Tuesday, April 18, 2006


It somewhat resembles a rumba.

I've actually reached a point in Kaiju Jugoruma where I need to do a real second draft in the thumb/writing stage. If you're just writing something and seeing where things take you, it can take a while before you see its true shape. I had a good idea of what the basic features were, but I needed to capture a few thoughts I didn't know were swimming around in the tidepool. As you work on the piece, you start seeing the details of it. Hopefully, your broad idea was accurate, and all the little bits fit into it as you get closer. It's what Alan Moore calls "high-altitude mapping". I had a feeling I was going to hve to go into a few drafts with this, especially as it is the first chapter, but my eternal fear is that I'll get bored with rewriting the same bit of nonsense over and over again.

Hopefully, I'm leaving enough OUT of each draft to keep it interesting in the next round. I'm IN FUCKING LOVE with my opening. I was afeared that I was SO in love with it that it would have to go once I figured out just what the first chapter was about—but then I found it and the opening stays for now. It's a polyrhythmic drumbeat of information and mystery that has been hitting the skins of my skull for months and months. Last night, I found the iambic pentameter rhyming couplets that just make the whole thing. I hope it doesn't come across too cute, but I think it will sort of help introduce the reader in the way the comic will have to be read. The visual cues have been there for the past couple of minor drafts, but I think they're pretty fleshed out now.

I think it's going to be pretty damn hot. The second half of page 2 and all of page three is almost a relief like a cool breeze and readjustment of the eyes after opening a baking oven on your face. It's all overlapping haikus and backgrounds of visual shorthands. Page four is moving. I don't know where. Towards the end of the chapter or to chapter two. Probably the latter. I think this will be good, that pulls the humor forward to page four... except now I have to see how the caption boxes and images interact. Here is where the challenge lies. CHALLENGE!

I've pretty much given up hope on having anything brand-spankin' for MoCCA, which is fine. The preface would have just eaten into time I should be spending on trying to push the actual story forward. I have this other thing cooking in my head, pulled from the preface, but I think it's just the sort of thing that can be incorporated into KJ. It's Suave Prospects in "Hapless Hoboes."

I'm close to finishing the main parts of the Comics Journal. Reading about David Bs thoughts on the formal aspects of cartooning and the organic way in which he writes. Then it will be back to my short story readings—a few more Ballard stories to go, more Borges and the rest of Lethem's Men and Cartoons. It's interesting what can be gained from each: Ballard's psychological future, Borges concision and humanity, Lethem's nostalgia. Then it's on to the manga readings.


Blogger Kenneth Belasco said...

Let me buy you a beer.
What exactly are you looking for in manga?
Classic form, action forward, or drama in reverse?
For action forward I could lend you bleach volume 1-11. Marcos has much classic form, as for drama in reverse your on your own.
pleases note the terminology in this comment has no bearing in reality.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Justin J. Fox said...

Wow. I thought I was impenetrable. What do "Classic Form," "Action Forward" and "Drama in Reverse" mean?

Too bad you're away for days. You can't explain.

I want something good. I've read that Monster is awesome suspense. I've read that Death Note has the greatest plotting of anything ever. I've heard that Planetes is wonderful. And Iron Wok Jan is awesome.

I note that no one ever—EVER—mentions the art in these books, so I assume they all have the suckass art.

11:35 AM  

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