robbing other criminals, but one he's cleaned up most of them, he's turns to real crime. In addition to his hero work and his criminal work, he's also got to deal with a united underworld gunning for both his hero and villain alter-egos.

    Thoughts on this set of ideas.

    1.) There's a very Twilight Zone vibe to this pitch, which I love, and I think something great can come from it so long as the character himself is compelling enough to sustain a story on his own, without the benefit of supporting characters. There's a temptation to go the everyman route with this, so the main character can act as a surrogate for the reader, but I'd be wary of doing so when other works about profound isolation have already tread that path. Rather, it may be preferable to pick a character type better equipped for this sort of thing, perhaps with the background to deduce something like a quantum entanglement and single-handedly solve the mystery of what has happened to him rather than relying on plot devices to lead the way.

    2.) In this case, is the character lazy because inverse fortune has driven him to total inaction, with that being the only way to avoid accidentally creating a catastrophe with any well-meaning act? But then, with inverse fortune, not doing anything would actually produce have the effect of doing something dramatic, life-shattering. I guess that's where the story would begin?

    It's an interesting idea for a character, but it feels like it'd be difficult to write a story around such a man. You'd have to make the power (or rather liability) show up sporadically rather than with every decision the man makes, so things don't get too predictable and other plot elements have the chance to take hold without being interrupted by another case of, "He meant to do this, but he got that".

    3). There's a lot of potential with this character, both for generic superheroism and social commentary. The strongest part is the dynamic offered by having a heroic and villainous identity, especially considering the moral ambiguity you can inject into these two roles as the latter acts criminally out of a sense of obligation and love and the former, if you choose to go this route, perhaps become representative of more selfish interests.

    There are two things I'd suggest for this character, though.

    First, I'd shy away from the generic powerset. Nine out of ten times, I'll dismiss anything that can be regarded as "my version of Superman". Maybe spend a few hours looking through heroes on wiki and try to find something that's more reflective of the character's personality and role in the community. Bonus points if the powerset can be utilized one way for the heroic identity and another for the villainous identity.

    Second, and this is kind of minor, I'd suggest giving the character a criminal record. It'll explain why he can't get a normal job and why he wouldn't seek employment with the government or local law enforcement as a powered law enforcer along with making his transition to masked robber a bit easier for the reader to accept. There are other ways to do all these things, though, and it really doesn't matter how they're addressed so long as they're addressed because, as I'm sure you know, there are always people looking to poke holes in the logic of your story.



    Hope my comments helped. I'm not really sure what sort of replies plot ideas are meant to receive, so I'll just say whatever comes to mind until someone comes along and shows me how it's done.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • CrimsondudeCrimsondude Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The criminal background is played out. More to the point, it is unnecessary given the fact that there are plenty of reasons for his situation to exist without having that particular fact hanging from his neck. But Mask did say he's a two-time ex-felon.

    As for the generic powerset--it's generic for a reason. I mean, shit, his concept pretty much describes Bendis' Luke Cage with the addition of flight.

    Anyway, Mask, I'll get that to you as soon as I get a chance.

    Crimsondude on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The criminal background is played out. More to the point, it is unnecessary given the fact that there are plenty of reasons for his situation to exist without having that particular fact hanging from his neck. But Mask did say he's a two-time ex-felon.

    As for the generic powerset--it's generic for a reason. I mean, shit, his concept pretty much describes Bendis' Luke Cage with the addition of flight.

    Anyway, Mask, I'll get that to you as soon as I get a chance.

    I wouldn't say the criminal background thing is played out, per se. It's been touched upon, but for the most part ex-cons who turn hero were framed for a crime they didn't commit (Luke Cage), are doing good under duress and not really good people at all (the Thunderbolts), or have so completely put their pasts behind them that they might as well not be ex-cons at all (Falcon, Plastic Man).

