Friday, November 19, 2010

Comics... Yeah!

If you follow me on Twitter or frequent the PKD Media site, then you probably saw the announcement yesterday that I’m the new writer on Exo-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots! I am so thrilled to be even a small part of the PKD Media Universe. I have a lot of respect for Shawn Pryor – the mastermind behind PKD, and the creator and original writer of Exo-1 (along with Mercury and the Murd, Agents of C.O.L.T., and the PKD Black Box Podcast) – and what he’s done.

The internet
is an amazing thing – especially for a geek niche community like comics. Growing up, the only friend I had who was into comics was Mark. Mark and I are still friends (and comics are still very much a part of our lives – I wrote a book about comics and he teaches a graphic novel course at George Mason University), but now I also have friends all over the world who are into comics thanks to forums and social networking sites. My friendship with Shawn is a perfect example. I met Shawn through Twitter, then in-person at the Pittsburgh Comicon earlier this year. In late spring, mutual friend, comic creator, and con organizer Zack Kruse invited both Shawn and me to be a part of the first Summit City Comic Con in Fort Wayne. It was there at the pre- and post-show parties that Shawn and I really had the opportunity to hang out and talk about writing and comics and all of the things that get us excited about the culture.

I knew I wanted to try my hand at scripting a comic. It seemed like a perfect challenge to step outside of the non-fiction, pop culture-based, and often nostalgia fueled writing I have done up to this point. In getting to know Shawn, I realized he is just such a genuine good guy. He makes comics because he loves them, and that comes through in everything he has done with PKD Media and I’m certain that is what we’ll see from Action Lab Entertainment. The problem is that Shawn never stops working, and he was stretched far too thin. So that perfect storm of our friendship, my desire to push myself creatively, and Shawn’s need to lighten his workload resulted in this opportunity.

I’m having a lot of fun writing these characters and am enjoying the challenges of finding their voices while making sure I stay true to the characters as Shawn intended, along with plotting and orchestrating scenes. I am looking forward to finishing this story and ultimately seeing it realized through Daniel J. Logan’s art. I am forever grateful to Shawn for giving me this chance. I couldn’t be more proud to be associated with Shawn and hope I do justice to these characters and this world he created.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Something in the Air

I haven’t been able to right my personal creative writing ship that has been listing for months. September was consumed by my freelance writing jobs, and October fell into the oblivion of my day job. Now I find myself halfway through November, and the only groove I’ve found is one of denial.

I have ideas rumbling around in my head, on notepaper floating around my office, and on virtual scraps of Word saved on my laptop, but without motivation to expand on any of them. Unlike almost one year ago to the day, when I laid blame at the feet of Twitter, this year I don’t think it’s about laziness (or Twitter). I think this is about burnout and routine. I don’t know that I could be a full-time freelance writer or write for a living (although much of my day job does involve writing). In preparation for the month of travel I had for work, I wrote non-stop from the moment we got back from our family vacation in mid-August until I left for Jacksonville on that first business trip at the end of September. I cranked out some good stuff too – a freelance piece for ToyFare magazine (although they only published two of the seven articles I submitted to them), a really fun piece on Elektra for a future issue of Back Issue magazine, and my very first comic book script. But all that writing, followed by an intense nearly six weeks of travel, burned me out and pulled me from any semblance of a writing routine.

Thankfully, I’m not alone in my struggles. John blogged about similar creative problems just today. And with similar resolve, it’s time to start putting myself back out here… writing about the things I love and reengaging in the pop culture dialog among my friends and the Interwebs.