Saturday, July 31, 2010

Character Development TWO (1 of 7)

Is it cheating that ever seventh post of CD will be the title page, which (usually) has no changes except the title at the bottom? Yes it is. But since I'm the one cheating, I'm fine with it.

Another week of pages starts today, and continues every day ...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Character Development ONE (7 of 7)

The final page of the first episode. The second episode will start being posted soon (possibly tomorrow). More Dark Bay pages soon as well.

I've spent the last couple of days editing Character Development scripts. Each episode starts out as a rough idea in a text editor, which gets edited a couple of times. Then I layout the panels and speech bubbles in the wonderful Mac software Comic Life, where more editing takes place. These bare panels, with no pictures, are then read by my wife to ensure that they make sense (and hopefully I get a few chuckles out of her as she reads).

But as I've been churning these out (I'm working on episodes 21 and 22 at the moment) I decided to go back through the scripts and edit them for character consistency. By that I mean making sure the characters have little speech foibles they re-use ... so the Barbarian says 'Huh', while the Mage says 'Hmm'. The Thief constantly questions authority, while the Cleric tries to be an authority. The Ranger says very little, while the Bard just won't shut up.

In many ways it was pointless busy work, as I have been fighting off some bug (reasonably successfully), but at least it gave me some confidence that I have been writing each character with their own voice for the most part without trying. The characters in this little tale will actually develop ...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Character Development ONE (5 of 7)

The basic premise of this strip was the issue of who should lead the party ... something that often causes issues in actual roleplaying sessions. Everyone, or no-one, wants to be leader. Just like in politics, those who want to lead often shouldn't be allowed.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Character Development ONE (3 of 7)

I'm writing episode 20 of this at the moment (it has sheep jokes), and I have to say the early episodes are less funny than the later ones. I guess it's a good thing that I feel it gets better as it goes. The other way around would be disheartening. The pacing, banter, and even the layout improve. So if you ever make it to the later episodes, you can tell me if I'm right or wrong.

I wrote this one with interlacing dialogues, and while it worked in my head I was not so sure it worked in practice. The reader has to work in this episode (sorry). So then I tried to rewrite, but realized I'd used so many of the ideas in this episode as plot hooks in later ones that it was going to be hard. I tried separating the conversations, but that just made it boring. So I bit my tongue and went with it as is.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Character Development ONE (2 of 7)

Two pages today, since I'd already teased you with the title page in a previous post.

Character Development ONE (1 of 7)

The start of the parody of Dungeons & Dragons and role-playing in general, in an Arrested Development kind of style (sort of).

I've written 19 episodes so far, and have the following 6 planned out in sketch form. All I have to do is take the photos. Which is the easy part in many ways.

I'm working on putting up a website that will show the almost comics in a more readable, sequential manner, and that is distracting me a little, but I should still get a page a day up on the blog.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Script: DARK BAY FOUR (6 of 6)

The final part of Dark Bay for now ...

More to follow in a little while.

Page SIX

Sal: His widow said Hobson was a sucker for a pretty girl.

Annie: Psycho for one, more like it.

Annie: He threw rocks at us if we walked past his place on our way home from school.
Sal: The Hobson house is quite a way from the road.

Annie: That's the new house.

The original farmhouse was, well, a stone's throw away.

Sal: C'mon, Pukey ... we need to have another chat with the widow Hobson.

Next: The answer to everything?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Script: DARK BAY FOUR (5 of 6)

Some days you know the fates are kind when you find a Playmobil bible to use in a photo. Final page of part four tomorrow.


Annie: That was the strangest bit ...

I'd always been afraid of Hobson. All the local girls were.

Sal: Because he was such a ladies man?

Annie: What? No, just the opposite.

Sal: Don;t tell me he was gay as well?

Annie: As well? No, no. He just didn't like girls.

I suppose you'd say young women these days.

Hobson would always yell at us. Call us names ...

Whores, sluts. That sort of thing. Yelling bits of the Bible at us ...

To be continued ...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Script: DARK BAY FOUR (4 of 6)

Annie remembering that day back in '68 ...

Annie: Hobson went crazy.

Screamed at me ... tried to get away.

He said I was going to kill him.

My father looked up at me and told me to go back to bed.

But I stayed awake. Heard my parents talking.

Hobson's heart gave out. Fear, my father said.

To be continued ...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Script: DARK BAY FOUR (3 of 6)

Playmobil are all designed for headgear; hats, bandannas, helmets ... But I figured that for this episode the flashback frames could all have 'bed hair' simply by not giving them any hats.

Page ONE
Annie's memories of the night Lyall Hobson died continue ...

Annie: Hobson looked at me ...

I remember his eyes ...

I was a bit frightened of him, to tell the truth.

But the way his eyes reacted when he saw me ...

He was afraid of me.

He was scared out of his wits.

My father was cursing under his breath ...

... still trying to find something.

I started walking down the stairs to help ...

To be continued ...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Script: DARK BAY FOUR (2 of 6)

Playmobil are such happy chaps. Always smiling. Even when having a heart attack.

Page TWO
Annie McInnes remembers the past ...

Neil: Sorry

Sal (to Annie): He's new.
Annie: It shows.

Sal: So, Annie, what do you remember about the night Lyall Hobson died?

Annie: It was quite the night ...

Annie: I was fifteen ... The banging on the door woke me.

I heard a woman's voice, but when I started downstairs I only saw my Father with Lyall.