    As far as I know, there's really nothing out there in comics that depicts an ex-con or current criminal with anything other than a compartmentalized personality, with one side to hold the good, another to hold the bad, and the central conflict being the war waged between the two. Rather than acknowledging that morality is fluid, and that we'd all be fine committing crimes under the right circumstances and not necessarily be worse people for it, all that is swept under the rug to give characters something to triumph over or something to succumb to, but never one distinct personality with a rational, uncompromising set of priorities and morals that can be both a threat and boon to society in different ways without ever contradicting itself. So long as you take care to avoid the same tiresome cliches found in stories of ex-cons written by people who haven't researched ex-cons and aim for a more honest, true to life portrayal, I think there's still ample ground to cover.

    And yeah, I feel kind of stupid for somehow missing the part in the very first sentence where wwt says his character is an ex-felon. In my defense, I posted right before I went to bed. Still though, I wish the comment had somehow avoided notice so I could edit it and get away clean.

    Finally, I have to admit that I don't understand your last point that well. Yes, wwtmask's idea for an urban hero evokes Luke Cage. That said, there are key differences between this pitch and the Hero for Hire's backstory, namely the fatherhood aspect and having a heroic and a villainous identity. Maybe that's not enough to set wwt's creation apart for now, but it's a start. Furthermore, if more time is spent developing this concept, then there will be more to separate this guy from Luke Cage and, eventually, enough space will exist between the two for the newer character to be considered unique.

    In my opinion, a good place to start is by ditching the vanilla power set. As for what to replace it with, I have to cast a vote for shape-shifting. I know, it's not that unique either, but I think it's the best choice for a story such as this where the character who is morally and mentally amorphous. The differences between his hero version and his villain version can be made more stark as well, as they'll no longer be limited to a costume change. Shape-shifting would even allow the character to pretend that the latter and the former entities even have different powers, with one focusing on force and the other focusing on stealth or one being a bit more light-hearted (Plastic Man) while the other is a bit more grim (Clayface). Furthermore, the shape-shifting can act subconsciously as well, causing the man's default shape to change to reflect his self-image, or even going so far as to alter the shape and balance of chemicals in his brain to create a shift in mindset when he adopts one of his forms.

    Hell, if you want to make this a story about inner conflict, the final battle could literally be between the hero and the villain aspects of the man's identity as he, no longer able to cope with being two people in one, splits in two. Yeah, it's been done with The Sentry and others, but that's no reason not to do it yourself if you think you can make the scene as good or better than its predecessors.

    P.S. I hope suggesting additional plot and character elements and other such changes isn't out of line.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah, Luke Cage was in mind when I was thinking about this character, but he's not quite the same. This guy is seriously backed into a corner financially, he's got zero prospects due to his record and being a high school dropout, and he's desperate to do something for his kids. Part of doing something for his kids, once he gets his powers, is cleaning up the crime in his neighborhood. I didn't really think of playing up his selfish desires as a part in his heroism, but I do see how it would be a big motivating factor. After all, in my mind this guy is relatively young, he's done a good bit of time in prison, and he's accomplished basically nothing in his life besides having some kids. He's bound to have dreams and hopes that are probably going to go unfulfilled, and then he gets some powers that open up all sorts of possibilities. Regarding his power set, I made them generic (and I'll probably change them) because the powers are a plot device and what the powers are specifically isn't really that important to the story.

    For Entangled, I still like the everyman angle, but I'd thought about having him stumble upon a way to communicate with people in the real world. The idea here may be that another "normal" person gets caught up in it when they see objects moving and thinks that there's a real ghost doing stuff. The word gets out about a "real ghost", and eventually it gets the right people in the scientific community and the government involved. Another small point about the story is that this parallel world is pretty dangerous for this guy. Things are moving about and he has very little warning about any of it, so he's bound to be hurt by small things that he doesn't see (imagine a knife just floating around, or falling glass that he gets no warning about).

    The lazy bastard is not really a lazy bastard, but he acts like one to prevent his luck from doing too much harm. I would say his power works like a reverse version of Domino's power, except it's mostly out of his control, it's not entirely consistent, and the effect is proportional to how hard or how much he cares about making something happen. This isn't a very developed idea right now, to be honest, but I just like the idea of someone being a lazy fuck for the betterment of mankind.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
    Twitter - @liberaltruths | Google+ - http://gplus.to/wwtMask | Occupy Tallahassee
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I didn't really think of playing up his selfish desires as a part in his heroism, but I do see how it would be a big motivating factor. After all, in my mind this guy is relatively young, he's done a good bit of time in prison, and he's accomplished basically nothing in his life besides having some kids. He's bound to have dreams and hopes that are probably going to go unfulfilled, and then he gets some powers that open up all sorts of possibilities.

