Sunday, December 14, 2008


Hah. Look at you asking me a question. Very clever, Mister Bond.

Since SideChicks is an internet- first project, the stories can be of any length. The first thing I wrote was the third story that ran, a detective story called Just Business that was serialized in the 2nd & 3rd SideChicks e-comics. I wanted to examine how a bodyguard firm in a world with spandex characters operating on the clock would deal with the loss of a client. In that story, the reasonable proceedures would be examined including a parallel to police shootings, etc. The reasonable question to be asked was this... How does a corporation deal with a specific failure? The obvious answer... Blame the employee!

In that story, Shawn Collier gets distracted and engages in personal combat and while she is distracted, and the person she is tasked to guard gets killed by an unseen actor. After an initial investigation, she is put on leave until she cleans up her mess. Just Business runs an even 72 comic pages and was serialized from February 07 to July 08.

When I wrote the story, I thought it might be too long to try out an artist, so as a counterpoint, I decided to write a story where the bodyguard does the right thing- protecting the target before handling the obvious threat. That was the first story, The One Punch Wonder, and that was the 'try-out' for Francisco Rodriguez de la Fuente, a Spanish artist who penciled a few issues of ROBIN. It runs 16 pages and was the first SideChicks story serialized from August 06 to November 06.

I lacked confidence that one penciler would continue to resist the siren song of mainstream comics work, so I wrote another try-out short story, A Long Walk to a Short Interview. It runs an even shorter 14 pages and filled the space between the first story and the longer story. A Brazilian artist, Walter Geovani penciled that story and started another before drifting over to become the penciler on the RED SONYA book from Dynamite.

I wrote the SideChicks material in one protracted burst of about about 250 pages of material. The stories run various lengths and hopefully the eventual print version will hang together as a cohesive thing. I have a ton of non-regular-comics readers that try the series and love it. And I have the immediate feedback that the internet provides.

Robb Phipps (MANTRA) is penciling the current story, a straight up murder mystery where one of the SideChicks gets hired for a freelance gig to clear a friend of a fellow pal in Spandex. Walter Geovani is about half way through penciling a longer story about a person trying to kill a corporation. Jose Luis is working on a short WWII flashback story that was kind of recycled from an idea from that VETERAN pitch and I am hoping that he will finish as he is being scheduled to pencil an issue of JLA. And the final long story is the last of that first burst of ideas when I sat down to put fingers to keys when I decided to do a comic for the web. I have some ideas for a Second Season, but the pull of that crime comic is strong.

So, as you might guess, the infinite blank slate of the internet has allowed me the total freedom to create comics of any length where I can cut scenes or let them run long. But I have found that the readers have very little patience for letting an interview scene run long. What looks short on the printed page is pretty dull when stretched out over two weeks of updates. It is very different from writing that issue of JLU which has a very strict formulae for publication regarding page count, content, etc.

So, much like your answer, the story is the thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment