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

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  • valiancevaliance Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Ruik wrote: »
    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.

    That was pretty awesome. Thanks for that.

    valiance on
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Also, Munch's Deadman pitch sounds like it'd be a fantastic read.

    Thanks! I love Deadman, and it irks me that Bruce Jones of all people was hired to handle his most recent series.
    I am really liking those pitches, Munch. That Argus thing could almost be some crazy fight comic.

    That's actually pretty much exactly how I pictured the first arc. Just crazy, Hysteria: One Man Gang style face smashing, occasionally punctuated by some Man on Fire-like introspection and urban warfare. I really love Argus, and just want so badly to see him make a comeback. The dude's a former FBI agent, turned undercover mafia mook, turned superhero, who also knows how to do magic tricks and sleight of hand. He's like Spike Spiegel, if he was a superhero. So much potential there. And if nobody picked up on it, his archvillain, the Hundred-Eyed Man was supposed to be a riff on the old Ten-Eyed Man concept. Of course, Morrison had to go and reboot the concept into something more awesome. Jerk.

    Anytime I'm plotting out a theoretical ongoing series (including my own stuff, which may actually have a chance in Hell of being made some day), I always think in sort of a TV show mindset. In pretty much any successful TV show there's a specific formula that gets followed; an episode of House will always have him diagnosing some mystery ailment, Law and Order: SVU will always revolve around a sex/child crime, My Name Is Earl is always about Earl marking something off his list, and so on. So I try to apply a similar mindset to comics. It seems like too many potentially interesting comics die because there's no focus. I really wanted to read Shadowpact, because I thought each arc would feature the team combating some new magic menace. Instead there was just a bunch of wandering around, filler issues, and general lameness. I think Booster Gold has it right. Each mini-plot features Booster going out, righting a wrong in the timestream, and then going out to do it again. It's a very simple formula, so it's hard to fuck up. But stuff also carries over from one issue to another.

    When it comes to superheroes I'm also kind of a sucker for literalism. My Blue Beetle pitch on the first page was all about feeling like a bug, unwanted and unappreciated by others, and in Beetle's case, superheroes. My Deadman pitch has Boston Brand becoming a literal dead man walking, only possessing corpses. Argus, who was named for a mythical sheperd/guardian goes on to become a guardian of prized people and things. And so on. I don't know why, but it always seems like it makes an idea easier to connect to somehow.

    Anyways, some more ideas.

    Sketchbook6-2.jpg

    First, the stuff on the post-it notes there. I've had this idea for a story kicking around in my head a while, about the golden age, public domain hero, the Face. The Face was basically just an urban vigilante that ran around in a scary mask frightening criminals. My short story (less than ten pages) would see a criminal with a kidnapped kid running from the Face, whose face would remain turned away from the camera/in shadow throughout the story. The Face would be narrating the whole thing in kind of a Question/Rorschach way. Then for the big climax the reader finally sees the Face's mask, and it's just this horrifying creation that looks like rotting meat that's been steeped in swamp water for a year. I'm thinking there'd be a Question-like pun wedged in there. You know, "Turn and face me!" or something like that. The final scene would have the Face approaching the kid, trying to pull his hat down, and his coat up over his face, thinking about how hard it is for kids to see his mask. The final line would be delivered by the kid as they're lifted up by the Face to be carried to safety; "Thank you for saving me.. from the monster." Eh. It's a work in progress.

    As for that stuff on the actual sketchbook there. That's for a comic I want to do using a supervillain as the protagonist, titled Crisis of the Steel Skull. It centers around a middle-aged, sarcastic, constantly put-upon villain called the Steel Skull who has, in recent years, grown pretty lax in maintaining his evil empire. As he's struck by a mid-life crisis, the Skull begins to wonder if he even wants to be an evil overlord anymore. After nearly being toppled by his archenemy, a ginger-haired superhero, the Skull discovers a list he made as a young villain; 'Ten Easy Steps to Engineering a Global Crisis.' So he sets out to set up his own Crisis level event, aided by his small group of henchmen and numerous faceless grunts. His hope being that by doing so, he'll find that villainous fire inside himself again. The list would be composed of stuff like, "Kidnap superhero's teenage sidekick," "Force superheroine to marry you at Earth's core," and other such classic supervillain tropes.

    The series would also be a way to explore old villainous cliches. Basically, imagine a supervillain reacting sensibly to everything on that old, When I am an Evil Overlord list. The idea's inspired by my love for villains like Venture Bros' Monarch, Soon I Will Be Invincible's Doctor Impossible, and the Flash's Rogues. In between the Steel Skull's attempts to set off his Crisis, he'd also have to deal with underlings' attempts to overthrow him, the Aryan Nation co-opting his image for their propaganda, jealousy over other villains' bio-engineered monsters, and meetings with other villains. Some incompetent, some exponentially more evil, ruthless, and powerful than himself, and some whose evil lair he and his henchmen sneak into in the middle of the night and drunkenly deface.

    I think the entire series would end with the Skull's masterfully executed Crisis ending up being nothing more than a lame fifth week event, second fiddle to a disaster accidentally kicked off by a rival villain.

    Munch on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Every time I read Munch's stuff, I wish I could draw and also come up with more interesting ideas. D:

    Anyway, that thing I was talking about the other day, I made some headway on it, but the dialog isn't where I want it to be. So far, though, I've got about 3 pages scripted and 10 pages total planned. The final page count for the first story arc would probably be 48 pages. Anyway, here's the synopsis and some of the characters.
    Real Life Superheroes (tentative title)

    Premise: The League of Super Heroes, a group of costumed do-gooders (none of whom have any real powers or any experience), dispenses its own brand of justice in the mid-sized city of Evars, Florida.

    First Arc - Hometown Heroes
    Russell Martz, an ordinary citizen of Evars, accidentally foils a bank robbery and, despite his protestations to the contrary, is hailed as a hero by the town. This brings him to the attention of the League of Super Heroes, who invite him to come speak to the group. Because he has actually fought crime and won, most of the members idolize him, and in short order he is voted leader of the League against his wishes. Out of guilt and the desire to not disappoint them, he reluctantly sticks around and proceeds to learn more about the group and its members. We learn about the people who make up the core of the League and how they came together. Russell, though, is a very reluctant, even resistant member, and does not take his role seriously. In fact, he often softly mocks the members and refuses to wear a costume. Finally, he quits the group in disgust when League activities come to his job and nearly get him fired. He tells them to never speak to him again and, when he gets home that day, he throws his League communicator into the trash.