He was breathing fast. Hyper-ventilating.

Clutching his chest. In pain.

My father was trying to find something from his desk ...

To be continued ...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Script: DARK BAY FOUR (1 of 6)

The start of another episode ...

There will soon be a website where completed strips can be read sequentially, but I'll continue to post scripts on the blog.

This episode reveals he true geekiness of 'Pukey' (a.k.a. Neil).

Page ONE

1/1 TITLE frame, large view of the bay from above.
Annie McInnes (off): Sorry, Sal ... My father was never one for keeping records ...

Annie: He was a Doctor, not a file clerk.
Neil: Ha ha! That's just like Star Trek.

Sal: What?
Neil: It's something Doc McCoy might say.

To be continued ...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sorry for the delay ... Please remain seated.

School holidays and illnesses have delayed production of finished pages, but not the writing of various projects. So while I have nothing to post at the moment there is plenty of new material coming soon.

I'm also working on a website which will contain the strips in a more reader-friendly format where you can read sequentially, rather than in reverse order as on a blog.

So remain seated. A steward will be along shortly with complimentary tea or coffee and tasteless biscuits.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Teaser: Character Development

More Dark Bay soon ...

But in the meantime, here's a teaser for the next almost comic, coming soon (click the pic to make it bigger).

It's a D&D / roleplaying comedy done loosely as an Arrested Development parody. So far there are five scripts (all six pages long, plus title page) done, and more on the way. The plot (yes, there is one) gets convoluted rather quickly, and involves inter-species marriage, a dead Illusionist, and human sacrifice.

This is a made-for-toys production.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Script: DARK BAY THREE (page 6 of 6)

The final page of part three. More soon.

Also something new on it's way, and maybe a new website as well.

Page SIX

Bernie: Well, not openly. Not back then.
Sal: Stu was sure Sunchild was with Mickey Fresno.

Bernie: Mickey always liked to have pretty girls on his arm. Image was everything.

Bernie: No-one but Mickey touched the car though. No way she slept in his car.

Sal: Who fixed you up that night? After you were stabbed.

Bernie: Doc McInnes. He was the town doctor back when The Bay had one.

Bernie: His daughter's still a local. Annie.

Change of scene, to Annie McInnes' house.
Sal: Sorry to bother you Annie, but do you remember the night Bernie Fenton was treated for a stab wound?

Annie: Oh, I'll never forget that night ...

Annie: ... that was the night Lyall Hobson died of a heart attack.

Continued soon ...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Script: DARK BAY THREE (page 5 of 6)


Back on Bernie's farm.

Bernie: Back so soon, Sal?
Sal: The girl who stabbed you called herself Sunchild. She was with Mickey Fresno.

Bernie: Mickey Frenso. There's a blast from the past!

His real name was Mike Smith, but me wanted to south American.

He drove his Roller into a tree in '87. Stockmarket Crash ruined him.

He loved that car. Used to sleep in it back in '68.

Sal: Was Sunchild sleeping with him?
Bernie: No way ...

Mickey wasn't into girls?
Sal: He was gay?

Continued tomorrow ...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Script: DARK BAY THREE (page 4 of 6)

This was a page that didn't have a script written in advance. When I was editing the other pages from my initial draft this episode was reworked until there was an empty page. So I rewrote the previous page and added this one in to give Pukey/Neil something to say (he was being too quiet), and to create some tension between our two police-people.

So below is a fake script done after the fact, for the sake of completeness ...


Leaving Stu's house heading to the police car.
Neil: Um, Ma'am?
Sal: Yes, Pukey.

Neil: There's a LOT of cannabis in that house.
Sal: Is there really?

Sal: You sure it wasn't Oregano? Stu does a lot of cooking.

Neil: Um, I don't think ... well, ... maybe?

They get into the police car.

Neil: Should we check ... or something?

Sal explaining how the world works.
Sal: Stu's a good bloke. He doesn't sell to youngsters and doesn't get violent.

Sal: ... and we wouldn't want the local oregano business falling into gthe wrong hands, would we?
Neil: Um, I guess.

Continued tomorrow ...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Script: DARK BAY THREE (page 3 of 6)

The apple in the background is a Beados brand piece of art by my wee girl. You assemble little dots of colour into shapes and stick them together using water. Then you find small beads of colour everywhere for the next week and try to stop the one-year old boy eating them. A fun game for all the family.

I was pleased to find some Playmobil kitchen scales and some leafy greenery for this page. Stu is a pirate Playombil with a few alterations, but somehow that seemed to work as a hippie drug dealer. Stu even has a cinder-block bookcase just like the one I had when I was a student, and the obligatory stolen road sign to show contempt for authority.


At the house of Stu, the local soft drugs dealer. Stu is fairly harmless, if a little old. Neil wanders around noting all the illegal substances, while Stu and Sal talk about the old days.

Stu: Yeah. I remember that concert. Old Bernie was in one of the bands.
Sal: So I hear.

He was good too. Although not that day.

Stu: Rain really came in. We all just went home.
Sal: Do you remember a girl there who was into suns?

Stu: Oh, yeah, do I ever ... She was crazy hot. Whacked out on Love and Peace and stuff.

Sal: Any idea what her real name was?
Stu: Not sure. She just called herself Sunchild. She was staying with Mickey Fresno. He was the agent for the bands.

Sal: Thanks, Stu.
Stu: No problem.

Continued tomorrow ...