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Author Topic: Writers wanted
Adam Masterman
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Howdy writers.

In my spare time I'm a cartoonist of the comic book type. I'm looking for a writer to collaborate with on an indie project. As soon as I can (possibly a couple of weeks), I'll post some work online and link it here, so you all can look and see if you might be interested in collaborating. Just wanted to throw this out there, I'll bump this thread when I have something to show you. Incidentally I am open to different genres, though I am assuming I might find some good sci-fi ideas here.
Adam

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KnightEnder
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Have you got any parameters yet? Thoughts on who the hero is going to be or his/her powers or anything? Or is that all up to the writer?

KE

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Adam Masterman
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*grinning eagerly at the thought of enticing KE into this little project*

No I imagine we could do that collaboratively. I'ld like it to be story and concept driven rather than just a guy with x amount of powers. Needn't contain spandex clad people at all (though I can do that, as well [Big Grin] ).

Adam

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OpsanusTau
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*looks at Adam in a tentatively interested manner*
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KnightEnder
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I love comic books. Had quite a collection as a kid. They got stolen. But I think they were stolen by the neighborhood kids (my first house on my own was pretty open to everybody), so at least someone was enjoying them. Was always more of a Marvel guy than DC. Loved the Avengers. Vision was a great character. He had depth (being the clone of Wonderman) and cool powers. I'd like to do something like him.

How many words in one comic book?

Glad you can draw. I can't draw a circle.

Not that I'm suggsting this as something we could do, but you know how Thor was taken straight from Norse Mythology? I bet if somebody came up with a comic book superhero based on Egyptian Gods or Islam or something that is identifiable to Muslims, they would make a killing.

KE

[ May 11, 2005, 10:20 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Adam Masterman
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The format I am thinking of is 24-30 pages, with the writer supplying a page by page plot summary. I do pages from that, and then the writer scripts in the dialogue and captions(not manually, I'll do that). Its one of the standard methods for writer-artist collaboration. I am cranking out a six page story from a stock script online at the moment, hope to be finished sometime in the next 2 weeks. I'll post it and some other work to give you an idea of the process I was envisioning.
Adam

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stayne
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Adam, please have a look at Soothsayer. I have wanted to do a graphic novel adaption for a while. I have talked with several artists I work with, and all agree it would work well in the format, but no one in the video game business has much time for side projects. (You know, come to think of it, the guy who actually prodded to finish Soothsayer was Paul Steed, the modeler from Quake II and III.)
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RickyB
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I've been thinking about trying my hand at comics. Waiting to see what you have in mind.
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Adam Masterman
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@stayne

What is Soothsayer? And doesn't someone own the rights?

Adam

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stayne
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It's a short story I sumbitted to our writer's crit group here. I presume the rights would be owned by me. [Wink]
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KnightEnder
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Stayne, I sent Adam a copy of Soothsayer.

KE

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Adam Masterman
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Still haven't made any decisions as to where to go with this, so far I have only read stayne's fine Soothsayer. I did want to thank him for letting me read, and to try out the whole web hosting thing. I dashed off some sketches of his main charecters and posted them here:

http://www.imagehosting.us/?id=445945&type=viewpic

http://www.imagehosting.us/?id=445954&type=viewpic

They're quickies but what do you think?
Adam

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Adam Masterman
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More fun playing with picture uploading. Here's an example of a finished piece. Sorry, I know pagework is the bread and butter of the medium, I'll get some up soon, I promise.
Adam

http://www.imagehosting.us/?id=446298&type=viewpic

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stayne
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It's very gratifying to see someone's impression of the characters. I deliberately left Lucian a bit nebulous, because I felt that doing so let the reader put himself in Lucian's shoes more easily. IIRC, the only real characteristic I mentioned was that he had black hair. He's very much open to interpretation, IMO. But what's interesting is that he comes off in your sketch very similar to what I had in mind. There in an ambiguously asian sense about the sketch, a kind of blending of eastern and western, which is just what I would have imagined. I'd ditch the scar, not because it doesn't fit, but because there is another character who might show up in a future story I write who has a very prominent one. I waver back and forth on whether the very square jaw or a _slightly_ more angular one would be right. Honestly, I think it's something an artist would tell _me_. [Wink] The blades are a sometimes yes sometimes no thing. He generally uses punches and kicks, but he is well aware that there is an intimidation factor to steel that changes how he is perceived by others. A potentially hostile person might be more inclined to avoid a fight with an obviously armed man, for example.