    I just think it'd be interesting to see what happens when a man gains the ability to fulfill his ambitions only to realize that his ideal future is one where he isn't hampered by kids and a wife. After all, do any of the figures who embody post-adolescent male wish fulfillment fantasies have responsibilities towards family and bread winning? Aside from Mr. Fantastic (And who wants to be Mr. Fantastic?), no.

    Furthermore, because of his devotion to his family, he's forced to compromise the spirit of his ideal self by turning to crime as a means of supporting his family, an act that embodies the very sort of compromises men feel they have to make when they decide being a good dad is more important than being a "great man".

    So, the hero busting heads becomes sort of as an escape from home life and his career as a criminal (For a few hours a day, he can pretend he's not like the criminals he pursue who, themselves, may be victims of the same system that made a villain of the him.) while the villain becomes an embodiment of all the problems, both personal and societal, that a man would rather ignore, but mustn't. In short, the shining heroic form is whom he could be if he was his own sole concern and the villainous entity is who he needs to be, or the ugly lump of a life one has to adopt by consenting to become less than your ideal (Whether this means succumbing to villainy or mediocrity.) to provide for those who can't provide for themselves. I guess that makes the hero the Id, the villain the Super Ego, and the man in between the Ego.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Robos, you and I should have a pow-wow about this hero/villain guy. I think we're on the same wavelength with where the character is going.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
    Twitter - @liberaltruths | Google+ - http://gplus.to/wwtMask | Occupy Tallahassee
  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I always wanted to do something where the main character would travel through planes of existence. Attacking somebody's creativity or lack thereof. A story about a dude tackling real-world problems and fake ones. He'll hunt people who also dip in and out of fiction or the edges of sanity.

    I think the first issue should be him jumping into a puppet show in the vein of Sesame Street on a stakeout to find a puppet that's a convicted pedophile.

    Then they duke it out as puppets and they end up running into a video game.

    While of course you'd think I'd take the easy route and just make this a pop culture wankfest, I'd imagine it as something more of a...well I guess Quantum Leap?

    Calamity Jane on
    twitter https://twitter.com/mperezwritesirl michelle patreon https://www.patreon.com/thatwronglove michelle's comic book from IMAGE COMICS you can order http://a.co/dn5YeUD
  • Sars_BoySars_Boy Rest, You Are The Lightning. Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    That sounds cool, but what would be the basis for how he does it?

    Is the puppet show, like, an alternate universe?

    Are you going for some truly fucked up thing like they did in the Filth?

    Sars_Boy on
  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Not in the Morrison sense of metafiction where there's meaning attached to those planes. I mean like...Spider-Man written by Stan Lee. If it were actually a place you could visit but you're limited by your consciousness. This story would follow a guy who could not only hop in between these places, but could also destroy them.

    I'd call that shit Destroyer, son!

    Calamity Jane on
    twitter https://twitter.com/mperezwritesirl michelle patreon https://www.patreon.com/thatwronglove michelle's comic book from IMAGE COMICS you can order http://a.co/dn5YeUD
  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I mean, one time I thought it'd be the funniest shit if a guy writing Superman fan-fiction would be writing it up and out of nowhere Superman jumps out of the screen and punches the dude's head clean off.

    Calamity Jane on
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  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The hero/villain talk reminded me of a concept I find interesting but the closest I think I've ever seen is Red X from the Teen Titans cartoon. Basically, the average person is selfish and cares about the safety of others at the same time. If you have superpowers, and what you want is behind a locked vault, why not use them to get what you want? Doesn't mean you have to kill people to get it though, and when Sentinels show up and start trashing New York City, hey, why not stretch your super muscles and help save lives?

