Tag Archives: writing

ComiXwriter Scriptwriting Software

23 Jul

Aside from being an incredibly amazing way to fund creative endeavors like graphic novels (Caustic Soda, ahem, 109% funded!), films and even video game consoles, Kickstarter is also a great place to discover new tools to create.

I recently contributed to a campaign for ComiXwriter,  a scriptwriting program specifically for comic books. Currently, I’m using MS Word, color coding dialogue, pages and blocking out panels. I probably spend 1/3 of the time formatting the script prior to sending a final draft to Dan to work on the pages. Add direction, description, setting into the equation, i.e. basically every panel, and the .doc becomes a labyrinth of notes, hyperlinks to source images, etc.

And so, having backed several projects on kickstarter, I found ComiXwriter shortly after launching the campaign for Caustic Soda. Unfortunately, I missed them while they were at San Diego Comic Con over the weekend. SDCC is all shock and awe. I’m lucky I made it out of the convention center without having my face latexed into a post apocalyptic zombie grimace.

The trend spotters at Bleeding Cool did a post on it earlier this week and the venerable Kevin Smith ‘tweeted’ about the software a few nights ago, spiking ComiXwriter closer to their modest goal. Post at Bleeding Cool: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/07/22/comixwriter-a-software-package-that-helps-the-comic-writer-in-us-all/

I’m hoping they can make their goal and maybe, if you’re reading this, you can help them as well by spreading the word.

Check it out on Kickstarter at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/219402484/comixwriter-scriptwriting-software-for-comic-books

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Caustic Soda Kickstarter Launch

2 Jul

Caustic_Soda_2.8.13_4The Kickstarter campaign for Caustic Soda has launched. You can participate in this creative endeavor by contributing and receiving the fantastic rewards we have lined up, including artwork from Daniel Crosier, Sonny Kay, BobRob Medina and Moonlight Speed.

Thanks for your support and please share with friends and family.

LINK to Kickstarter: http://kck.st/13jlAok

Summer Viewing

28 Jun

It’s Friday, June 28 and we’re only a few days away from the Kickstarter launch of Caustic Soda. Over the next few weeks I’ll be diving into the elements of ‘process,’ including inspiration. The rad folks at io9 have curated one of the best kludge budget film lists I’ve seen in many a dual earth or double moon. It’s a veritable treasure trove of brilliant and inventive film making.

ImageNotably, director Alex Rivera’s sly fi film, Sleep Dealer, a film about off-shoring, remote labor crews and a terrifying vision of the future.

 

Also included are Korea’s The Host (not Stephanie Meyer), Safety Not Guaranteed (love story nerd swoon), and Duncan Jones’ (son of Ziggy Stardust) brilliant film, Moon.

Add these to your list of summer “must see” films.

http://io9.com/low-budget-films-that-are-more-thrilling-than-most-big-612182504

Quite a few others are included on the list such as Primer, Timecrimes, and Another Earth. The latter looks like an amazing flick.

Comic Book Wednesday: Sandman Volume 1

26 Jun

ImageThis #comicbookwednesday we’re looking at Neil Gaiman’s iconic Sandman series, specifically, Volume 1 Preludes and Nocturnes from Vertigo (DC’s spandex and cape averse imprint). My partner gifted this glorious volume to me nearly a decade ago and ten years prior (at Stormies Comics in Wheat Ridge, CO) I had picked up a copy of Gaiman’s Black Orchid, a story and world that I couldn’t quite get my head around (at 11 years old) because at the time I was more interested in spandex and capes, specifically Rogue, Storm and Jean Grey.

ImageThough I missed the serialized comics, Sandman Vol 1 revitalized my love of graphic narrative. Sam Keith’s illustrations are exquisite and McKean’s stylistic approach adds depth to Gaiman’s strange tale of immortal revenge set in a world of fiction and dream and superheros. It’s layered and borrows much from Shakespeare (who doesn’t?, especially Brits like Gaiman). Morpheus’ appearance is part impressionistic rendition of the author, with bits of the Cure’s Robert Smith. The first Volume includes issues 1-20. The hardback edition comes with a beautiful slip cover, black leather bound with glossy full-color pages. It’s heavy. You could practically kill someone with it or use if for a doorstop or drop it on your head and travel to the dream realm and meet Morpheus.

If you’re unsure about the world of comic books, this is the perfect entry point.

 

Hello, the War is Here

27 Jun

San Diego, CA, five-minutes in the future.

It begins with an escalation of cross-border violence, moving west from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific: headless bodies are found on the US side of the Tijuana estuary; a drug mule detonates explosives while being searched; police are ambushed paramilitary-style by a narco death squad.

It inevitably mutates from a border skirmish into a regional conflict and finally, a war. The Narco Insurgency adapts: El Paso Los Cruces and El Centro erupt in urban warfare.  And grim images similar to those from half a world away, from Kandahar and Fallujah, are now broadcast from our front door.

The US Military is spread thin, fighting multiple wars across the globe. They contract the private security company, Agility International. Agility mobilizes the border (civilians caught in the crossfire), brokering a tenuous ceasefire.

We buy security. But at what price?

– Nevona, A: Agility Sec Op 3

In spring of 2008 I was at Mission Hills Bike Shop in San Diego talking to a bike mechanic who lived and commuted from Tijuana. He recounted his first hand experience of a massive gun battle that took place in his neighborhood. People were talking about it, mostly friends who had family or coworkers living in TJ. The mega chatter was on the street mostly, though at first it was top news, or maybe it was just top of mind. However, it ended up as short form ticker on the bottom of the screen. This was pre-KBPS Fronteras. Anyway, rival gangs from the Sinaloa and Tijuana cartels were fighting for control of the San Diego trafficking corridor after the Felix gang lost its band of brothers. Almost twenty people were killed during the melee and the narcos had used automatic weapons in residential neighborhoods. It was unfathomable. The thriving tourist market atrophied. No more Chickle or nick knacks for the culture vultures on shore leave from their cruise ships.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world the Mahdi army was engaged with Iraq and coalition forces for control of Basra. You’d assume that by turning on a television you’d get bombarded with images of war from another continent as some starched-collared, pasty anchor looked blankly at the teleprompter, reported morosely on the ongoing election year excitement; the audacity of hope in parallel trajectory of an incumbent president’s final yee-haw victory lap around the Oval office. Still, violence south of the line increased.

To hear of something like the shoot out actually happening twenty minutes away was startling to say the least. To know someone or hear from someone who was affected by the violence was uncanny.

The border is porous. Walls are superficial.

I began writing what would become the bulk of Caustic Soda (or at least most of the first book) after hearing about the arrest of Santiago Meza, AKA ‘El Pozolero’, in 2009. The ‘Stew Maker’ had reportedly disposed of over 300 bodies while in the employ of the Narco’s in Tijuana’s Zona Norte district. The media couldn’t have asked for and received a more sensational story. They called him the body dissolver and described in great detail, in that affect-less shark-eyed manner of theirs, about human remains, bones and skin, gnarly stuff, found in pits and barrels around his place.

I’ll continue writing this series of posts. Mostly because I find the process of writing and art endlessly fascinating and it’d be good to document the creation of this project.