Comic book professional. Bourbon aficionado. Leftist. Piney. Co-Founder of COMIC BOOK THINK TANK.
Comic book professional. Bourbon aficionado. Leftist. Piney. Co-Founder of COMIC BOOK THINK TANK.
Convention season rolls on as the summer comes to an end. Now that the juggernaut that is the San Diego Comic Con is behind us Dan and I can focus on some of the more local, East Coast shows. Although we keep the Calendar updated we thought it might be worth calling out the last shows of the summer and fall where we’ll be hyping the return of Cris and RELAUNCH among other projects.
DRAGON CON Atlanta, GA (8/30 – 9/2) – Now with 100% more ethics!
BALTIMORE COMIC CON Baltimore, MD (9/7 -9/8) – Dan’s home town!
GRANITE STATE COMIC CON Manchester, NH (9/28 – 9/29) – New Hampshire because…why not?
NEW YORK COMIC CON New York, NY - The convention that never sleeps. Trust me on this.
Be sure to check back for updates on booth and table locations or panels and, of course, if you’re in the area for any of these shows please swing by and chat!
Just in time for the San Diego Comic-Con, the good people over at the New York Post interviewed Dan and I about RELAUNCH, THE ROAD GOES EVER ON, Yanapax and COMIC BOOK THINK TANK. Enjoy!
RELAUNCH: Chapter Two continues! Dan and I have each been incredibly busy with other commitments and, unfortunately, work on RELAUNCH had to take a bit of a back seat for a few weeks. Rest assured though that we haven’t forgotten about Cris, Alix and The Inspiration! In fact, even as we were both occupied by other projects we continued to find time wherever we could to keep things moving with RELAUNCH. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
For this preview we thought it might be interesting to give a peek into the writing process used for RELAUNCH (and THE ROAD GOES EVER ON). To kick things off I’ll draft a detailed document that defines the major themes, plot, places and characters. Dan and I will then email that document back and forth, asking and answering questions and otherwise discussing the story right in the body of the document instead of just via email. This way we not only further define the world but also maintain an organized record of new thoughts and ideas. These ideas don’t always make it into the final script exactly as discussed but usually yield some pretty creative results. So, without giving anything away, here’s a sneak peek at the development of…
RELAUNCH: Chapter Two
When last we left the INSPIRATION, Alix tried to reboot the whole ship – including Cris. Cris, realizing she was about to “die”, disconnected herself from the ship. Her exact fate remains unknown (to the reader). Of course, without Cris, the reboot wasn’t 100% successful and Alix initiated a recall of the ship.
We’re starting out this part of the story at an orbital space station. Here’s what I’m thinking: the physical design and shape of the INSPIRATION isn’t one that lends itself to surface take off and landing. There’s also been a lot of research that suggests it’s a whole lot easier to build and repair ships in space rather than planet-side, just completely dodging the whole gravity issue entirely.
- DG: Love it! I was thinking the same thing – that this is some sort of orbital station. Also – it would make sense that it was near or beside a planet for resources to be moved to and from the station.
- RP: Absolutely. I imagine it’s an orbital satellite station as opposed to a deep space station.
So Alix is based on the planet…
- DG: Does this need to be Earth?
- RP: Nope. I was thinking it’s not Earth. I’m intentionally not referencing Earth or any specific nation. There will be no obvious Earth “artifacts” on the ship or station (flags, etc). I’m also using a cast that is intentionally cuts across national/ethic borders. I’d much rather focus on these characters in this time and place and leave behind any other baggage that a reader might bring to if it’s obviously Earth or takes place in a specific year or place we can identify. Clean slate.
…at a Communications Station but the INSPIRATION (and other ships like it) work out of an Orbital Station – the satellite version of a municipal facility/depot. From a visual standpoint we’re talking heavy and utilitarian. It needs to be able to handle a lot of traffic from bulky work ships. It should feel about as sturdy and about as used as a truck stop.
- DG: Agreed. I’m thinking of something that is almost like a bunker – in case vessels coming in for repairs can’t stop, or are damaged – something like an aircraft carrier deck, but thinking 3-dimnesionally – armored shields can be raised in case they are coming in too fast…this would be especially true in space where there is no wind resistance, and only reactionary thrusts.
- RP: Exactly!
From a design standpoint I’d say get creative! A few notes on what I was thinking – feel free to take any of this with a grain of salt though. For the most part we’re just thinking up a cool space station design. There should be a few docking stations – simple ways that ships can attach themselves to the main station, like for supplies or some other short term stay. There should also be at least one repair bay where more damaged ships can dock to undergo more extensive repairs. There could even be pods or some sort of cargo attachments around the outside of the station, attached to the hull. I mean, why take up precious interior space, right?
- DG: I’m thinking for the orbital station it should have a central area that has gravity, something cylindrical, that rotates – creating an artificial gravity, but with a definite up and down column that branches to various bays and ports. Should some of the vessels that might be docked there be modern and some more antiquated? Sort of a mixed bag. This way we can show what some of the more advanced vessels might look like – ships that aren’t geared for androids operating them…gravity-based…some for deep space travel, others more personal – for travel within a solar system perhaps, or to and from the planet/moons.