    Basically I like the idea of a dude who utterly refuses to classify themselves as a hero or villain. They've got super powers, life is fucking awesome, they'll playfully put down any heroes who try to arrest them, banks are insured and aren't getting hurt anyways, but when real people are in danger they'll step in and do their bit.

    I wonder what Spider-man would be like as a criminal.

    Scooter on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Spider-Man as a criminal would be a charismatic thief, like Lupin III.
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    Not in the Morrison sense of metafiction where there's meaning attached to those planes. I mean like...Spider-Man written by Stan Lee. If it were actually a place you could visit but you're limited by your consciousness. This story would follow a guy who could not only hop in between these places, but could also destroy them.

    I'd call that shit Destroyer, son!

    So he's like a psychiatrist with a two-fisted approach to curing mental illness that involves jumping into subjects' minds and searching for the source of the trouble in a landscape that mirrors the man or woman's thoughts. Stan Lee's mind would resemble Marvel's New York, and the Green Goblin would embody his pedophilia, if he was a pedophile.

    wwt: Yeah, it'd be cool to discuss it some more.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    i brought up spider-man as an analogy

    Calamity Jane on
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  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    I always wanted to do something where the main character would travel through planes of existence. Attacking somebody's creativity or lack thereof. A story about a dude tackling real-world problems and fake ones. He'll hunt people who also dip in and out of fiction or the edges of sanity.

    I think the first issue should be him jumping into a puppet show in the vein of Sesame Street on a stakeout to find a puppet that's a convicted pedophile.

    Then they duke it out as puppets and they end up running into a video game.

    While of course you'd think I'd take the easy route and just make this a pop culture wankfest, I'd imagine it as something more of a...well I guess Quantum Leap?

    I'm doing something kind of like this in my project. I can't draw at all, so it is just notes and bits of prose and whatnot. The actual main setting is the far future Milky Way, with an alternate past. Different realities are accessed/represented in a variety of ways. Some of them are kind of a futuristic MMORPG, such as a steampunk reality. There are also different levels of technology present, from our near future, sort of like Tom Clancy's videogame stuff, all the way to very futuristic stuff, like teleportation stations instead of the daily commute. There is a society kind of like the UN on a huge scale, a kind of unified monoculture like the our world is headed now. This is the most advanced society and they kind of have to invite you in. There are a ton of other societies around too.

    DouglasDanger on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Alright, creative session over and, I think, fruitful. Thanks to Nogs, Robosagogo, and Scooter for participating. We've got a new challenge of sorts now, which is to create a pitch for a comic. Details are in the OP, and I'll probably clarify them more as I get time. If I have time tonight, I'll also post the logs of the two creative sessions for anyone that wants to see what we came up with.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Well dudes, after thinking on it a while, I finally figured out the right angle for a story about the people in the tower. Still trying to think up a title though. Anyway, here's part of the pitch for the first arc:
    ISOLATED
    A teenager, raised almost entirely by nanny and domestic bots on the upper level floors, is summoned to the death bed of an acquaintance of his. Like the other humans in that habitat, the Kid has very little contact with other people, sometimes going half a year without talking to another human, much less seeing one. Therefore, this is an extremely odd summons, and he goes very hesitantly. He witnesses the death of this person, and it shakes him to the core, to the point that he decides to break social custom and aggressively seek out his other acquaintances. What he finds is that the domesti-bots stonewall him with excuses. After months of this, he gets fed up, and with the help of his own personal robot companion, he breaks into the dwelling of one of his "uncles". What he finds shocks and frightens him: a dessicated corpse, more than a year old, tended by addled robots. Other break-ins confirm that this is widespread; the Kid is suddenly very paranoid and fearful of what has become of other people and the robots. His own robot, analyzing the situation, suggests that they leave the upper floors, otherwise the malfunctioning robots might fixate on him and possibly imprison or kill him in an effort to protect and serve him. What follows is a harrowing escape from the upper floors, made possible by the efforts of the companion bot. The duo find themselves in the border floors, and the only way to go is down. The Kid's fear of the outside world weighs heavily on him until he convinces himself that, in order to fix the problems in the upper floors, he needs to find a man who, years earlier, also left the upper floor habitat.

