Thursday, December 9, 2010

Round II

I guess it goes without saying but I'll say it anyway. This has been the busiest month at my job in years. (I'm typing this at work at 11:00 at night.) I've done next to no Christmas shopping, there's a huge stack of unread books by my bed, I'm way behind on my email correspondence and haven't looked at my Facebook page in months. I had a setback on my weight loss thanks to the perfect storm of an all-nighter at work, a new Weight Watchers system to learn and not being able to get away from my desk for exercise. I gained 3 lbs last week. Fortunately, I've already shed most of it and have gotten back on track.

I don't really have anything to post but I'm afraid to get out of the habit. Especially now that the first draft of HAND ME DOWN HORROR is completed. Talking about it here keeps it "real" and I suppose guilts me into continuing.

I spent the weekend of the Virginia Comicon sitting at the Scholarship booth (thanks again, Brett!) making notes on a hard copy of my scripts. Seeing it all printed out like that gave me a little thrill. It's thicker than most screenplays, roughly about 200 pages. There were a few cringe-inducing parts but, for the most part, I was fairly satisfied with my story. I probably haven't been away from it long enough to be objective yet but I really need to get back to work on it.

Despite having next to no down time that isn't spent recuperating from all-nighters at work or just plain stress, I've managed to start the second draft. All I'm really doing is fixing some weak dialogue and correcting some contradictions that happened during the rush to get the story down. There are also some moments that feel forced and I want to go back and smooth that out. I have to confess to having lost some of the confidence I'd managed to built up. I punched up the action in the very first scene and was very happy with it. Then I hit a wall. I've rewritten one scene about four times now and it still doesn't feel right.

My problem is that I feel like my theme is a little muddy. I know what I'm trying to say with the story, I just don't know if it's coming across. There are very few expository scenes that don't have to do with the plot. So sneaking in philosophical stuff here and there gets awkward and sometimes feels shoehorned. I skipped ahead to the next scene and, again, was very pleased with the results. But this one scene just has me by the cajones. Oh well. It's not like I'm on a deadline. Though I'd hoped to be drawing by January, I have several other obligations to fulfill first, so I may have to amend that.

I actually have started doing some preliminary sketches of my version of Dracula. Now that the story is written, I have a better grasp of what he should look like. I think the look is much more refined than what I've posted before and his personality is really coming through. Hopefully, I'll get to the point where I'm comfortable sharing. I'm also fairly satisfied with the shot of the kids I posted a while back but there's still some room for improvement there. And there are about a hundred or so other peripheral characters that need to be designed. I never realized how much work goes into creating a comic book before you even start drawing the first page. Yeesh.

For anyone wondering how my little buddy Toonces is doing, he's great. The hypertension medicine has done wonders. His vision seems to be fully restored and he's got more energy than before. I also don't want to jinx it but the last couple of days, he's let me sleep until 6:00 a.m. Since he's usually howling at me to get up at 4:30, this has been a real treat. His appetite is much-improved and Charlie seems to feel he's well enough to chase around the house again. He's almost 20 now and I know nothing lasts forever but the way things have been at work lately, I'm so very grateful for this reprieve. Tooncie hates his medicine but I have no regrets about forcing it on him if it gives us more quality time with him.

Okay, that's it. I think I can actually go home now. So if I don't post again between now and Christmas I hope everyone has a great and safe holiday.



Warren said...

Nice update, Matt!

I hope work lets up in time for you to relax and enjoy the holidays.

Great news about Toonces too.

And if you don't get time to post again before Christmas, have a merry one!

todd said...

hey, bro~!

so great about toonces! that is just fantastic! and that you're getting more sleep--that must be heaven!

sorry you're working so much, but remember that everything happens for a reason. you're dying to get drawing on the story, but maybe karma is telling you that you need to take a few breaths before you rush into it. it's not 'time' for you to do that now and you should accept that and take it slow. let it happen organically.

and while it's cool to re-visit some of the story points and action, i'd stop worrying about any of the dialogue until you're actually lettering it. you're going to make most of your changes then anyway, so don't worry about it now.

but as i always say, i really admire your enthusiasm and dedication--and your work ethic! you've done an awesome job on this and on getting it done so fast! i'm so impressed!

i'll call ya later!

Brian said...

Great news about Toonces and congrats on getting your story fully down on paper.

A Very Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine.