Thomas (my 12 year old son, who’s currently working on inking episode 2 of Servant 72) has introduced my to Junji Ito, and his brand of short story existential dread, and it’s really opened my noggin up to writing little short horror type stories.
From my notebook the idea was “Astronaut Frozen in Place on Moon – can’t move becomes part of moonscape”
Then I sat and wrote it out, basically writing out almost exactly he dialogue you see here, but with no panel descriptions, though I largely knew what they would look like.
Here’s the full script:
"Last Man on the Moon" [They left me here] The suit will keep me alive, maybe even for years but I can't move. We thought we knew everything about the moon. Here in teh darkest place deep in the South Pole-Aiken crater things are here. I can see them. The cew think I'm dead but I'm not. Just immobile. At least here I can see the stars. Until Sunrise/ Without the visor I'll see it once. Then nothing.
I’d probably futzed around with it forever (initially I posted it to twitter, and I’ve since tweaked some lettering, and redrawn the first face…)
Anyway, I’ve got a few more of these ideas scribbled in a notebook, as long as I can keep them managably small, I see no reason I can’t get them done.
A bunch of these, then I’ll tackle something much longer …
I’ve started obsessing over my studio shelf space.
Generally I’m a pretty lazy collector, I’ve books going way back to the dawn of my interests in comics (specifically copies of The Dark Knight Returns), books that I bought to read on holiday, and then I’ve started amassing hardbacks.
To give you some idea of the nonsense on my selves – I don’t have a first volume of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (I bought the individual issues), my second volume is a paperback, as is the Black Dossier (which doesn’t seem to have a volume number, but comes – I believe – between 2 and 3, Volume 3 (Century) I think I had one issue of the miniseries, and then I picked up volume 5 as a hardback.
Wasn’t a problem before now, I’ve probably read them all digitally on comixology or just sort of missed them. But now, having replaced two bookshelves that were waist high with a single tall shelf, I’ve started putting things on that shelve and noticing the weird gaps.
Locke and Key Hardbacks volumes 1,2,3 and 5 no volume 4. NO VOLUME 4. Idiot.
The previous shelf was behind things so I never saw any of it, I’d allowed clutter to come front and centre, covering it, and I had a mobile artstation unit sitting in front (I figured I could move it, so what harm, it turns out A LOT OF HARM. A LOT)
Anyway anyway, have started going mad like a windows 95 computer defragging a particualrly egregious hard disk, moving books here there and over there.
My main problem is I want to stack things where I can put my hand on them, but equally, I really want the ones I love to be constantly at eye level – so I’ve set up an Alan Moore shelf (got your usual V for Vendetta, Captain Britain, Watchmen, Futureshocks, League etc). But, of course, I’ve got gaps in things like Swamp Thing (not only gaps but I literally haven’t read a lot of it!)
So, past the Moore stuff there’s a Frank Miller/David Muzzachelli collection (small but nice). I’m totally missing Electra Assassin though (yes, it’s Bill S. not David M.)
Suddenly I’m noticing gaps. About three years ago my wife and I agreed that we’d pretty much got all the things, and the last thing I needed was more books I wasn’t likely to read (and worse, I’d already spent a Christmas or two asking for books that, idiotically, I’d forgotten I already had) here’s one such exchange, almost word-for-word:
Annette “What do you want for christmas” Me “Well, I’m largely ok, but I wouldn’t mind Alex Toth: Genius Illustrated“ Annette “I think you have that.” Me “Ho, no, I have the OTHER two books – but not that one” Annette “No, I’m pretty sure I got that for you last year” Me “No, I think I’d know if I had that book – it is flipping massive. I’d’ve spotted that on my shelves! HOHOHO!” Annette “…” goes into my room … comes back out brandishing a large object Annette “You mean this book?” Me (sheepishly) “…yes…”
Anyway, crises averted on that occasion, but at least three other times I’ve asked for, and received, gifts that I already had. And so, self imposed book exile began. No more buying.
I bought and read digital, that was fine.
But now… but now… I can see my books again. It’s weird, it’s like suddenly you have your own library (I mean I don’t profess to have anywhere near the books of Sean Phillips who appears to have opened a branch of forbidden planet in his studio but it’s more than average)
That said, there’s plenty of books in there that I enjoyed reading but am unfussed about keeping. I nopped out of the Walking Dead (started reading it when I had young kids and found I just couldn’t put up with the constant peril) so I have volumes 1-5 and volume 8 (where the flip are 6 & 7??) I have various sandman, but I can borrow sandman from the library as digital files to read, so that’ll do. I have invincible volumes 1-3 & 6 (sigh) and suspect I might wanna buy that in massive compendium form. I have about four versions of Hellboy Seed of Destruction (as well as most of it digitally) so I should gut that a bit.
Anyway, it’s taken me decades, but I think this is finally becoming the studio I’ve always wanted…
Thomas, age 12, has been putting every wannabe writer/artist to shame (including me, his dad) by sitting himself down and just writing and drawing his own comics. This is his latest – Servant 72. I won’t spoil it, but inside you’ll meet a nice friendly robot servant with a fixed rictus grin who – unbeknown to him – has been the happy-to-serve slave of a vicious intergalactic warlord.
Here for you to enjoy, please leave a comment, Thomas loves comments!
Thomas (age 12) has written and drawn a complete graphic novel called “FLY” – he’s done it all on the ipad, using the apple pencil and an app called “Comic Draw” (a kind of comic studio for kids – you can script in it, pencil, ink and colour and then letter the entire thing in this one program)
Here’s the complete work in two parts:
Finn is a teenager who works at a trash job in a trashy home but little did he know his life would take a turn for the worst when a speeding car runs him over and he ends up in hell. Since he didn’t live a good life he was turned into his least favourite animal, a fly and since he didn’t go into the brain crusher he still has all his memories of being a human! Can Finn convince his friend that it’s really him and can they find a way out of this mess?!
When Finn died and was turned into a fly his life changed for the worst. Desperate to turn back he get transported to the afterlife. Can Finn fly past Satan’s anger or will Finn get caught in his web!?
There are three things I wanted to do – one I wanted to see how much story I could pack in to a one page story, I’ve been thinking about stories about love and unrequited love (specifically the deep gothic love stories, Dracula/Mina Harker, Conor MacCloud and Heather…) and I had a new brush from frenden I hadn’t used yet that I thought would be fun.
Having done the folklore stories, I knew I could tell a tale in that space, but could I come up with one of my own?
I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going with it, initially it was just going to be an old man visiting the grave of his wife, then it occurred to me I could give a bit of a twist – visiting the grave of his first love. Hard to know where poignancy ends and creepiness begins though, but that’s ok, a story this short you can read what you want in to it – did he live a decent life, got married, have kids, all the while that first love was just a part of him, or did he lament the loss for the entirety of his life? we’ll never know.
I’ve uploaded a high res tiff file in case you fancy colouring it – and if you do, drop a note in the comments, I’d love to see it!
All artists have their weaknesses, they follow them around from year to year, tripping them up in ways that they’ve tripped them up since they were formative little artlettes doodling in their maths books.