I'm halfway through the second week of my MFA residency, and the end is within sight. It's been a fun and worthwhile experience, but being in class/sessions for most of the day AND squeezing in 8 hours of work for my job makes me pretty tired. I'll just sleep when it's over.
A month ago today I shared that I had written a 5-panel comic strip about the life cycle of a cicada, but my team had to abandon the project because someone had a very similar idea and beat us to it. My wife suggested that I "turn it into something else," and that gave me an idea. Last week I took a class in my program on Playwriting, and I had to write two 10-minute plays. So, with the cicada comic script in hand, I expanded the story from five panels into a ten-minute stage play. I was able to capture the entire cicada lifespan while also drawing parallels to the human experience of life and love. Lo and behold, it turned out to be a hit with my classmates! I received some great feedback as well, so I'll be making some tweaks before I start sending it out to festivals.
I've shared the play draft here in case you'd like to give it a read. Maybe some ideas do pan out after all!
I've made little to no progress on personal projects these past two weeks due to grad school obligations, but thankfully Bryce Oquaye and Joey Sabo are making headway on the awesome stuff we have in development:
Bryce has illustrated thumbnails for all five pages of our comic project and man, does it ever look good! I gave him a few notes and we're continuing to move forward.
Joey is my artist for Knight Time, and panel art (ink) is being finalized for the one-pager comic strip. This project is one I will share here, and I can't wait to be able to reveal it in all its glory!
Sometime well before I started this site/blog I wrote a draft for a children's book based on a chicken that lives on my parents' farm--Tulip Chicken, Farm Hero. J. Hammond is illustrating the book and we're almost finished! We plan to self-publish this title, and once it is ready for printing I'll share a link where you can purchase it online.
Unrelated to comics, but I've reached the halfway point in my MFA program, which means I have to propose a thesis in order to graduate. Your thesis is basically a literary work that is publish-ready by the time you are done with it (after rounds of feedback and revisions of course). I have proposed to write a full-length play for my thesis (something that no one has attempted in this program before), and as of this morning I have 2 out of the 3 approvals needed to proceed. I'll be submitting my proposal to the Program Director very soon, and hopefully he will sign off on it so that I can get started.
Unfortunately I don't have any cool teasers to share this week. Stay tuned!
WHAT I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO LATELY (AND READING OF COURSE)
I managed to squeeze in some more reading since my last post, but before that I wanted to share some music a college buddy of mine put me onto, The Phantoms of Saturn. You can listen to their single 'Night of the Lycan' on YouTube, and they have an EP dropping in late September. Go give it a listen!
Now, onto comic books you should check out:
Skybound #1&2 - This five-issue mini-series continues the Walking Dead story as we now find Rick Grimes in the future, still dealing with zombies, and an even bigger threat. However, the best part about this series are the other mini-stories that revisit popular titles from the Skybound catalog. I cannot wait to read more Murder Falcon from Daniel Warren Johnson. Skybound #3 drops in comic book stores TODAY!
Beyond the Breach #1 - I knew nothing about this book until Matthew Rosenberg mentioned it in his blog, and since I love his work, I took him up on his recommendation. Ed Brisson wrote this one, and while we don't get too many story details, the action kicks off on the very first page and doesn't let up. I will definitely be picking up #2 when it drops on August 18th.
6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #2 - Can't say enough good things about this action/comedy. Probably one of my favorite elements of this book has been the lettering, but again, it's really well done.
That's it for now. Fingers crossed I make it through the rest of the week and can dedicate more time to comics writing.
Until next time!