    Meanwhile, the two robbers get out on bail. Feeling like they have nothing to lose, thanks to the Florida 10-20-Life law, they decide to go after Russell. One day while he's at work, they break into his house. When he gets home, they get the drop on him, tie up and gag his kids and wife, and beat him silly. His daughter, though, who'd saved his communicator from the trash, sends a distress signal. The League comes to the rescue en masse, bum rush the robbers, and save the family. After a bit of time recuperating from his injuries, Russell goes to the group headquarters and assumes his role as leader, this time taking it and his fellow Leaguers seriously. As a symbol of his newfound respect for them, he wears a costume and assumes his hero name: Regular Man.

    Characters:
    The general idea here is that these heroes are administering social justice of sorts. Some will eventually want to expand to real crime fighting, though. And yes, most of them are "joke" characters. I think it'd make the ending of the story arc more satisfying if they weren't super effective crime fighters.

    DP Man - Real name Dante P. Marshal. Punishes people who double park by slashing their tires and keying their cars, and leaves a note explaining why. Does similar things for people who park in handicap spaces or in the fire zone. He wields two foot long knives, and his signature move is the DP Slash, where he pokes a tire with both knives at once.
    The Nanny - Real Name Tanya Nance. Disciplines out of control children when their parents won't, and chastises the parents for not doing their duty. Has a "Disciplinary Stare" that instantly frightens and shuts up anyone who looks directly into her eyes.
    Meter Maiden - Real Name Myrna Mikolous. Tops off meters so that people won't get ticketed and generally harasses Meter Maids.
    Captain Punishment - Real name Charles Poser. Trouble seeking failed Marine. He's been arrested for vigilantism many times and has, thus far, not thwarted any real crime. He has, however, ruined several investigations, and has been beat up quite a bit. He fancies himself as a new age Punisher/Batman, but he really doesn't have the skill for that.
    Regular Man - Real Name Russell Martz. reluctant member of the group. He is a normal guy who happened to be in the right place at the right time and decided to help stop a crime. As a result, the town thinks he's a "real" hero, and the other heroes want him on the team. They look up to him and want him to be the leader. Capt. Punishment doesn't like him and is jealous.
    Kendo Kid - Real name Keri Kittles. Teen anime fanatic with a wooden sword. She's only just begun learning kendo, but that doesn't stop her from putting on a costume. Most of the time, though, she just ends up helping old people across the street. Works as a barista at Starbucks. Tends to throw out japanese words and phrases all the time, mainly crap she's learned from watching fansubbed anime.
    Clean Freak - Real name Chan Fu'xian. Chastises/punishes people who don't maintain proper cleanliness. She generally stalks public bathrooms with a black light gun, check people to see if they've washed up. If not, she hoses them down with antibacterial gel. Her nearly OCD need for cleanliness extends to many other things

    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 May 2008
    Honestly, I think it's one of the best ideas yet. I love the idea of champions of social justice, which allows the misfit hero device to move away from people trying to be Superman and looking ridiculous in the process (what we usually see) to unexplored areas, and I think the favored heroic acts of each of the characters lend themselves to some very humorous situations and backstories for each of them.

    What you've outlined is definitely a great pitch and starting point for a series.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Thanks man. I'm still trying to brainstorm some other "heroes" to join the league. If anyone has any good ones, let me know.

    A few other ideas I have for the story after the first story arc:

    Pastiche on "Kick-Ass"
    Wednesday Capes - The League has open membership, and its meetings tend to swell on Wednesdays due to comic fans who are gassed up by their weekly stash of comics. These guys tend not to last long when the realize that patrolling is boring and they usually don't actually get to punch anyone.
    Russell decides that the league needs legitimacy, so some of them attempt to get deputized by the local sheriff
    They are, of course, jokes to the police. Except Capt. Punishment; they hate him because he always gets in the way.
    Slowly introduce people with actual powers, but the powers will be inane or not apparently useful
    Show the members in their costumes, which generally are not at stylized like the ones in comics. The ones that are similar to comics make the wearers look silly or flabby. Capt. Punishment seems to be the only person who doesn't realize this and wears his tights proudly.
    Russell will, at every meeting, suggest a motion to change the name of the League, and the new name is usually adopted. However, by the end of the issue/arc, somehow it's always back to the original name.

    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 May 2008
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Thanks man. I'm still trying to brainstorm some other "heroes" to join the league. If anyone has any good ones, let me know.

    Animal rights activist and feminist immediately come to mind as causes you could build characters around. Also, there's plenty of room for a rival league which champions unpopular and perhaps socially regressive causes, though obviously that'd be better suited for a later storyline after having better established all the main characters.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The anti-Justice League, whose members are all douchebags and assclowns. :P

    I should really make one of the League members be someone who is a grammar Nazi. Also, their main tech guy is going to be a well to do person who, when not making gadgets, spends his time on internet message boards berating people for logical fallacies, bad arguments, and poor grammar. In essence, he's a cyber-hero administering social justice in the digital space, exposing people who are being douchebags on the internet and generally fucking around with trolls and the like.

    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
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I like that pitch Mask. Given that real life superheroes are pretty much exactly like the characters you described, I think it'd be really interesting to read a comic about a similar group of people. I'm actually picturing the better-dressed characters running around in plain clothes superhero suits. Kind of like the Robin outfits on the top of this page.

    Anyways, another idea I'd forgotten about, but found today in a pile of post-it notes; Fantastiman's Pal, Ricky Wilson. Ever wonder what might have happened if Jimmy Olsen hadn't been a kind, upstanding young man? If he would have taken advantage of the special friendship he shares with Superman? Wonder no more.

    Fantastiman's Pal, Ricky Wilson tells is the story of two best friends that have known each other since elementary school. One went on to become the world's most beloved superhero, and the other went on to sleep on the couch of the world's most beloved superhero. Ever since they were young, Paul Topper, better known as Fantastiman, had been bailing his best friend Ricky out of trouble. Whether it was saving his ass in a fight, driving him home after a night of drunken revelries, or giving him a place to stay after he got kicked out by his newest girlfriend, Paul's always been there for Ricky. Things only escalated after Paul, at age twenty-four, got his superpowers. Now years later, instead of rescuing Ricky from the irate boyfriend of a woman he pawed at a bar, Paul's saving him from maniacal despots holding him hostage. Rather than giving him a couch to crash on, he's letting him bunk at his hidden mountain fortress. You get the idea.