Soothsayer looks appropriately sinister and mad. [Wink] I think he might be a bit older than the sketch implies, but as you said, it's a quick, rough impression, so the age is a bit ambiguous. I can tell you _exactly_ the image I had in mind for him when I wrote the story. Did you ever see Dark City? Remember Keifer Sutherland's character? Twitchy, eyes darting about, gasping speech? Add wild hair, lenghen it a bit, and that was my mental image. But again, I don't really think my image is what counts. The reader, especially one with an artist's eye, completes the portrait.

I'm quite flattered that you found them interesting enough to sketch. It's very pleasing to get an actual visual on them. I bet we could make quite a cool little side project.

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stayne
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Ow, wow, you posted the finished one right as I was responding. I was already excited from the sketches, but I really dig the finished one. If you're interested, I'm down.
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KnightEnder
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Wow Adam, that is impressive. I am jealous. I can't sing or draw, and I would love to be able to do both.

KE

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Adam Masterman
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Thanks KE and Stayne. KE, can I get you to send me some stories (did my email get through?).

@stayne,
I am hesitant to say I will work on Soothsayer. I like the writing but am troubled a little by the theme. Not that I'm really anti-fictional violence per se; I just felt that it came from a really different attitute than mine. I hope you aren't offended if I look at some other stories, and I certainly hope you don't take that as a criticism of your writing,which I thought was excellent.
Adam

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stayne
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Sorry, Adam, I didn't realize that was the case. I think it would be best if we just consider it a no go, then. Most of the artists I have worked with don't really get too invested in the subject matter of commerical work, but if you do, then the product would suffer if your heart isn't in it. Good luck finding something else.
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RickyB
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That's some good stuff, Adam.
I'm not very versed in comics, but the two comics I know and really dig are Gaiman's Sandman and Preacher, by...Garth Dillon? and another guy.

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RickyB
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And Asterix, of course, though I guess that's different. I think I read every about 30 of those [Smile]
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KnightEnder
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Stayne, I may be wrong but I think Adam meant that he didn't think it felt right for the possible Indy project. I bet he would be willing to work on something sometime if you were going to do something with it, and if he had the time. (Of course I don't know what his schedule is like, but I do know that he sounded like he has pretty steady work, plus he plans on working on this Indy project.) But maybe in the future. But I could be wrong. Adam?

KE

[ May 13, 2005, 03:14 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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stayne
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Oh, I know just what he's saying. I was under the impression he was looking to do something 'indy' as in independent of a studio, but with the idea of it still being commercial. I didn't understand he meant 'for personal edification'. That's a lot tougher match, but it's also not something you can easily compromise on. You only have so much free time.
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Adam Masterman
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Actually, the cartooning is strictly a hobby for me, though an increasingly time consuming one. I am a schoolteacher in real life, so I only get an hour or two a day for drawing. By indie project I just meant something to work on for its own sake, though I have been looking into self publishing (800 bucks for 2000 comics, color cover and 32 b+w pages).

If you're interested in what made me hesitant about your story, alot of it had to do with the ending, killing the pimp in the bar. I totally lost Lucien as a sympathetic charecter. As I said, I haven't really a problem with violence per se, and I like charecters with moral failures because you can sort of root for them. I remember how, earlier in the story, Lucien had commented on how his decision to go after the Soothsayer was a kind of moral turning point for him, and it really got me on board with him and his situation. The killing of the pimp, however, was a complete regression, not the action of a "good guy". It jarred me loose from rooting for Lucien and really kept me, ultimately, from liking him. I felt like the evil actions of the pimp were a sort of set up to get me (the reader) to go along with the revenge killing.

