Process Blog #1: Took The Stairs Downstairs From the Third Floor
Hiya. Danny here. I wrote this here webcomic, Eric drew it and every Wednesday we’re going to switch off on a blog post where we talk process and other related things.
First of all, thanks for all the reposts/retweets of the first page. I was already major-excited that The Ghost Engine is a thing that people can read, but now I’m doubly excited because a lot of you responded to it and helped spread the word. Y’ALL THE BEST. Seriously.
It’s past midnight on (technically) Wednesday night — though I still consider it to be a Tuesday. “Jam for Jerry” by Holy Ghost! is bangin’ inside my ear-holes and I’m trying to figure out just what I’d want from this kind of blog post if I were a reader. And, hey, what do YOU want to know from us? Comment and let us know. We’ll totally answer your questions in the blog.
I guess I’ll kick things off by telling you how it all began.
As a lowly college senior in July 2008 I answered one of those rare, highly coveted “artist seeks writer” ads on Digital Webbing’s job posting forums. This particular ad mentioned Joss Whedon as an influence, which is usually a good sign, so I quickly responded with a script that I had written to get over the fact that I ran out of Veronica Mars episodes on DVD.
Eric thankfully didn’t tell me to fuck off and liked my script enough, so we tossed around some ideas based on this comic concept he wanted to get off the ground. It was pretty cool, but our approaches just weren’t gelling, and eventually Eric told me so, and that he was going to try banging out the idea with his twin brother. Which gave me a hilarious anecdote to share with people: “He left me for his twin brother! My life is a soap opera!”
But seriously, Eric was polite yet honest about the whole thing — which I respect more than anything else.I carry grudges against collaborators and girlfriends that have fallen off the face of the Earth and stopped replying to emails/text messages, but anyone who’s said “I got too much on my plate, sorry” or “Hey, you’re cool but your penis doesn’t interest me” gets no shade thrown at, on, or in them. So, Eric’s a good guy. High five, good people.
Which, I suppose is my first PROTIP: Be a good person, and always answer emails.
(I’m still working on the latter half of that tip. And some of the former.)
Then, for a while, not much happened — I moved to San Diego, realized I was unhirable and decided to try being a freelance writer while occasionally scripting comics with no idea how to make them into real things that people read. Some screenwriting and forty-drinking may have occurred. I know I went to Comic-Con and Disneyland. That was fun. But not a whole lot happened with comics.
PROTIP: Finish stuff, figure out how to get said stuff out in the world.
It was in October 2009 that Eric sent me an email out of the blue, telling me that he wanted to work on something different. He had some ideas, I had some ideas, and we eventually put together an outline for what would become The Ghost Engine. So, I guess this comic is technically nearly four years in the making. Which elicits a lot of existential horror, so I’m going to focus on this electropop for a little bit.
Ah. There. As of the middle of this week, we’re only on the first page, which happens to be one of my favorite pages in the series. Which isn’t to say, “IT’S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE, FUCKO!” — not at all. It’s just that I love the interaction between Becky and Geoffrey on this page, which kinda serves as a microcosm for the entire series. While the sleepy, grounded milieu isn’t completely representative of the shit that happens over the course of The Ghost Engine, it’s a digestible little scene that I’m really fond of, and one that I’ve shown off to other people the most.
(And! It wasn’t originally the first page. More on that when Chapter 1 concludes.)
In two days we’ll have a new page, and in one week Eric will write a post where he rightfully trashes me on the net for the things I wrote in this post.
See you Friday.