    As though that wasn't bad enough, Ricky doesn't even try to keep out of trouble. He freely flaunts his friendship with Fantastiman, using it to cash in on tell-all biographies, interviews, and merchandise using his likeness. Which of course only attracts the attention of more supervillains. Now, with both approaching their 29th birthday, Paul begins to wonder if Ricky's really worth the trouble. His seemingly endless patience is finally exhausted when, while rescuing a coastal town in South America from a typhoon, he's suddenly called away by Ricky's special supersonic distress whistle. The emergency? Ricky needed to borrow a Paul's Fantastisaucer to fly a girl to the moon, but couldn't remember where the keys were. Infuriated, Paul disowns Ricky, finally disowning him after years of abuse. So ends the first issue.

    The rest of the series would deal with the fallout of Fantastiman's greatest defeat, when he's beaten into a coma by his archnemesis in the middle of Tower City. Suddenly Ricky finds himself with a target on his head, as his protector is put out of commission. With every supervillain in town gunning for him, Ricky must discover how to revive Fantastiman, save Tower City, and rescue his own ass.

    The plot's still really rough, but I love the idea of a Jimmy Olsen analogue that's just a total sleazy shithead. I sort of see it as Entourage with superheroes.

    Munch on
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    That has potential.
    Brainstorming would be so much easier if I could draw. Instead of doing character sketches, I am describing things and it is taking forever. I use Heromachines from time to time, but there is not enough variety there to do what I want.

    DouglasDanger on
  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    i really like that idea, munch. a clever idea that also has legs for more than just a one-issue joke sort of thing.

    Servo on
    newsigs.jpg
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    This thread's been sitting unused for too long, so I sat down last night and thought up a few pitches.
    Munch wrote:
    Terror INC

    The first would be for a Marvel MAX book. It would star Terror, the undead private investigator who gains the abilities and memories of any appendage or organ that he attaches to his body. The book would open with Terror being hired by a concerned parent, tasked to track down a missing Initiative superteen. It seems like an easy enough job, until Terror busts up a seedy supervillain bar and learns who has her; the ginger genius of genocide, Arcade. Apparently, a wealthy sadist with a penchant for snuff films has hired Arcade to put on the ultimate show, with superhero teens starring in the macabre production. With time running out, Terror must locate the mysterious Murderworld, where Arcade's rumored to be holding the teen heroes.

    The story would regularly shift from the perspectives of Terror, Arcade and his employer, and those heroes trapped in Muderworld. It would naturally be a very dark story, with a little levity courtesy of the warped perspectives of life and death offered by Arcade and Terror. One part 8MM, one part Saw, it would be a real guilty pleasure kind of horror comic, where the appeal is seeing horrible things happen to people. The final payoff in the story would see Terror storming Murderworld, picking up pieces of decapitated superkids and using their abilities to battle his way through Murderworld, to Arcade's control room to confront the diminunitive death-dealer and his sadistic audience of one.

    I've also got an idea for a one-shot romance comic starring Terror, which would be kind of a Marvel Romance comic throwback in both writing and art style, but with a lot of black humor. The gist of it is that Terror finds the hand of a dead woman at a crime scene, and when he attaches it to his wrist and gains some of her memories, he develops a crush on her. Over the next several days he visits the morgue to go on "dates" with her, each time attaching a new part of her anatomy to himself and learning more about her. Then her body is buried, forcing him to dig her up every night, and bury her in the morning. I'm not sure how it would end, but I'm thinking that there's two possible endings. One's the depressing ending, where Terror ultimately attaches every part of her anatomy to himself that he possibly can, and is left unable to learn anaything new about her, and finds himself completely in love with a woman that's now long dead. The other ending would have Terror taking her to his home, only to grow more and more disgusted with the woman as he learns more about her. The way she never shaved her legs. The way she chewed with her mouth open. The way she'd always apply too much eyeshadow. Ultimately, having grown to hate his decomposing love, Terror is forced to "murder" her.
    Munch wrote:
    Longshot: Super Bishounen Action Hero!

    Once, Longshot put his luck powers to good use defying death for the roaring crowds of Mojoworld; and though he's switched locales, the show's still the same. Having moved to Japan, Longshot makes a profitable living starring in his own television show, where he regularly performs outlandish, death-defying feats. His face is plastered across Tokyo billboards and giant television screens, every male between fifteen and twenty years old is wearing his hairstyle, he's in talks about starting his own fashion line, and he's the star of a weekly manga that's on its way to becoming an animated feature. Now enjoying all the fame and profit he had on Mojoworld, with none of the risks, life couldn't be better. Until a New York assassin hops a plane to Tokyo, intent on proving to himself that hard-won skill will always best dumb luck. Bad news turns to worse as Longshot's luck powers suddenly, inexplicably begin to fail him as his confidence wanes. Now, he must not only evade this murderous assassin, but try to keep his sinking career afloat as well.

    I kind like the idea of a story where you can empathize with the villain a bit. I think everyone's thought, at one point or another, "Why's that guy get all the breaks?" So a story with a villain who's actually worked for everything he has, versus a hero who mostly stumbles around succeeding at everything he does through luck, would be kind of interesting. But, Longshot would have to be redeemed in the end by pointing out that while luck accounts for a big portion of his success, he didn't become the top gladiator on Mojoworld without a good bit of skill backing it up.
    Munch wrote:
    Tigra: Fin Fang F@$#!

    Superheroine Greer Grant, aka Tigra, has been dispatched to the Savage Land, told to track down the criminal known as Puma, still wanted in connection with crimes committed by an AIM affiliate known as MODOK's 11. Unbeknownst to her, she's actually being led into a trap by a group of supervillains, who have been invited by a mysterious benefactor to make sport out of the heroine on a rousing safari, led by Al Kraven. In unfamiliar territory, with no tools or equipment available to her, Tigra must rely on her raw animal instincts to evade the villains, while seeking the aid of Ka-Zar and his wife Shanna. But, as the game continues, members of the hunting party begin to go missing under mysterious circumstances. All is revealed when the the group of hunters stumble across a ruined village, containing a single survivor, endlessly repeating the phrase, "Fin Fang Foom.." Led there due to the threats they posed to the mighty dragon, the villains now find themselves hunted by the colossal beast. Forced to join forces, the surviving villains, Tigra, and the Savage Land natives must marshall together an army under Tigra's leadership, and defeat the monster before it can find and kill them all.

    The whole theme of the book is basically that, no matter how good you think you are, there's always someone better. Tigra's tracking Puma, who is himself a hunter and tracker. The villains are hunting Tigra, who they think they've led into a trap. Fin Fang Foom is hunting the villains, using his own trap to lure them there, with Tigra as his bait. And in the end, Fin Fang Foom becomes the hunted, undone by his own hubris, as all the pieces he's assembled to work in his favor suddenly unite and turn against him. I've always liked jungle settings anyways, and I think throwing together a bunch of hunters, monsters, and supervillains in jophurs would just be way too much fun. Plus, it'd probably be the only time you could work in a Fin Fang Foom/Devil Dinosaur fight. And who doesn't want to see that?

