Monday, December 17, 2007


As I'm waiting for some ink to dry, I thought I'd just post this completely original and unique idea I just had that no one else has ever had. Ever.

I was thinking about Project Runway and the way something like that (a contest featuring actually talented people actually doing something creative that isn't itself performance-based and being judged by people of authority in that field) could work for comics. I know Comic Book Resources has Comic Book Idol (although finding it when it isn't running is a bit difficult). But that only features finished work, instead of process, and seems more focussed on a particular type way of making comics. Also, the message board format it uses isn't particularly flattering. And there have been other comic book contests that have had their mechanics even less bare. But there really isn't anything that works in the style of a reality show, with the all the seams showing. I realise that an advantage Runway has is that each challenge ends with a certain 'end performance' and that wouldn't work too well for comics... but, it would be cool if it did.

Then I thought about it a little more (I'm doing speedlines, so there's a lot of thought wandering) and wondered if it could work in a magazine format. Bang one out a week or each month. And that led me to thinking about a constraint-oriented magazine anthology... but I was losing the thing that really worked for me.

So, I re-focussed and thought about Hikaru No Go. What if there WASN'T a Project Runway for comics, but there was a comic book was just like Project Runway... but for comics. Iron Cartoon Jan. Hikaru No Cartoon. (Oh, you'll give me your googles.) So, it's a comic book about a group of contestants gathered together on a reality show all striving to be the Next Great American Cartoonist. Each issue/volume would start with them being assigned their challenges and then we'd follow them through the day as they strove to complete each challenge and live with each other.

Then I thought you could do the whole book in one style, but that each cartoonist would have their own style you'd have to illustrate in. And that style would further mutate to meet the demands of the challenge and you could open the entire process up by showing thumbnails and pencils and inks and... and right there is where the intellectual excersize would destroy an average brain. And it's right where my own masochism would attract me to it like a moth to that dangerous stuff moths are attracted to.

So, I know it's hardly an original idea. In fact, I'm pretty sure Old Man Marcos suggested something similar to me several months ago. Even then, he wasn't the first to say anything about it, I'm sure. But the difference between all those other pie-in-the-sky dreamers and me, is that this idea will probably keep me up all night trying to figure out just how to "make it work." And then I'll have to go into the office in the morning with no sleep and I have two long meetings I need to attend. TWO!


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