    Several themes are in the focus of this arc. The main one is isolation and its effect on society. Another is the gap between haves and have nots, as this very privileged kid will get a rude awakening as he descends the tower. The third is self-reliance, as the Kid will be forced to make his own way without a safety net. The fourth is man vs. himself, in that the Kid and others he encounters will have to face down the constructs of men, the robots that have gone around the bend. On the periphery are questions about how the world came to be this way, why people are scared of leaving the tower, and what's wrong with nature.

    Thoughts?

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I was dubious about the rogue robots aspect of the story when you originally brought this story idea to the table, thinking at the time that it was a tacked on bit of future kitsch, but you've really sold me on the idea with this version of the pitch. I suppose it was just the fact that you made them central to the story rather than something on the periphery, or perhaps it was the upgrade to central threat. In any case, it's just one more bit to love about your idea.

    Additionally, I also love the assortment of themes you present along with you way you yourself have presented them in the closing.

    Really, I have no suggestions or criticisms to offer. I think you've done a fine job, and I look forward to seeing your sample pages.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • CrimsondudeCrimsondude Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Heh. "Shutdown."

    It's actually sad that that story had all these great themes built upon Catholic scripture and writings of major thinkers, and then it was ended because someone more influential within the writers' group has a hard-on for Norse paganism.

    Crimsondude on
  • RuikRuik Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Eric Burn's short story "Interviewing Leather" deals with moral ambiguity in a hero/villain as one of its topics. Its also a great read.

    Its written in Fourteen Parts the first of which is Here.

    I'm not sure if this belongs in this thread, but I figured you guys would like it.

    Ruik on
    shehulknotetomarc.jpg
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    How about another meeting next weekend?

    Robos A Go Go on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Okay dudes, time to revive this thread again. Anyone that wants to check in and share any progress you've made since the last meeting. I'll come right out and say I didn't do the assignment ( D: ), but I have made a bit of progress on my Monkey Girl story. So far, I've outlined the first issue and scripted a couple pages. I also made a bit more progress on the The Tower.

    Let's try to get together for another session the weekend after this coming weekend.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'm still twiddling around with various comic ideas that it'll probably take years for me to feel comfortable enough to take on in earnest. I've been giving some thought to just doing a few very short done-in-one stories, like ten to twenty pages, which I'll post about later. For now, have some random pitches from the folder I call, "Comics I want to write for DC some day, but will never get to because only five people would buy them, and I would be one of them."

    Rex the Wonder Dog and Detective Chimp

    When the immortal Rex is injured during a covert operation in Qurac, he is permanently retired from duty, and forced to go back home bearing shrapnel in his hip and a permanent limp to go with it. Moving back in with his adopted family, Rex finds a mystery waiting for him in the small Metropolis suburb. It seems all throughout the neighborhood, people and animals have suddenly gone missing without a trace. Unable to deduce who's at fault on his own, Rex calls in a favor from the greatest detective he knows; Detective Chimp!

    After canvasing the neighborhood, running down leads, and picking through clues, Rex and DC eventually discovers the culprit is none other than General Zahl, a Nazi general whom he battled decades ago during WWII. Zahl, once thought dead, has obtained a sample of promethium, the volatile substance once used by his old enemy Mento to create the mutated Hybrid. Using a combination of promethium, and the abducted humans and animals, Zahl has created his own version of the Hybrid and loosed them on the unsuspecting suburb. With no other superheroes around, Rex and DC must combat the new Hybrid on their own, and find a way to undo the mutations forced on the unfortunate souls of Rex's neighborhood.

    Deadman

    For too long Boston Brand has sat idle, cavorting around the universe with little care for his responsibilities as Rama Kushna's champion. And Rama has had enough. The series opens with Boston Brand being stripped of his supernatural powers of possession. But, Rama Kushna grants Boston a new gift; the ability to possess and reconstitute the remains of the dead. But there's a catch. While inhabiting a corpse, Boston must work to complete the dead's greatest uncompleted tasks, all while simultaneously working towards completing his own; discovering the identity of his killer, the Hook. As if that wasn't enough, Boston is also forced to take on the soul of the person whose body he's possessed, with them as a passenger in their own body.