All of this, of course, may be what you intended in your story, and of course thats up to you. How would you feel about changing his charecter and/or the structure of the story for a comic? Because I like the idea of Lucien as faltering but burgeoning hero much better than the idea of Lucien the interesting but ethically ambiguous protagonist. I could see this story as being self contained but also having potential for future "installments". We could flesh out the political and social setting, as well as Luciens background, etc. Those are my thoughts, anyway. This is your story, and I realize that what I am proposing would mean surrendering it to a collaborative process. Feel free to bow out if you want to preserve the stories original integrity.

KE thanks for those other stories, I read the Second Coming and loved it, though I wonder how you wrote it with a straight face. [Big Grin]
Adam

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stayne
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No need to do a lot of work in that direction, Adam. It's already done. [Wink] What you propose is close to the long arc I have in mind. He eventually ends up (years later) as boss of an organized crime syndicate, trying to keep a lid on the inevitable violence and crime by laying down rules for those willing to work within the system, and ruthlessly exterminating the mad dogs.

This story is just the start of changes in him. Up to now, he's been a very evil man. He can't suddenly change that; he has to go through a process of many fairly drastic events over the course of time. My personal feeling with regard to the end is that Lucian has a lot of sins to pay for, and that getting a real hero's ending is something he has simply not earned. Up to now, he has been playing with a set of rules that would prevent him both from killing Soothsayer or Hammer. He sees himself as a weapon, and his employer as the actual moral actor. When he lets go of that to kill Soothsayer, it also clears the way to killing Hammer. But he finds in the end that one made sense, and one was an excercise in futility. He senses that going about things in the ways the seem proper to him is likely to just add the the ugliness of the world, and this is why he is less than enthused about the idea that he might have a very long life, watching it happen over and over again. That's the point of giving the money back, even though Alicia is dead. He's absolving her and accepting the blame that he tried to weasel out of by accepting the job for a pittace. It's all he can think to do.

The thing is, I don't ever see him becoming 'good'. He'll do good, and moderate his inclination to evil, but never in the way you or I might. His whole arc is to learn to be at peace with the fact that he is a ruthless person. The point I wanted to make with him is that he exemplifies the idea that some measure of evil is necessary, or mad dogs and chaos rule. Sometimes good cannot bring itself to do what must be done to defend itself against the truly monstrous. He's the embodiment, if you will, of the guy who, when confronted with "Shoot this guy or I blow up the school" conundrum, shoots the guy without hesitation, because he has no choices. And then he goes and finds the guy who was going to blow up the school and makes an example of him.

I get the vibe that that's not really what you're looking for, though. (shrug) I have some other stuff I am working on that I'll put on OWW soon, when it's done. Feel free to yell if you see something you dig.

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Adam Masterman
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No I am definately warming to the idea, I even did a revamped sketch of Soothsayer (I'll put it up soon). I think what you wrote makes sense, I guess I just needed that acknowledgement of the questionability or moral ambiguity of killing Hammer. I am starting to see some of the visuals (I can imagine some really cool ways to show the nanobots(?) entering his blood). Why don't I do some more sketchwork and try to get it up on the site next week, and then we can talk more?
Adam

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stayne
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Adam, did you ever find a suitable partner for your project? I have another piece I have written that I think might fit your tastes better.
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Adam Masterman
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I'ld love to read it, but honestly I haven't been doing any work lately. Its a busy time of year for me, teaching and coaching skiing. I started the project using my own script, which was really the best soultion for me, since though I am no great writer, I could change anything I wanted. I sent around a five page prologue which I am planning to send around again, since few seem to have gotten it.

Adam

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stayne
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Well, KE has it, but he never sent it out. (It's too long is the problem, and I am working on cutting it down to something more manageable, but it's still a novella.)You're on the email list, right?
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