    Munch on
  • grendel824_grendel824_ Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Hmm... somebody I met through another site is drawing one of my old Iron Man pitches that I had thought up when the ill-fated Epic was announced. If he's okay with his art getting posted here, is that something I should bust out, along with my old pitch/script?

    PS: The above pitch/blurbs are like something right out of my own "book full o' notes on stories I could do if I ever got to do them." All stuff I'd pay to read, and awesomely varied and also chock full of lesser-known characters, which I also love...

    grendel824_ on
  • CrimsondudeCrimsondude Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    So, Mask, how's the arcology idea coming along?

    Crimsondude on
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    i've had slight progress with my project, but nothing really substantial
    i still havent done a pitch
    i can't draw at all, so no sample pages
    too lazy/ "not enough time" to do a script

    i waste a lot of time world-building, establishing this enormous setting and worry about things that don't really matter.
    mostly i agonize over what things look like, what kind of public transport system there is,

    i have a character and the vaguest ideas of an overall plot, but honestly i think this thing is more about setting and design, kind of like king city and won-ton soup

    sort of a pop-pulp thing, rather than something "literary"

    DouglasDanger on
  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2008
    then you should write a role-playing game instead (not really joking)

    Servo on
    newsigs.jpg
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Douglas, try focusing on just doing a short story, like ten pages.

    I think a lot of aspiring comic'ers main problem (and I know it's mine) is that they spend too much time thinking about making comics, and not enough time making comics. My constant fear is that I'm going to work on something, and my art won't be able to keep up with my writing, and I'll eventually want to go back and redo a story I've already worked on.

    So I've been scripting a few short little comics that I can whip up some art for, and if they suck, who cares? I'll have invested very little time, and I'll be able to say, "Look, I actually put pencil to paper and didn't just keep droning on about if's and maybe's."

    Munch on
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    i do kind of want to write a videogame out of this reality, or at the very least a munchkin-type thing, some kind of board game type thing, maybe with miniatures. heroclix or warhammer or something meets munchkin.
    there's apperantly a munchkin in space, and even a d20 version. hm.

    when i finally get around to writing again, i'm going to focus on writing a short story type thing, and then converting it into comic script. i actually have this thing that kind of just needs polished and expanded a little, and converted into comics script form. I don't really know how to do scripts though.

    DouglasDanger on
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Get Writing for Comics by Peter David. Lots of good stuff in there.

    Munch on
  • BriareosBriareos Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Munch wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Guys, let's figure out a time for the next brainstorm session. We might turn it into a weekly thing if everyone is cool with that. Also, suggest some things to talk about next time we meet.

    One thing I want to bring up about these brainstorming sessions are the potential pitfalls associated with a bunch of people getting together to create new stuff. Say a few people are pitching ideas around for a new character or story, and someone from the group actually pitches a project involving some of those ideas to Image. That could lead to some problems if someone else ends up feeling like the ideas they put into the pot were stolen, or they weren't fairly credited. Or someone could just be throwing out their ideas and later find someone else trying to use it. So it might be a good idea to have a specific agenda/plan for these things, to steer discussion in a productive direction.

    I should also mention that for anyone who's free about discussing their ideas in a public forum should take precautions to safeguard their ideas, if you're worried about theft. Personally, I keep a few self-addressed, sealed, and postmarked envelopes laying around filled with brief descriptions and sketches for ideas I plan to use one day, in addition to a little nook on the internet filled with similar information and a copyright notice. But then, I'm paranoid.

    The postmarked envelope thing is a clever idea. However, you don't need to put a copyright notice on anything. Every original idea you create is automatically protected by copyright. You don't have to register it, put a date on it, publish it, or stick a circle-c on it. This post is protected by copyright, whether I inform you of that fact or not.

    Should you ever have a copyright dispute with someone, being able to prove that you created the idea before them will obviously be helpful. Your envelope idea is a good one, but, really, all you need to do to provide admissible evidence of the date of creation of an idea is to state it under oath and a penalty of perjury.

    Briareos on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Munch wrote: »
    Get Writing for Comics by Peter David. Lots of good stuff in there.
    I have a writing graphics novels for dummies book somewhere, but I wasn't too impressed with it. I haven't looked at it in a few years though. I'll dig it out sometime. I'll add that Peter David book to my to buy list. thanks

    DouglasDanger on
  • KVWKVW Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Munch wrote: »
    Get Writing for Comics by Peter David. Lots of good stuff in there.

    Here's a resource page that could go along with that suggestion. It actually has several posts by Peter David and numerous other writers on the writing process. There's links on how to submit to just about every publisher available, both big and small, self-publishing, artists, networking, and more. It was the best online resource I ever found when I was in a "maybe I could write a comic book" phase and is still the best I've ever come across.

    KVW on
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    So, I'm working on a little mini-comic. Here's the first page at a crappy resolution, sans digital cleanup and effects. I was kind of shaking the rust off with this one, but I think the second page is a bit better. I'm going to try to post a few new, inked pages every week.

    snowmantestnw4.png

    Munch on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Okay dudes, time to knock the dust off this thread and see if we can't revive it. So anyone that wants to, check in and share your progress (or lack thereof D: ).

    Despite the fun I've had with my Real Life Super Heroes idea, I'm currently turning my full attention to my first Monkey-Girl series. The intent is to finish scripting out the four issues by no later than December. I'm also continuing with my world building document that should bring together the world that Monkey-Girl, RLSH, and several other stories of mine occupy.

    Lastly, I'm throwing together some notes for an Ultimate Hawk-Owl and Woody pitch that will likely never get published, but I should have fun putting it together. My ideas so far:
    • Black Cat as Hawk-Owl's Catwoman
    • Woody forms the New Warriors
    • Hawk-Owl forms the Squadron Supreme with Zarda and Ultimate Sentry
    • Explain what Hawk-Owl and Woody did during some big events in the Ultimate Universe
    • Explain what really happened to Hawk-Owl's parents
    • Ultimtes vs. Squadron Supreme (just for the Hawk-Owl/Cap rematch)
    • Batman/Raas Al Ghul pastiche
    • Riddler pastiche

    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
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Well, Mask bumped this thread so it encouraged me to get off my ass and crank out a page today. Ta-da.

    snowmantest2nc5.png

    Next page kicks off the big fight scene. I'm going to try to do at least half the pencils tomorrow. But comic day is always hard on my productivity.

    In other news, I sat down and compiled a bunch of very rough notes outlining the Black Beetle series I want to pitch to DC someday. After I move some stuff around I'll post it if anyone's interested.

