Hey! I can’t remember the last time I was tagged for something like this… and actually responded. But of course I’m responding to this writing blog tour thingamer because I was tagged by one of my best buds at CCS, Stephanie Zuppo! Whoa! Seriously though, she’s one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. So go check out her awesome comics on her awesome tumblr!
What am I working on?
Well, the first thing I’ve got to mention is my long-term project Slightly Damned. It’s story-based fantasy comic that I’ve been updating every week (and sometimes more) ever since 2004. I guess I just don’t know when to quit! Not only do I need to keep up with it on a weekly basis, but I want to make a buffer before I return to school in September. I’m also putting the finishing touches on Slightly Damned’s third book, which will be released in August. And since I’ve been doing the comic for so long, a lot of parts of the website are looking real old and crusty, so I’m going to try doing some cleaning up on that before the end of summer, too.
I also want to try finish SD’s spinoff comic, Soprano of Time. It’s a parody of one of my most favorite games, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I think of it as if the characters from Slightly Damned are trying their best to put on a play, but it always seems to result in pain and fire. I really should have finished it off a long time ago, but other stuff kept coming up. I’m so close, though…!
Once the summer is over, I’ll be shifting my focus from my webcomic to zines and short stories. I plan on contributing to a handful of anthologies, plus there are a couple of standalone short stories that I have rattling around in my head that I want to write and draw at some point. And then there’s Junk Hyenas! It’s going to be my thesis project for my second year at the Center for Cartoon Studies, and I have a ton of great stories and ideas for my characters planned! But I haven’t quite decided if I’m going to approach my thesis as a series of short stories or tackle a longer one. Maybe both, if I’m feeling ambitious.
Honorable mention: I challenged myself to paint pictures of the original 151 Pokemon in an effort to make myself get used to using Paint Tool SAI. I got about a third of the way through when I… well, I haven’t quite given up yet! It’s just on hiatus for now.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Uhh… boy. Gee, I dunno! I guess it’s different from a lot of fantasy and sci-fi because I tell a lot of jokes. Like, a lot. Maybe too many. I’m more likely to connect with stories if they’re funny; the key to my heart is a good sense of humor. So I believe that if I can give the people who read my stuff a good time, and if they think my characters are funny, then they’re more likely to sympathize with them and care if the story takes a serious turn.
Why do I write what I do?
There are a lot of different reasons for why I write my different stories. I guess what it boils down to is trying to convey certain messages about how I view people and the world we live in, while at the same time having fun drawing funny faces. I’m afraid that if I try writing about my intentions in more detail, I’m just going to sound pretentious. I’m just going to say that I like exploring themes of friendship and family with diverse casts of monsters, people, monsters who are people, and people who act like monsters.
How does your writing process work?
Usually I just let my mind wander and I try to remember or write down the ideas I like the most. I daydream a LOT when I’m doing daily activities like going to the gym, playing video games, or lying awake at night with insomnia. My program of choice for keeping track of my ideas is, believe it or not, Notepad.
So if I’ve got a good idea for a story or an event, or if I want to take note of particular things I find inspiring, I open up Notepad and jot it down. I’ve got a lot of different .txt files for different stories, and even different parts of stories. These notes aren’t strictly necessary for me to proceed with my comics. I’m fickle and change my mind often. There have been instances where I wrote veritable essays about where I wanted my stories to go, only for me to completely scrap them. I’ve got a whole mess of hilariously outdated files on my computer. But sometimes they’re helpful for constructing a timeline so I can hit all the events I want to hit without forgetting important information.
Once I’ve got a solid idea about a comic, I draw its thumbnails. At that point, I work out the layouts and the dialogue is about 90% solid. The text doesn’t get finalized until the comic as a whole is completely finished.
I dunno which of my CCS buds have already done this little survey, so I’m going to turn to my bees at Monster Hive! I tag:
Arborwin! The creator of the fantasy webcomic Grayling. It’s about gods and how screwed up they are. It’s neat!
Rx3! The writer for the fantasy webcomic Within a Mile of Home. It’s about a little goblin who gets caught up in a grand adventure!
and Bugbyte! The creator of sci-fi webcomic Messenger. It’s about a future filled with ghosts, warriors, and mysterious creatures!