    The series would serve as a way to bring long dead superheroes (and sometimes supervillains) back into play. It would also give the writer a chance to tie up any loose ends from long gone series that might otherwise never be resolved. Did Aztek have unfinished business before he died? Did Elongated Man have one last mystery he was never able to solve? Does Dan Garrett still have a living nemesis that he was unable to apprehend before his death? This series would offer readers a brief glimpse of these otherwise unusable characters, reminding the reader why they were cool, and what they had to offer the DCU. It would also give some insight into what the DCU afterlife is really like. What does Blue Beetle's afterlife look like compared to Black Condor's? How does a hero feel when he's pulled away from his heavenly reward, and forced back into one last conflict? What will Boston Brand do when one of the dead decide they don't want to stop living once more? And what happens when Boston Brand screws up, and fails in one of his missions, depriving a hero of their very last chance to set things right, and finally be at peace?

    Argus

    Nothing gets past Nick Kovacs, the former FBI agent-turned-superhero known as Argus. Gifted with 100 different forms of vision, and enhanced speed, healing abilities, strength, and reflexes, Argus is the perfect bodyguard. The series would open with Argus already having been recruited by the Department of Extranormal Operations, and given his first assignment as their Shepherd; the protection and transportation of Genius Jones, the Boy Who Knows Everything. While transporting Genius to a secure location in Metropolis, the two are ambushed by supercriminals for hire. In the ensuing brawl, two villains are left dead, Genius Jones has been kidnapped, and Argus has been shot full of holes, saved only by his healing factor. Now the Shepherd must become the wolf, as a recovering Argus is forced to tear his way through the criminal underworld, making his way to the man who engineered Genius' kidnapping; the villainous Calculator, coveter of all information. With the clock ticking, Argus must get to the Calculator and rescue Genius before the villain can pry the boy's knowledge from him, and discover the answer to every question he could ever hope to ask. How will Genius Jones answer when asked, "Who is Superman?"

    The series would follow a similar formula for each subsequent arc. Argus is tasked to guard someone or something valuable to the government, all the while fending off waves of enemies as he tries to get whatever it is he's protecting to a secure location. For one mission he might be teamed with government agent Rex the Wonder Dog to escort the villainous canine king of the underworld Millions, better known as the Dogfather, to trial. For another he might have to get a sliver of gold kryptonite from point A to point B, as both supervillains and superheroes try to take it from him, each coveting the kryptonite for their own reasons. Meanwhile the supporting cast would include DEO standards like Cameron Chase and Mr. Bones, with occasional appearances from others in various DCU law enforcement agencies; the GCPD, Keystone City's finest, Checkmate, and so on.

    There'd also be a running plot where someone is hunting those Argus protects, which would eventually be revealed to be the villainous Hundred-Eyed Man, the perfect hunter-assassin, whose gaze no one can escape. So there'd be a little parallel between the Hundred-Eyed Man and the man with one hundred visions; one a guardian, one a hunter. I like little parallels like that between heroes and their archenemies.

    Munch on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Honestly, I can't see myself committing to weekly meetings and a real work schedule at this time, if only because I'm not mentally up to it.

    Still though, i like to read other people's ideas and think it would be nice if we could see them develop over time through this thread.


    Also, Munch's Deadman pitch sounds like it'd be a fantastic read.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I am really liking those pitches, Munch. That Argus thing could almost be some crazy fight comic.

    I haven't really worked on my project in a month. Occasional brainstorming, but not too much else. I thought of some awesome ideas, like a camera-type thing that shrinks things down to pill-size and wraps them in a plastic-type coating. Turns out DBZ's Capsule corp did that like 15 years ago. I think I'll go with it anyway, because why the hell not. Pym particles, dimensional compression, webcomics that use "hammer space" tesseract zones or whatever, etc.

    I'm running with the videogame/rpg mindset, classes and stats and whatnot. So items are pretty important.

