January 29th, 2011

Worms Ready For Battle

...beautiful lies you could live in.

I'm working on the cover letter for my pitch to Image.  I want the pitch package for Quantum Redshift to go out today.  I'm relying on every skill I've learned over the years.  Not easy when you haven't done a pitch proposal since 2009, and that one was the first in many years as well.  (Already I'm slapping my forehead over the cover letter I sent Ape.  I did that soooooo wrong.)

So, I have it structured and organized.  Open with a strong hook and introduce the project, next paragraph a brief synopsis, blah blah blah.  I get to the paragraph where I'm supposed to give some indication I'm a serious writer and not some moron derping all over his word processor.

Now, in the past, I've really stretched.  Let's be honest -- people can't help but overinflate what they've done on their resumes.  You keep hearing you should not only mention experience, but it's a big help.  In the past, I've had a couple of LOC's in Comic Buyer's Guide, I was part of the 'Nuff Said APA, but nothing that really said "serious writer".

So I pull out the file where I keep track of what I've done and when I've done it.  I haven't really looked at it in a long time, what with Sound Waves on hold for the moment.  And I start transcribing.

Let's see -- wrote reviews and articles for Video Game Trader magazine from 2007 to 2010.  Shows I can work with an editor and make deadlines.  For comics, 2007 saw Final Shadows #1 digitally and the Morbid Myths Halloween Special in print.  Also started Stress Puppy in 2007 and ran until 2010 (technically, it's still running, but if they check, they'll see the site isn't being updated, so I'm erring on the side of caution).  2008 saw the digital release of the Morbid Myths Halloween Special for that year.  2009?  The Supremacy  #1 in print, along with the Stress Puppy graphic novel and the beginning of Sound Waves.  2010 saw more Sound Waves, including the Christmas special, the Head Above Water five issue mini, and the first Hannah Singer book.


...you know, that's actually not a bad body of work there.  Even if the later stuff is self-published, I'm still creating finished stuff.

I'm reflecting on Ralph Bakshi.  He said in an interview, "It's not about the ratings.  It's not even about making a good picture.  I told them, if the picture's good or bad that we make is not the issue.  You do your best and it's about the process.  The process of making is everything.  And if the picture turns out good, great.  And if it turns out bad, great, you've learned something.  But you also made that film.  So, to me, it's always about the art."

I have been creating complete things for public consumption since 2007.  I have to emphasize "complete".  The hardest thing about writing is not coming up with the idea.  That's easy.  We come up with ideas all the time.  The hard part is not only shaping that idea into something other people will want to invest time and attention and emotion in, but to finish it, to get it done.  You can't just say you have a great story idea and not say how it ends.  And finishing a story takes work and dedication.  Even if the finished product ain't the greatest thing in the world, it's still complete.  It's a finished work.

It's an accomplishment.

I don't usually put much stock in my self-publishing stuff or the web comic because there's nothing to it, anyone can do it.  I can make a book that is nothing but literally "herp derp" for 200 pages and it will be printed.  Same with web comics.  If you've seen some that I have like Girlz N Games, you don't have to be funny or expressive or anything.  You don't even have to be consistent with your deadlines.  And yet, my stuff does do that.  It is genuinely funny.  The characters are smart, hip, funny, and interesting.

Sound Waves started off as just me doing some shoujo and I thought it would only be about five issues, I wasn't even expecting it to be something I would be talking about as an accomplishment.  And then the focused changed from Rhapsody checking out the undersea world to it being about the friendship between the two girls.  Now it's become something I am proud of and do brag about, how I can maintain my page counts without sacrificing the core that makes the series interesting and engaging for readers, how it went from my just making a bunch of stories to get the idea out of my head to me writing over twenty scripts and counting imagining what interesting situations the swim buddies will encounter and what they would do.  Self-published or no, people read it.  People enjoy it.  Sound Waves is a legitimate artistic entity.

Maybe I'm actually accomplishing more than I thought.  I may not have books selling a thousand copies at the moment, but I have a following and I know I'm making good stuff for the right audience (I'm not expecting, say, fans of Chew to dig Sound Waves.  Likewise, I don't expect fans of Archie to dig Stress Puppy).  So, maybe, in this case, self-publishing doesn't matter, but that I am actually doing something legitimate is.

Not buying it just yet, but I am thinking it over very seriously....
Epic Fail

A Place For Everything, And Everything In Its Place

So, I'm sitting here, having lunch at the lunch counter and trying to keep my nerves from fraying.  I sit at a table, and as I'm waiting for the wifi handshake, I look around.

And I see it.

A table for four people with all their trash just piled up in the middle and left there.

One of my usual hangouts, I was talking with the counter person and she mentioned some people who left the table a mess and didn't take care of their trash.  The manager on duty saw them leaving and asked if they were going to leave the mess there.  "Sure," they sez, "it's not OUR job to clean it up."  "Well, you better not come here ever again."  They bolted and haven't been back since.  Her manager heard the first part of the story and said, "Well, they're right, it IS our job to clean it up."  Naturally, the counter girl didn't tell her the rest of the story.  My brother in law does that, too.  He'd throw trash on the floor in the store and say, "Hey, that's why the janitors get paid the big bucks!"  My mom tried to tell me he was kidding.  I just wanted to punch him in his chump face.  And he wonders why I never see him except for Christmas.

When did it become acceptable for us to be assholes?  Don't be rude and leave a big mess just because it's someone else's job description.  I sometimes wonder if things like the automatic flush toilets were the start, since you no longer had to do anything, and if nothing happened, well, it was their equipment.  Or maybe it's just a product of the times.

I sometimes hit Goodwill stores to look for used video games and VHS treasures.  I have a reputation there.  Apparently, I'm the only person who goes to Goodwill who doesn't berate the staff, demand star treatment, and generally act rude.  I say please and thank you, I wait patiently....one clerk, I'm not kidding, started tearing up because I was treating her nice.  I was apparently the first person to do it that day.

I just don't understand why people don't see the point of being nice and supportive.  They aren't being asked to wipe down the tables or anything, just not leave a holy ass mess behind (I wipe down my table.  Then again, I draw at it, and don't want grease on my artwork).  When did being rude and inconsiderate become expected treatment?  Is man just incapable of treating others well?