February 03, 2011

Monster Maiden

Comic books are made differently from person to person.  Some just put pen to paper without thinking of what's coming next.  I, on the other-hand, am the complete opposite.  Every element needs to be thoroughly thought through.  For this project, I had the initial volume plotted and wanted the first three of six issues scripted before I even began to draw the pages.  I also needed to have thumbnails of every page including all the necessary text that was going to be on them.  To say I dawdled through the pre production would be an understatement.  There was a lot that needed to be done!  Character designs.  Set designs.  Creature designs.  Icons and Logos.  Inking and coloring tests.  This is world building folks!

The beginning began with an idea.  It also began with a co-creator.  However, creative differences sheared that partnership.  Maybe it was for the best that that happened early on and maybe not.  I do enjoy a sounding board and often think my writing duties wouldn't have been so cumbersome had there been a second talent in the mix.

That initial idea... a TV's Kung Fu and The Incredible Hulk type of 'on the road' journey that frequently ran into monsters.  Honestly, it sounded too much like Supernatural.  I knew I wanted it to be about monsters.  Transforming monsters.  People who become monsters.  So I reworked some things and mined some other concepts and came out with a golden nugget.  Unfortunately, I can't reveal that nugget just yet.  It's a very revealing concept... a twist, so to speak.

What I can tell you about the story is this...
"Fright Finders is a very popular television series that showcases interviews and reenactments of monster encounters.  The program features cryptozoological investigators Bob Bakersfield and Jack Johnson.  As their 5th season comes to an end, a best-of round-up episode is aired.  During the airing and behind the scene, Bob and Jack have found a legitimate source that, through coercion, can validate their career and expose a vile secret that continues to terrorize the country."
Once I had the concept and plot figured out, I needed to establish many rules and define how aspects of the world I was developing worked.  Is there Magic?  How do transformations get triggered?  How do you kill the monsters?  What's the scope of the threat?  What's the end game?  What's the worse case scenario?  Who knows what?  What's the time and place?  How do I tie in future volumes?  Is this a compelling story that people would want to read?  I was able to answer them all but one... the last one.

Finally, this endeavor needed a title.  A title that was catchy, looked good, sound intriguing, and encapsulated the entire complex story that I wanted to tell.  Initially, it began as Scion of the Macabre.  Then, Legacy of the Macabre.  Both were scrapped when my co-creator left the fold.  Son of the Macabre came next, but I couldn't use that once I shifted the stories point of view.  There was no longer a "Son" in the first volume and Macabre as part of the title could lead to difficulty in mispronunciation and branding.  Then, Monster Apparatus was good for a while, until I ultimately settled on Monster Made.

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