- RP: My initial thinking was that this station is a private platform, owned by a private company, used for commercial purposes. The owners probably have a contract with the local government(s) on the planet or even multiple planets in the region but they work independent of the government. Their ships should be of similar type – even if that’s a broad range. Like trucks and tractors owned by a private construction company. Lots of variation but they’re all still tractors and trucks. I was thinking that we’d keep the purpose of the station (and thus the people on the station) focused and less all encompassing.
If it’s ever visible, the station is named TERESHKOVA with the station number 16J63. It’s not critical to the story but, for the space nerds in the crowd, Tereshkova was the first woman in space. She went up on June 16th, 1963.
- DG: Dig it!
The station is large enough to be manned by a crew of 15 people (about three times the size of the ISS).
- DG: How many ports are we thinking for ships?
- RP: Good question. I dunno. I suppose they could have a lot of different types of ships even if they’re not all active at the same time. How many do you feel like designing?
Work on RELAUNCH: Chapter Two continues…and with it, more previews at some of the upcoming locations and characters. How do they all fit in to Cris’ story? Stick around!
The run up to RELAUNCH: Chapter Two continues with some additional character preview art. As I mentioned in the previous post, the second chapter of RELAUNCH is a much bigger story. We’ll certainly find out what happens to Cris as the aftermath of Chapter One impacts the lives of the residents of the Tereshkova.
As you may have guessed from the previous post, the second chapter of RELAUNCH takes place primarily on the Tereshkova, an orbital space station. It also features a much larger cast of characters. Dan has been hard at work doing concept art for each character and we thought it might be fun to preview some of that concept work prior to jumping into the story.
When Dan and I first started to work on RELAUNCH we did it with no ulterior motives; we just wanted to tell a compelling, digital story. We chose to focus on RELAUNCH as a stand-alone comic that could be engaging but didn’t require a large investment of time from the reader. One of the great, unexpected pleasures has been that so many people have been asking for more! Does Cris live? What happens next? So, of course, Dan and I promptly began working on Chapter Two!
In the spirit of what we’ve been trying to do with COMIC BOOK THINK TANK, we decided to post some of the work for RELAUNCH: Chapter Two as it’s being developed (and revised) prior to releasing the comic. Hopefully it’ll give those that are interested some additional insight into our creative process. Or, you know, just be fun to look at.
If you’ve read THE ROAD GOES EVER on you might have noticed that its slightly different than a traditional comic. Being essentially one looping image – albeit a very large image – made writing a the script a somewhat unique challenge. In reading you’ll notice how we refined the “dashboard” process to better reflect how we wanted the final story to read. You’ll also see a far amount of notes between Dan and I as we exchanged ideas right on the script. As always, we hope you find it enlightening if not useful.
Hard to believe its been over a month since our last Link Roundup. Time flies when you’re having fun! Let’s take a look at the latest the outside world has been saying about COMIC BOOK THINK TANK, RELAUNCH and THE ROAD GOES EVER ON:
“First Look at Govar and Perazza’s Hobbit Walking Song” – via ROBOT 6
“ComiXology Submit Includes Some Familiar Faces” - via ROBOT 6
“Ten Questions With Daniel Govar of COMIC BOOK THINK TANK” – via 3 MILLION YEARS
“The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey” – via THE BEAT
“Bumped For Space, Not Importance” - via FLEEN
“Comic Book Think Tank Launches With New Digital Series” – via DIGITAL SPY
Thanks for reading!
This year saw the comic book industry continue its inexorable move into digital publishing. Along the way we’ve seen innovation, exploration and inspiration as writers and artists pushed the creative envelope, expanding the definition of digital storytelling. While there isn’t enough space to highlight everyone’s attempts to further the medium it is worth taking a moment to recognize some folks whose efforts were especially noteworthy. Without further ado, and in no particular order, COMIC BOOK THINK TANK takes a look back at some of the most innovative digital comics for 2012.
INSUFFERABLE: By Mark Waid, Peter Krause, Nolan Woodard and Troy Peteri
Billing themselves as an “experiment in new-media publishing” storytelling maestro Mark Waid and the gang at Thrillbent are regularly exploring how print comics can evolve in a digital environment – with fantastic results!
XKCD: By Randall Munroe
A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language…and in this particular instance about the exploration of the infinite canvas. If you haven’t already seen Click and Drag you owe it to yourself to head over there and spend some time exploring. You wont be disappointed.
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN: INFINITE: by Mark Waid, Stuart Immonen and Marte Garcia
Kicking off Marvel’s Infinite Comics experiment in digital storytelling in a way only Marvel can – big! The House of Ideas didn’t shy away from pushing the digital envelope with this introduction to the mammoth Avengers vs. X-Men event.
Melding comic book storytelling with animation and special effects, the Madefire team describe their comics as “Motion Books” and are trying to do nothing less than “revolutionize how stories are told.”
INSTA•COP: by Kwanza Johnson and Andy Belanger
A hard boiled action adventure delivered one panel at a time across multiple platforms. The fine gents behind Insta•Cop are exploring the increasingly thin boundary between comics and social media.
OPERATION AJAX: by Daniel Burwen
Based on a true life spy thriller, this multi-media comic is chock full of extras and support documents that let the reader dive deep into a truly immersive digital storytelling experience.
AMERICA: ELECT!: by The Guardian
The interactive team at The Guardian used a creative scrolling digital comic format to tell the story of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and the US Presidential election. The results were far, far more fun than the election itself.