By the time you read this I will already be dead. I mean 28. Yes, today I can no longer say mid-twenties. I’m pushing 30 and none too pleased about it. As usually I have spent the time leading up to my birthday depressing myself by taking a deep introspective look at all aspects of my life versus where I expected myself to be at this point. I’m not going to get too into it here, lets just say I always believed myself destined for greatness, and it hasn’t been achieved yet. Particularly in terms of the comics.
But I’ll soldier on and continue to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, even as the industry continues to crumble around me and all the signs seems to point towards ultimate failure. I’m stubborn like that. And if Alex, my wife, my dad, various other family members and my rogues gallery of friends and fans can continue to believe in me I should at least be able to do the same.
But enough of birthdays. They sicken me! Lets talk about that page above. It rocks. 16 pages in and it feels like we’ve already crammed in a ton of content. I think we’ve really done a decent job of establishing characters. We can already see Eric is a stand up guy, Elephant Boy is an aloof goof, and Black Snow is kind of a cocky dick with a lot of personal problems.
This page in particular really lets each guy shine in their own way. I tried to give Elephant Boy a little more personality, rather than a sleepy joke like the original. Here he’s more of a quiet slightly stupid dude who enjoys a good laugh and is the big muscle of the group (that last part will become more apparent). Eric is your every man, reader stand-in, and a one of the more consciousness and moralistic men in Detroit.
Black Snow is more clearly defined this time around (I always thought he was a little scattered in the comic books), and I think more entertaining for it. He still has all the hang ups and demons, he just masks them with gruff bravado more than his surely complaining of the past. He’s more obviously a jerk, an alcoholic, a misogynist, and a general insecure loser. Yet he’s fun as he does it all with some style and charm.
This page here has 3 particular moments of notes. First, Black Snow’s ultra creepy moment of saying he was turned on…by watching a women eat meat. I came up with that line, but it is actually a line directly from one of my favorite movies that always stuck with me. Can you figure it out? Alex didn’t know until I told him. It’s not a super important line in the movie, or meant to be creepy, but I always was a bit disgusted by it. And I thought it would be a good way to make Black Snow a bit disgusting.
Secondly, the vagina line. We very nearly cut that out, and Alex thought he had cut it out, but in the end we chose to keep it. Why did we want to cut the absurd line? Mostly because we were worried it was out of character for Black Snow. A bit too glib and and in some way too clever? That was the worry at least. Seeing drawn out in context, I think it works and I’m glad we kept it. Also, it’s anther example of how crude he is.
Third, that final panel. Black Snow is one cocky fool. He really likes to lay it on thick.
All aspects that were touched upon in the original comic books, but are already more pronounced and consistent here then they were in those 6 issues. Also, as Alex likes to constantly point out to me, seeing Black Snow’s eyes seems to have made a huge difference in showing his emotions and making him relatable. So why would we want to spend so much time making sure our main character was such a loser? A very valid question. But one I will not answer. I’ll just say it fits into our long term story plans. Readers of the original comic books may have some clue, but not really. Black Snow’s story is basically planned out for our entire run of graphic novels (planned to be 5 or 6). So readers of the of the original basically only know some of what we have planned for the first graphic novel, as we never really got far enough to show the real path of the tale (it was going to be 25 issues).
Aside from my hard work on Two Drink Minimum, I’m also working on several things for the Alternative Press Expo. We are going to have a much better set up and offerings than last year. We’ve got special printed comps planned, several cool new pieces of merchandise, and an APE exclusive comic in the works. To see the latest sign up for the event on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=109398292494144