The Good, The Bad, & This Kid: “Write Off”

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Last week I promised the three people who read this column that I’d go back to talking about comics. However, nothing has happened lately that has sparked an interest. No fantastical news story out of Marvel just itching for me to rant about, no new exclusive DC contract for me to ponder, nothing. On top of all that, I’m pretty much tapped out in the “philosophical” department, what’s a boy to do? So, I just decided to treat this week’s installment like a blog, I know I just lost two of my readers, but hear me out. I’m not actually going to write all the events that happened to me today, because that wouldn’t even fill a paragraph, I’m going to write about a paradox I’ve been caught in as of late, and it’s very relevant to comics. By doing this, I’m able to get this stuff off my chest, and keep my promise of a comic related column, I’m very proud of myself, even if you’re not.

During my early years of high school, I wanted to form a rock band and make music that changed people’s lives, or at least made them think. Me and my buddies starting playing different instruments, I picked up the bass, then sold it to my friend, and bought myself a drum machine. So, we had a guitarist, someone learning bass and a drum machine, we didn’t have much. Finally, our guitar friend decided he didn’t really want to hang out with us anymore, and split. That’s okay, everyone knows at least eight people who play guitar, so we just went for another guy. Once again, we had guitar, bass, drum machine and vocals, and once again we couldn’t pull it together. I thought it’s what I really wanted, and so did my friend, who was with me from the start, but we thought wrong, our hearts weren’t in it. We wanted to do stuff that touched people, but music wasn’t it. So, we realize this our senior year of high school, the same time my love of comics kicks back in. From the age I could read until about my sophomore year of high school, I read comics like a man on a mission, but one day I just stopped. That all changed when my English teacher in 12th grade made us do a report on the hero’s journey. He was a big fan of comics and always made references to comics during his lesson plans. So, after doing my report, my love for comics was rekindled, and since then I’m back on my comic craze, with no plans on looking back.

All that leads me to this, that my career goal has changed, but the purpose remains the same. I went from wanting to affect people by my lyrics to wanting to affect them from my stories. I always wanted to be a writer, and I always wanted to write comics (even when I wanted to be in a band). Now, I’m ready to break out. My initial plan was to make a low-budget movie from a script I wrote, and there in lies my current paradox.

Earlier this year I finished a movie script that myself, my friend (yes the bass player from my defunct band), and my girlfriend were going to produce. Mary and I attended several digital film-making courses at the local community college, and gained all the knowledge we needed to make this movie. So, the three of us set a date of July 2004 to start principal photography (I say that cause it pisses off the “film” people who look down on digital movie making). We have about half of the estimated budget saved as of this month, when something happened; I starting having second thoughts. I don’t have a definitive answer as to why I’m having second thoughts, all I know is I don’t feel that the time is right. Surprisingly, Mary and Johnny (bass player who has a name now) feel the same way. Both Mary and I really want to be in comics, we have several ideas for comics and it’s what we want to do. Speaking for myself right now, I know that I want to write comic books, and I do really want to make this movie, but I don’t want a career as a writer/director, I want a career as a writer, mainly comic book writer.

We’ve recently decided to hold off on the movie, but another plan has spawned. Since comics is where my heart is at, I’ve decided to turn the movie script into a comic script. Mary and I will make the low budget movie into a graphic novel. By doing this we can get a feel for how the movie will fare, and maybe if the fates are feeling charitable, get some studio cash to help out with the movie. The only set back is, we’re already working on one comic book idea, with another one waiting on the bench. Now I’m left to figure out where my little movie idea turned comic idea falls with the rest of my comic ideas.

I feel it would be a little disingenuous of me to place my newly planned graphic novel before the project me and Mar have been working on for quiet some time now. So, we all decided that we’d wait to see what happens with the other project before doing any work on the movie turned comic. By making that decision it will cost us at least another year or probably more. Which means, when we actually make the movie, we’ll be too old to play any of the main characters which will force us to seek outside acting help, which in turn will cost us more money. So, like I said, we’re hoping that we’ll get lucky enough to get other people’s money, but the chances of that happening are slim to none.

It really does feel good to get all that off my chest. I know most of you don’t give two shits about what my career plans are, but it’s good relief for me to type it out. Hopefully (there is a lot of hoping when it comes to my writing career) I’ll be given the opportunity to bore you guys to death again in the next several months about the project Mary and I are currently working on. Thanks for listening, if you did. If you didn’t I hope (there’s that damn word again) you enjoyed whatever you read instead.

The Good

No, it’s not What Looks Good, it’s simply The Good. The difference is, I talk about things I’ve already read. Just wanted to clear that up. This week’s The Good is brought to you be the number 1602. All I have to say is, if you haven’t read the first issue of 1602 by Neil Gaiman yet, go do it as soon as freakin’ possible. It’s the most original new comic I’ve read from one of the big two in a long, long time. There’s really nothing else that can be said, other than Neil peers into my soul from the cover of Publisher’s Weekly.

It’s that time again, time for us to go our separate ways for the week. You know, if you’re not too busy next Saturday, It’d be nice to see you again. Or, if you get lonely before next Saturday you could always drop me an email or post on the Soapbox message board, all of which is welcomed. So, ‘til next time…

-Josh Stone

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