    DouglasDanger on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Following Munch's example, here's a pitch I'd like to make to Marvel for a BP/Blade team up. It's still missing something to give it some "oomph", I just haven't figured out what it is yet.
    Black Panther/Blade: Blood Feud


    Premise: This story builds on the events of the recent Blade series. It takes place shortly after the events of Messiah Complex (around the time that Nezhno returns to Wakanda). Several hundred years ago, an uncommonly strong and vicious vampire named Lord Nosferatu attempted to conquer Wakanda in the name of his sire, Count Dracula. The vampire army that he raised (by turning locals and controlling them) came closest to conquering the country. Only the efforts of the Black Panther at the time, T'Naja (T'Challa's great-great-great-grandmother), stopped the assault. She led the army of Wakanda against the vampires in a final, climactic night battle, destroying Lord Nosferatu but also dying in the process.

    In the present day, per the Blade series, formerly dead vampires have been returned to life. Lord Nosferatu, wary of another devastating defeat, sends some of his vampires to infiltrate Wakanda and grow his army inside the country's borders in preparation for conquering the nation. At the same time, he's also attempting to contact his master in Europe. Blade gets wind of this and leaves a trail of dead vampires as he tries to find Lord Nosferatu, eventually making his way to Wakanda. T'Challa, meanwhile, arrives back in country with Nezhno and Storm. Things are amiss in the borderlands, and he goes to personally investigate, taking a small group with him (including the aforementioned mutants). He finds Blade jailed for attempted murder in a small village that seems to be at the center of the mysterious circumstances. It quickly becomes apparent that Wakanda has a vampire problem

    BP and Blade decide to join forces to eradicate the vampires. Upon returning to the capital, they are shocked to find T'Naja alive and well in the royal palace. It turns out that T'Naja had been turned by Nosferatu, but through force of will and her connection to the Panther God, was able to overcome his control. In the final battle, she'd personally killed her sire, and then staked herself. Now alive again, she wants to help T'Challa against the resurgent vampire army. Further, she reveals the urgency of their mission: the souls of Wakandans are promised to the Panther God, but these souls are trapped unnaturally when they are turned into vampires. As it did hundreds of years ago, this will have a cumulative effect of weakening the nation and the power of the Black Panther. With international affairs as tenuous as they are, Wakanda could potentially be weaker than ever, possibly enough to be conquered or destroyed.

    The rest of the story follows the "team", consisting of BP, Storm, Nezhno, T'Naja, and Blade, skirmishing with vampires as they work their way towards Nosferatu. These fights will sometimes be against compromised units of the Wakandan military. In addition, there will be a few powered vampires to even the playing field. Nezhno, in particular, will get a good bit of screen time, and we'll see the immense power that he's thus far been reluctant to use. Finally, the series will culminate in a large night battle between the overwhelmingly large vampire army and the Wakandan forces.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
    Twitter - @liberaltruths | Google+ - http://gplus.to/wwtMask | Occupy Tallahassee
  • CoJoeTheLawyerCoJoeTheLawyer Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    I mean, one time I thought it'd be the funniest shit if a guy writing Superman fan-fiction would be writing it up and out of nowhere Superman jumps out of the screen and punches the dude's head clean off.

    Actually, I have been bouncing in my head an idea for a GN/limited series about a aspiring young independent comic book writer (think someone along the lines of Pre-Marvel Bendis) who gets the opportunity of a lifetime to write Superman for DC Comics. The writer, wanting to shake things up on the title and leave his mark, decides to permanently kill Lois Lane. This works great, until one night, he's greeted at his door by a very real, very pissed Superman, who wants his love interest revived from the dead...or else.

    If there's any interest, I can post my general plot synopsis and character profiles. Copyrights pending, of course.

    I also had an idea about a group of superheroes who unwittingly work for Satan.

    CoJoeTheLawyer on

    CoJoe.png
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Holy hell, I got a great brain wave in the shower on a new story and managed to slam out the first five pages of the script in like 20 minutes. I'm going to get the dialog correct tomorrow and then post it for everyone's perusal. Shit, I need to live in the shower if it's going to get my creativity fired up like this.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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