Funky Pencil Monkey

Spent a couple of days in a bit of a funk. The world is just … ugh. My mood has been dark (which, all jokes aside, I partially put down to binging Walking Dead which finally got to Neagan, a character I despised so much on first contact, and the grim never ending awfulness of what the characters are going through that it genuinely has effected my mood, so I’ve put it away – no thanks, not watching that) have turned instead to the delights of Gone Fishing.

I’m in a fairly privileged position (in that I’m in a part of the world that is relatively stable, and safe) and so have decided I can’t watch the news at the moment either – things are too grim and it’s impacting how I think about stuff. I don’t remember when things felt this oppressive (plus the comic industry seems to be going through one of its cyclical crunches where there’s more published work than there are readers, and more talented comic book creators than there are jobs for them)

There’s a guy in fixing my gas (big bill I could do well without) and he’s working in my studio room. So I’ve decided to blow the cobwebs off a script idea I had a few years ago (oh god, just after me and Declan did “M” for Dynamite, in 2017) and start polishing it up with a view to drawing it myself as a commando digest sized comic.

Well, strictly speaking I’ll be drawing it A5, and printing either A5 or some reduction of same.

I wrote a fairly detailed treatment of it, and then I rewrote and rewrote it. It was a James Bond pitch originally, and I’ve turned it into “John Regent” a Bond like MI6 Secret Assassin.

Honestly it came about because in our book M, Bond’s boss – a former british soldier – returns to Belfast, and I thought “Oh, man… if James Bond came to Belfast … he could get stuck in an Orange Parade!” because Bond surrounded by a load of guys in Bowler hats marching to a band while he’s being hunted by OddJob is very very funny.

Of course, what often happens between inception and treatment/scripting is the original idea gets lost as you build your plot. So ultimately, that didn’t make it.

Anyway, I have a detailed treatment (no page numbers, just plot happenings) and 64 pages to do it in. So I’ve been trying to work out how long each section should be and man, 64 pages seems like a lot, but every page is only 1 – 2 panels. So you’re really cutting it up a lot. But that’s ok. Because the treatment basically breaks down into Prologue (it’s James Bond! gotta have the bond bit at the start!) Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 and Epilogue I’ve sort of picked arbitary points for these things to break down, that’s when you really start to feel it.

BUT – I’ve adapted tweets into comics, so taking this treatment and going, well, these words have fill 8 pages – beginning on a splash and ending on a splash, giving me roughly 12 panels to tell that part of the story isn’t impossible.

Plus, to be honest, I’m trying not to get bogged down on “what if this is rubbish?” so what. Then it’s rubbish. I don’t think it will be, I think it’ll be not-as-good-as-I-want-it-to-be, which has the same effect as “what if it’s rubbish?” and that effect is to stop you even trying.

So I’m ignoring that instinct and I’m going to write it in to pages, and then draw the damn thing as fast as is humanly possible. And then, if I get that far try and kickstart the beast (I won’t be after big numbers, just enough to get it printed)

But the kickstarter is a long way off, and honestly, I’m doing this because right now, my workload is very very light, and that’s not a terribly comfortable place to be for me. I’d rather have way too much work on.

Sent to kill the super hacker codenamed “White Rabbit” MI6 Assassin JOHN REGENT discovers that she is, in fact, an 11 year old non verbal autistic child. Mission aborted, REGENT and the girl are attacked. Betrayed, REGENT has to go on the run with the girl and her mother to find answers, and to discover just exactly how far down the rabbit hole this goes.

“White Rabbit”

One thought on “Funky Pencil Monkey

  1. Darren Reynolds

    I struggle a lot with the “what if it’s rubbish” instinct too. It’s something I’m trying to get better at ignoring, recently I’ve been stuck in layout limbo for an art challenge. The only solution is to get on with the actual drawing and reading posts like this helps me realise that, thanks PJ.

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