    And here's some sketches for a series I thought up the other day; Tortoise and the Hare, which initially began as an idea for a Flash/Turtle Man story.

    tortoiseandtheharewl2.png

    It focuses on a supervillain, the Tortoise, and his archenemy, the famous super-speedster known as the Hare. For thirty years the Tortoise has been planning a scheme designed to completely destroy the hero in every way imaginable; physically, emotionally, monetarily, socially, etc. He's poured half of his life into this plan, accounting for every variable, adjusting for every possible x-factor. That's why, when his hated enemy suddenly drops dead from a heart attack, the Tortoise is left feeling very, very empty. Thirty years of his life spent planning the demise of a man he hated, completely wasted. For a long while he doesn't know what to do. Hating the Hare, and planning his imminent demise, has been the only thing in his life for so long, he's forgotten how to do everything else; he has no friends, no hobbies, and no real life outside his dank, dirty little lair.

    Most people in such a situation might have an epiphany, examining and then bettering themselves, having realized that hate is an empty emotion that results in nothing but lost years and shattered lives.

    The Tortoise is not most people.

    Falling back on the only thing he knows, scheming, he devises a new plan. He decides he will create a new Hare, using his knowledge of superscience to endow an ordinary young man, one with no history of congenital heart disease, with superpowers. He will nurture him into the kind of hero the first Hare was; strong, brave, selfless, and noble. And then he'll destroy him.

    But, after aiding the new Hare, helping him become a better man, and seeing the potential in him, will the Tortoise be able to follow through with his plan? Or will his friendship with the young hero finally force him to put aside his hate and move on to find a new purpose in life?

    Munch on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Man, I hope the Tortoise is so conflicted that he hires super-villains to try to kill the Hare, then turns around and helps the Hare defeat the villain.

    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 July 2008
    Another great idea, Munch. I'd kind of like to see Hare in track shorts (over the body suit), but that's just my Christian upbringing and resulting aversion to pantslessness.

    Nothing to contribute to the thread myself, unfortunately.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • MAD!MAD! Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Are there any comic creators on the boards and what titles are you putting out?
    I would like to talk about trials and tribulations successes and failures and anything else involved with getting your work out there for people to see .

    MAD! on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Mad, I think you're it. The rest of us are wannabes. :(

    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
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Another great idea, Munch. I'd kind of like to see Hare in track shorts (over the body suit), but that's just my Christian upbringing and resulting aversion to pantslessness.

    Nothing to contribute to the thread myself, unfortunately.

    '70s era running shorts and shoes would be awesome.

    ManonvonSuperock on
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Another great idea, Munch. I'd kind of like to see Hare in track shorts (over the body suit), but that's just my Christian upbringing and resulting aversion to pantslessness.

    Nothing to contribute to the thread myself, unfortunately.

    '70s era running shorts and shoes would be awesome.

    Now you've got me thinking about sweatbands, jogging suits, and all the other necessary running accoutrement. If I take another pass at the costume I might try to work some of those elements in.

    And I posted these earlier unfinished, and again in the AC, but thought I'd throw them up here too. Mostly-finished first three pages, for the prologue I'm doing, for an idea I posted earlier in this thread.
    SnowmanTest.png

    SnowmanTest2.png

    SnowmanTest3A.jpg

    Munch on
  • MAD!MAD! Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Really? I thought there were a few more on here.

    Well has anyone tried submitting proposals or anything and if so what has been some responses or reactions.

    MAD! on
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Speaking of stuff that we've shown at the AC thread, I thought I'd post this here. It's not necessarily a comic that I'm creating, but more a group that I'm teaching to create comics.

    Here's the lowdown on what I'm doing:
    I teach two groups of kids every Sunday. The older group is from 10-15 yr-old, and has four regular students with occasional other kids that show up here and there. They seem to get into comics somewhat, so I decided to set up a project that would:
    • introduce them to the structure of mainstream American comics
    • encourage cooperation and trust within the creative process
    • shift the focus in the art classroom from "what I[/i} can do" to "what we can do"
    • give the students experience in visual narrative
    • give the students experience in writing, penciling, inking, and coloring comics
    • and most importantly be fun to do.

    So I printed four copies of the story of David and Goliath from the book of Samuel and hand them to them with highlighters, and was all read this and highlight what you think is really important to the story.

    Then I show them some preprinted pages of blank panels done in the standard 9-panel Watchmen layout, and I give them preprinted blank scripts for nine panels. I tell each one to fill out the script, telling the story of David and Goliath in those nine panels.

    The only restriction I gave them on the scripts is that they could not contain dialog or text. All of the information has to be portrayed visually.

    I explain to them that back in the day to save time, artists would be given preprinted panel layouts, but now artists get to design their own layouts. I then explain to them how most mainstream comics are usually written, penciled, inked, colored, and lettered by different people.

    So I told them that they weren't drawing their own scripts, each one would pencil another's strip, ink another's pencils, and color another's inks.

    So in the end, we'll have four one-page, nine-panel comics telling the same story. With each of the kids playing a different role in each comic.

    For example, if the kids were named A,B,C,D the layout would be:


    Comic 1
    Script : A
    Pencils: B
    Inks : C
    Colors : D


    Comic 2
    Script : D
    Pencils: A
    Inks : B
    Colors : C


    Comic 3
    Script : C
    Pencils: D
    Inks : A
    Colors : B


    Comic 4
    Script : B
    Pencils: C
    Inks : D
    Colors : A

    After they wrote the scripts, I brought them home, proofread them, typed them, and reprinted them with the excerpt from the bible that also described what happened in each panel.

    I took the scripts back to them, with a ton of reference images, and had them start penciling the comics. This week, we should be able to finish the pencils.

    When completed, I'm bringing their pencils home, scanning them and printing them back out lighter so that I can take them back and have the kids ink them next week.

    Then taking their inks home, scanning them, printing them out lighter and larger and bringing those in for the kids to watercolor the following week.

    Bringing those home, scanning them and overlaying the original inks on top of those to reprint crisp, clean pages to bring back and give to them with their names and roles listed on each.

    On top of that, I'm totally using the old John Buscema/Stan Lee "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way" book with them at every step. It seems really appropriate for the age, and I've had my copy since I was like 10.

    I'm stoked. The comics will be pretty crude looking, as these kids have little-to-no art background in school, but I'm hoping that clean, crisp digital printing of their comics will make up for it, and give it a 'professional representation of children's art' look.

    If this works well, I'll probably do it with another story when we're done.

    Any feedback or suggestions on what I'm doing would be rad.

    ManonvonSuperock on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    MAD! wrote: »
    Really? I thought there were a few more on here.

