Murphy’s Corollaries.

The problem is that now Monday's art needs to be EPIC.

The problem is that now Monday’s art needs to be EPIC.

See, things have been calm for like two weeks or so. No crisis to deal with, no sudden, unexpected life problems that you are totally unprepared for. I’m starting to enjoy it, and think that perhaps the year of 2016 has let up a bit on the concentrated force of general roughness. Once you start thinking that way, you have successfully jinxed it, and somehow aligned those selfsame forces to work out some sort of completely unnecessary Cosmic Retribution for the Thought.

Heavens forbid you should actually SAY it, like the protagonist did. Everyone in Wakanda, a scientifically advanced utopia, straight up knows better than that kind of nonsense, which is precisely why those gentlemen are not sticking around. They wouldn’t want to get caught up in the Karmic Wake that will be generated by the incoming @#$%storm of the Ages.

For the past week or so, I’ve been using a storytelling technique that comics writers and editors call, “decompression.” That means taking more time than you really need to to tell the story in the first place. Most of the time, I do Adequacy with what can only be called Silver Age writing sensibilities. In that time frame in comics, things that would take an entire year of storytelling now could happen in a single comic book, or heck, on a single page. Often, important events happens pretty much “between panels” and were explained by throwaway lines so that you could get on with the story. Adequacy usually follows that sensibility, with radical shifts in setting and story, to just get to the next important thing.

By contrast, this is the fifth day of the Wakandan Vacation, involving a far more linear plot than usual. Granted, by modern comics plot standards, it is still hurtling at an insane pace. By my standards though…she hasn’t done that much. She showed up to Wakanda with Vacation Time pony and couldn’t afford it. She battled for a science Frog, which she used to pay for a stay in Wakanda, and got a new uniform. Now she is drinking fancy drinks, possibly Margaritas or Pina Coladas. Although fast plotting by Modern Marvel Standards, that’s really slow for me.

I’m not a giant fan of “decompression” as you can tell. It’s the trend in storytelling that has given us the “event” disease of modern comics, to an extent. In the Silver Age, if Batman got a new costume, he just did. It happened. He might say something about it to robin in a speech balloon, he might not…you move on. In modern comics, if Batman wants a new belt buckle, that has to start Buckle Quest, Part One of Eight. Every cast member needs to be asked how they feel about the belt buckle, and how it might affect them. Vendors for the buckle need to be consulted, and Bruce Wayne will need to weigh what the buckle means to him. If he should be injured, the question of “Who Will Bear The Buckle?” rises, potentially creating a four part limited series.

I’m not there yet, to be sure, and hope I never get there. I’m just not that fond of that format, although it reads far better in Trade Paperback form than in individual issues. Some comics I actually wait out for the trade paperback, for precisely that reason.

About the art…I want Jack Kirby designed shoes. The radical forced perspective is very much a Kirby thing, to make regular scenes look really interesting. I didn’t think that the protagonist would be wearing Converse with those new threads, nor did I think that she should have some sort of dainty little slippers or booties. She’s generally drawn as a bit bigger of size than many superheroines…as in, she doesn’t have an eating disorder. So, Kirby inspired BOOTS, something that you could stomp a Science Sigil into a Mole Man’s forehead with, seemed much more on point.

Also note that the woman bringing her the lime for her drink has a floral print pattern on her dress. I avoid those kinds of things at all costs usually…they are a real @#$% to make look good. I’m very happy with the way it came out, very true to the pattern I referenced. Its also super hard, and I have serious respect for artists that don’t have trouble figuring out how a pattern or print would realistically looks when folds happen, because they do happen in fabrics worn by actual people.

Also, though…people doing Ordinary Things are tough to illustrate. Comics have us draw superheroes punching aliens, and catching airplanes fairly regularly, and there is a visual lexicon that we accept for that stuff. Drawing people doing things that we are actually used to seeing is really hard, because it has to both look interesting, and look correctly drawn.

Oh yeah…and the whole thing had the kind of Kirby background that I’ve been working with all week. Just to add that.

Getting back to really chaotic superhero action, for the “jinx” should actually be easier than the past couple of days, of people walking, standing in ways they would normally stand, and delivering drinks. Even doing so in a retro influenced late 60’s Kirby Mighty Marvel Manner should be okay, since all of the actions in it should be Over the Top. I’m much more used to that.

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