    Well has anyone tried submitting proposals or anything and if so what has been some responses or reactions.

    No submissions for me yet. I'm still working on developing several stories that I'd like to be comics, and my work-for-hire ideas aren't very well developed. I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has actually pitched a comic to any publisher. Also, MAD, are you guys taking pitches, or are you just focused on putting out your books?

    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
  • CrimsondudeCrimsondude Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Holy shit, Munch. That's really good work.

    Crimsondude on
  • MAD!MAD! Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    wwtMask wrote: »
    MAD! wrote: »
    Really? I thought there were a few more on here.

    Well has anyone tried submitting proposals or anything and if so what has been some responses or reactions.

    No submissions for me yet. I'm still working on developing several stories that I'd like to be comics, and my work-for-hire ideas aren't very well developed. I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has actually pitched a comic to any publisher. Also, MAD, are you guys taking pitches, or are you just focused on putting out your books?

    At the moment we are not accepting submissions. Need to get the word out more on one book first, get those sales up to a good number. But perhaps eventually we will. Personally I'd love to, but the Indy marketplace is a hard one to break into and its better to focus on one thing at a time.

    MAD! on
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This would be so much easier if I could draw anything at all. I can't even draw thumbnails using stick figures.

    DouglasDanger on
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Holy shit, Munch. That's really good work.

    Thanks dude. I'm always really hard on my artwork, but I can already see some improvement in my work due to working on this little comic. I'm still busting my ass working on it, but it's incredibly slow-going. After working all day it's hard for me to gather the energy to sit at a drafting table for a few hours.

    Anyhow, in between working on my comic and not working on my comic, I've been doing some little sketches and brainstorming for various established properties. Here's my big pitch for Birds of Prey.

    Birds of Prey
    Birds of Prey. Jesus Christ, what have they done to you? At one time, BoP was a great book, with an emphasis on espionage, covert ops, and street-level crime, with the occassional foray to one of the more exotic corners of the DCU. Somewhere along the way, it became some horrifying mish-mash of a chick flick and a superteam comic, losing what made it so cool in the first place. I still can't understand why, at no point, did anyone in DC's editorial department go to Greg Rucka and say, "Hey Greg, check it out. You know how you're always writing those really cool, down-to-earth stories that feature superheroic elements clashing with the real world, and they usually star some kick-ass woman doing kick-ass things? Yeah, those are great. But you know how they keep kinda, y'know, selling like shit and getting canceled? Well look, we've got this book with a full roster of kick-ass ladies that we just can't seem to kill, despite our best efforts to drive the fucker into the ground. Wanna take a crack at it?" Well, maybe they did, who knows? Now, I'm no Greg Rucka. On my best day I'm really more of an Adam Beechen. But here's what I'd do with the Birds.

    Series Outline
    I see the problem with the Birds of Prey book, as it stands now, to be two-fold. First, it has no clear identity, and fills no niche. At one time, it was all about Oracle and Black Canary coordinating their efforts to bring down guys that would fall beneath the radars of the ordinary super-shmucks of the DCU; Colombian drug dealers, Taiwanese flesh merchants, and dirty-dealing supervillains selling superpowered armaments to the highest bidder; that kind of stuff. But nowadays you have books like Batman and the Outsiders filling the same niche, which has transformed Birds of Prey into just another superhero book, albeit one with an all-female roster.

    The second problem with Birds of Prey is that the title doesn't mean anything. Although the team, for several years, never acknowledged the name as the official identity of their group, they recently did, so it's time to make it mean something. I keep thinking about how, when Oracle talked about her team to Jaime Reyes in Blue Beetle, she was mocked for only having one bird-themed heroine on the team roster. While that's a small part of the problem, especially with Black Canary having since left the group, I take bigger issue with the, "of Prey," part of the title. If they're birds of prey, then they're hunters. Who are they hunting? Who are they tracking down that other heroes aren't?

    First, to rectify my first problem with BoP, I'd try to give the group a clear identity. I see the Birds of Prey as kind of spiritual peers to groups like Checkmate, Justice League Elite, The Losers, and the Suicide Squad, and I'd endeavor to match that tone. Less of a superhero team, and more of a group of like-minded individuals united by common purpose. But, while the Birds are a skilled group of proactive crimefighters, for Oracle the team also serves a secondary purpose: superhero rehab. Since the first day Barbara Gordon became Oracle, she's been devoted to taking broken people and fixing them. First with herself, then with Black Canary, and most recently with Huntress. Through the Birds of Prey, she tries to bring out greatness in heroes that have become marginalized. So, my iteration of the Birds of Prey would see Oracle taking in several "damaged" heroes, and trying to make them more well-rounded and whole.

    To address my second problem with Birds of Prey, I'd take a few simple steps. First, more bird-themed heroes. There's plenty of them out there, and a lot of them are really cool, and not being used for anything. Next, I'd use the title Birds of Prey to define their entire mission statement; as birds of prey, they're hunters, plain and simple. While most heroes are reactionary, the Birds are not. They're a proactive force, actively ferreting out villains, super or not. Now as I mentioned earlier, this is already kind of being covered by Batman and the Outsiders, who have been tackling international supercrime, and soon a new Justice League book will feature Leaguers actively seeking out the "Most Wanted" of supervillains.

    While that leaves little for the Birds, I still see three general types of operations falling under their auspices. The first would be tackling organized meta-criminal organizations, ala Intergang or The 100/1000, as well as more ordinary organized crime groups headed by, or containing metahuman members. The second would be violent, meta-criminal prison escapees. How often have heroes in the DCU captured a criminal, locked them up, and then had them escape shortly after to wreak more havoc? With the Birds as the first line of defense against jail-breaks, supervillains would suddenly find themselves spending more time in jail than out. Naturally, for story purposes, they wouldn't locate or apprehend every escaped criminal, but it would finally explain how heroes counter the metaphorical revolving door at superhuman jails. The third type of mission readers would see the Birds commonly undertake would be the location and decommisioning of supervillain "lairs." By seizing their physical and monetary assets, the Birds would attempt to destroy villains through simple attrition, taking away the tools and resources needed to commit super-crime.

    Now, with the book's basic outline and niche established, who would make up the new roster? The best part of any team book is watching members interact, so they would have to be a diverse, interesting group, designed to both compliment and contrast with one another in fun ways.

    Character Profiles
    Blue Jay - Employing a new cowl and cloak that renders him nearly indistinguishable from a common bluejay, Blue Jay acts as the Birds' point man, doing recon and utilizing tiny javelins tipped in tranquilizing agents to incapacitate enemies. As former leader of Justice League Europe, and the last survivor of a dead world, he brings some worldly experience to the team. Suffering from severe depression due to feelings of inadequacy as a hero, as well as an extreme case of survivor's guilt, Oracle recruits him after a failed suicide attempt. Barbara Gordon sees in him another man she once knew, whose status as a joke amongst his heroic peers led to his death. Still burdened with residual guilt for failing her friend, she's determined to see that history does not repeat itself with Blue Jay.

    BirdsofPrey1.png

    - I really love Blue Jay, and I think with a costume tweak, and creative uses of his powers, he could be a great character. Between his history of self-loathing and crappy powers, I think he could have a great redemptive arc. I'd give him a heavy case of fatalism, constantly questioning why he survived the death of his planet and teammates, when they were all so much better than him. I'd also play up the parallels between Blue Jay and Blue Beetle, with all the Birds wondering if Babs has included Blue Jay on the team just because the poor sad-sack vaguely reminds her of her dead friend.

    Huntress - A shining example of Oracle's ability to rehabilitate damaged heroes, Huntress has outgrown her reputation as a hothead and poor team player, and now acts as field leader for the Birds. Her talents as an expert martial artist, acrobat, marksman, and tactician make her an intimidating threat to any supervillain, and the ideal candidate for molding the several disparate personalities of the group into a true, highly functional team.

    - Huntress is great as-is. The only change I'd make to her character would be a permanent ban on her belly shirt costume. If it appeared at all, it would only be so she could get shot or stabbed in the stomach, proving that it's a dumb, dumb thing to wear if you're not already bulletproof.

    Lady Blackhawk - While a skilled marksman and brawler, Lady Blackhawk's true talents lie in the area of transportation; able to every vehicle conceived by man, and some that weren't, she ensures that the team always makes it to and from their missions in one piece. She has recently come into possession of a bird-influenced vehicle designed by legendary inventor and former ally to the Birds, Ted Kord. Invisible to all conventional forms of radar, drawing 90% of its power from solar energy, and able to traverse land, air, and sea, the craft offers Lady Blackhawk an entirely new degree of versatility in her role.

    - The only major change to Lady Blackhawk's character would be that she'd pilot the Birds' new ship, the Bird of Prey a lot. I think it makes sense, given that Blue Beetle was a longtime associate of the Birds, and using a ship he designed honors and pays homage to that. Plus, given that the thing runs on 90% solar energy, it'd solve the recurring problems the Birds have had with finding discreet transport to far-off corners of the world.

    Oracle - Mission planner, coordinator, and overseer, the founder of the Birds of Prey has committed herself to rehabilitating heroes and tackling supercrime in an extremely proactive manner.

    Hawk - Fairly new to the hero game, Holly Granger is the muscle of the team. Impetuous, short-tempered, and foul-mouthed, Huntress sees much of her former self in the young heroine, and hopes to educate her in the ways of the world, sparing her some of the difficulties that she herself had to endure. Though a near-constant source of drama for the team, Hawk nevertheless is an extremely proactive heroine, often using her own free time to track down villains, and constantly urging the team to pursue supervillains more aggressively.

    Dove - By now an experienced heroine, Dawn Granger is the complete opposite of her sister, acting as a calming presence and mediator for the team. A pacifist by nature, Dawn is often relucatant to fight, and cursed with indeciciveness. But, if pressed into combat, her enhanced speed and powers of flight make her a dangerous fighter.

    Owlwoman - After leaving the Global Guardians years ago Wenonah Littlebird spent some time travelling across the United States, learning about herself, and ruminating on her oft tumultuous life. Her path eventually led her back to the state of Oklahoma, and the Cherokee reservation where she spent much of her youth. There she found that the area had become corrupted, her people held under the sway of a low-rent supervillain, crippled due to methamphetamine and vice. Spending a year in deep cover, she eventually infiltrated and dismantled the criminal organization from within, chasing the seedy element from her home. Now, her mission accomplished, she looks to the future, seeking another cause to champion.

    - I think Owlwoman, if played a little bit like Batman meets Dashiell Bad Horse (Scalped), could be awesome. She's a superheroine that used to be a part of the most prestigious superhero team in the world, but has spent the past year beating up ordinary meth-heads and pushers. Her glamorous, glitzy old life seems almost like a dream that someone else was living. I like the idea of having a washed up hero that isn't actually out to recapture her former glory, but rather just trucking along and continuing to be a hero, even sans fame and adoration. I don't think there are enough heroes like that. In addition to redefining Owlwoman as a more gritty, urban superheroine, I'd stick her in a new costume. One that's a little more iconic, possibly inspired by the Anti-matter Earth's Owlman.

    Batgirl - Cassandra Cain has, in her short life, been many things; the daughter of an assassin, a faithful devotee of the Batman, the greatest warrior alive, a murderer, and a living weapon. But she's never been an "ordinary" girl. With her life in a constant state of tumultuous flux, Cassandra's never been able to experience the simple joys of life. So Barbara Gordon, the first Batgirl, has decided to reach out to Cassandra, offering her a chance at a normal life.

    Reticent about the offer, the young Batgirl first refuses, until commanded by the Batman himself. Now, beneath the watchful eye and guiding hand of Barbara Gordon, Cain will be forced to acclimate to an ordinary, civilian life. One without fighting, and pain. One where she can learn to do good through other channels, as Barbara Gordon herself did, following her paralysis. Except, she can't. Over time, Barbara is forced to a stunning realization; Cassandra Cain will never be normal, will never have an ordinary life. Like feral children who miss the most important parts of their mental and emotional development, Cassandra will forever be socially stunted, unable to become a part of normal society, doomed to be a human weapon, an instrument of pain and punishment.

    Or maybe she can find a new path, one that lies between the two extremes.

    Batgirl2.png

    - I have a fear regarding Cass Cain; that being that she will, eventually, be phased out in favor of the more iconic Batgirl. It's really only a matter of time until someone wonders why Batgirl doesn't have red hair anymore, and why she's in some weird gimp suit. So a lot of Cass's development would be to move her into a more iconic, Babs-inspired costume, and having her dye her hair in a fit of spontaneity. Damion Scott actually drew an adult, red-headed Cass in his issue of Solo, where she had a pretty bitchin' costume that paid homage to both the classic Batgirl costume, and Cass' own. So I'd probably just use that design. I'd also work to finally define a more concrete personality for her, putting her in a place where she's relatively functional and relatable to as a person, but still in possession of the quirks and foibles that make her so interesting and compelling.

    I also feel like it's kind of a no-brainer to have the former Batgirl and the current Batgirl on the same team together, and wonder why it's not been done before now. The two have history together, and Cass would fit better on the Birds, with their history of rehabilitating broken heroes, than on the Outsiders.

    Over the course of the series, I'd have Batgirl slowly come to redefine who and what she is, realizing that though most of her skills lie in beating seven shades of shit out of people, that doesn't mean she has to be a weapon. She can also be a protector. A guardian. A shield.


    Flamebird -
    Inspired by her almost fanatical attraction to Nightwing, Bette Kane assumed the role of Flamebird as a young woman. Despite setback after setback, she has continually persevered, seeking to better herself and win the accolades of her peers. Essentially a very lonely young woman, for years Bette has sought a place where she could belong. She believes she has found it when Oracle, at Nightwing's insistence, requests that she join the Birds of Prey. Though happy to be re-united with her old friend Dawn Granger, Bette finds herself uncomfortable serving under Nightwing's former paramour, Barbara Gordon, who is none too comfortable with the situation herself. Nevertheless, Flamebird proves a valuable addition to the team, contributing several pieces of high-tech gadgetry, as well as bankrolling the team's more costly operations.

    - Having Nightwing's biggest fan/stalker on the same team as his first love and on-again off-again fuckbuddy is potentially an endless fountain of humor and drama.

    Misfit -
    Misfit died on her way back to her home planet.

    - Seriously, Misfit can stick around as mascot or whatever, but she's just a little girl, and a spazzy, accident-prone one at that. She can hang around the Birds' base and go all Dark Vengeance on the first villain to inevitably break in to beat up Oracle, but she doesn't get to go into the field.

    Now, some very basic plot outlines to kind of hint at the sort of operations the Birds would be engaging in.
    - With Kord Omniversal Research and Defense recently infiltrated by both Intergang and The 100, it appears as though war is on the horizon, with the two groups preparing to turn Hub City into a warzone. Now the Birds must, through savvy corporate warfare, infiltration, and good ol' conventional superheroics, diffuse the conflict before it grows out of hand. But, will that be enough for Barbara Gordon? Or will she be unable to see the memory of her friend Ted Kord desecrated as his company rots from the inside? What dark secret from the late Ted Kord's past lies inside the encrypted file that even Oracle can't crack? And what part will the newly re-formed Booster Gold International and heroic Dr. Light, Kimiyo Hoshi, play in all this?

    I'd use this plot to kind of clean up all the contradictory bullshit that's been going on with Kord Omniversal ever since Ted's death; Kimiyo becoming president of the company, having it taken over by two separate criminal organizations, etc. I'd also use it to introduce the Birds' new mode of transportation, as alluded to in the Lady Blackhawk character profile above.

    I've got this scene in my head where Barbara, having cracked Ted's encrypted file, finds dozens of unreadable blueprints and schematics for some secret project Ted was working on prior to his death, and the address for one of Kord Omniversal's thousands of innocuous warehouses. Going to the warehouse alone, Barbara opens the door and goes inside, finding.. a surprise party. Or rather, the cobweb-covered dust-coated remnants of a surprise party. Dozens of folding tables and chairs litter the floor, with a pile of long-expired refreshments stacked in a corner. Above it all hangs a banner stating, "Happy Birthday Barbara!"

    She realizes that Ted had, prior to his death, been preparing a birthday party for her. In the corner, she finds his gift to her; a one of a kind, bird-inspired plane, similar to his own Bug airship, wrapped in a giant, dusty red bow. Moving to it she finds a keypad near the landing gear. With the press of a button the ship hums to life, a hatch in the bottom of the ship opening to provide her entry.

    At this point the scene could take one of two turns; either the hatch opens and a set of stairs fold out, leaving the wheelchair-bound Barbara to stare dumbstruck for a few moments before slowly losing her composure, belting out a hearty, "Bwaaaa-hahaha!" or a wheelchair-accessible lift lowers and brings her inside the ship, where she finds all the controls conveniently located at waist-level, easily accessible from a seated position. One's one last lighthearted poke at Ted's reputation as a well-meaning blunderer, and one's a final, bittersweet reminder of Ted and Barbara's friendship.


    - In Star City, it's rumored that local kingpin, Danny Brickwell, has been trafficking in some very exotic merchandise; alien girls, culled from all over the universe. Tasked with liberating the girls, the Birds must go head-to-head with one of the most brutal gang lords in North America. But, when they discover one of the aliens is in fact royalty, will they still be able to hand her over, even knowing it could incite planetary war? Plus, just who the Hell has been supplying these girls to Brick? Guest starring: Black Canary, Green Arrow, and.. Lobo?!

    - With the supervillain Prometheus missing in action, many are looking to lay claim to the vast treasure trove of high-tech artifacts rumored to be located within his secret lair, the Crooked House. While many race to get there, only two stand a chance of actually discovering Prometheus' abode; the master of all things information, Oracle, and his former cell-mate, the Red Dart! Now, the clock is ticking as the Birds try to outrun the Dart, and confiscate the vast weapon cache before the villain can put his hands on it. But, will Prometheus' rumored treasure be what anyone expects? Plus, just where is Prometheus, and what will he do when he learns prowlers have come skulking around his property?

    In ancient legend, Prometheus stole fire from the Gods. In the modern day, the BoP discover that the modern Prometheus has done the same thing, stealing [Starfire/Firehawk/some other fire based hero or heroine/maybe a hero's soul?] and imprisoning them in his crooked house. Maybe tie it into the alien girl abductions, with the BoP searching for Starfire, and not finding her in Star City, but accidentally stumbling upon her in the Crooked House?

    Munch on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I've been wanting a change in the direction of Birds of Prey myself, and what you just described seems like the perfect place to take the series.

    Personally, my favorite parts of the pitch are the belated birthday party and inclusion of Blue Jay, a character I'd never heard of before, in the roster. Considering the usual response to traumatic events in comics is to simply fight crime harder or become evil, it would be refreshing to see a character who has lost everything and, rather than becoming Batman or Parallax, simply developed reacted as a real person would.

    However, I don't really like the idea of Starfire being the victim of alien trafficking, as that's a bit too degrading for the character, or the idea of Prometheus stealing some kind of fire-based character, at least if it'll only serve as a reference to the myth. The idea of alien trafficking and decommissioning villain lairs are good, though, and definitely something worth exploring in this or any other title that deals with the lesser seen areas of super-heroism.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • CrimsondudeCrimsondude Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    DC should hire you immediately. This is goddamn ridonculous.

    Crimsondude on
  • WildcatWildcat Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    The problem is that it does good stuff with characters, Munch didn't kill off at least two 80s / 90s characters and it actually uses Blue Beetle II's memory respectfully. So it has no chance. :(

    Wildcat on
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