Tuesday, September 15, 2009

File Under Renewed

Getting back into swing of things after taking some time off when I came up to stay with Lindsay and started back at college. I think I'm going to try to write for 30 minutes everyday so I get into a steady routine and don't cut into my class work too much when I get on a roll.

Started up Part 2 today and it flows pretty well. I picked a better starting point and working from the comic script for the first chapter hurt somewhat because there are some scenes that work really well in comic form but aren't framed right for a prose story and vice versa. Look for some postings soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Preview Text

I'm hard at work on the latest incarnation of Game-Changers (yes, that's still the name. if you have a better one, just message me) but Emi informs me that she resents people that sit on their material and don't share anything. So, as not to lose one of maybe five (hopeful) readers, I post a preview. Keep in mind this is first draft. The prologue is a direct adaptation of the comic script with future chapters being planned around the new format. Enjoy!

Blue Monday
Written by Clayton Phillips

When the saucer touched down, silent as a sparrow, Casey Jones was watering the window plants, minding her own suburban business. This is important to remember. Casey was not the first to notice the impossibly shiny disk; rather she was altered by the screams of her panicked neighbors. When she did gaze upon the saucers, starkly out of place with their setting, Casey did not scream, did not panic. In fact, she barely reacted at all. Instead she gazed at the markings on the ship, blazing like fire. Try as she might, she could not look away. There was something so familiar about those symbols, but she could not know their meaning. These were the glyphs of the Martian Mage Beasts, scourge of the subterranean confederacy. These signs had not been seen on Earth, let alone New Jersey, for over nine thousand years. Yet still Casey stared, entranced. Soon, her gaze would be broken by the sonic boom and a red blur, ending her life as it was forever.
As the stony hide of the Martian Mage-Beast crumbled under his knuckles, Jay sighed a breath of relief. He had reconsidered his course of action briefly, mid-punch, thinking it foolhardy. Just because nothing on THIS world seemed capable of harming him did not necessarily mean that nothing from beyond was harmless. Jay's flesh and bone had faced many perils over the last three years, but none of them had been Martian. Flying Saucers seemed like nothing on the run over and nothing upon initial encounter, but there was always that little nagging voice of caution.
Four-point-nine seconds later, all seven of the Mage-Beasts dispatched, the voice had been disproved utterly. Only as the invaders lay, shell shocked, upon the finely trimmed (though somewhat scorched) lawns of the suburb, did Jay expand his consciousness, allowing him to properly assess the situation. He did so sitting atop the dented saucer, half way submerged in Seneca Avenue. Jay felt panic, confusion, fear, anger; the usual for humans directly after an event. No one was in pain or cardiac arrest or, for that matter, trapped underground or pinned by rubble. Jay did not feel the subtle calm of Casey Jones, still perched at the windowsill. In the midst of everything, it was a small ripple amongst tidal waves.
“I win,” said Jay, to no one in particular, through his satisfied smile. It was a pleasant, orange, autumn afternoon again and Jay had helped. By Jay's own reckoning, it had been a successful mission. No one was harmed, Jay got a nice work out, and Dalbir... well, Dalbir would take it as Dalbir always took it when Jay ran off for a quick encounter and didn't run it by him first.
Dalbir was not taking it well. When the beeping device had beeped, he had been indisposed, entertaining investors. His company, Pure Wall Incorporated, sold one product and one product alone: Dalbir Purewal. Dalbir Purewal was an adventurer, an inventor, a science god from the deepest darkness of poverty, overcoming insurmountable odds to usher in a new age for America and the World. Dalbir Purewal could not be seen obsessing over the beeping device. Not in front of top investors. But the device beeped and Dalbir continued to take it badly, knowing full well that Jay had run faster than the speed of sound and that there was only one reason why Jay ever did that. It was trouble and, worse, he had to sit there and take it. A carefully calculated charm misdirected the casual observer, but deep down, Dalbir was dying.
Thankfully, five minutes later, the Extra Terrestrial Early Warning System went off, giving Dalbir the excuse he needed to drop the charade and look heroic instead of merely neurotic. With purpose, Dalbir lead the investors into his office, a mess of half finished nano-chain inventions, and to his desk, where he had been modifying one of his Action Gauntlets earlier that morning. The office gave off the impression of a man too busy for the zen that the interior decorators had obviously hoped to achieve. Instead, here was a man on his own path, bridging man to his future in a dis-unified fury of circuit boards and uranium. Dalbir picked a transceiver out of the depths of the gauntlet. He pressed the red button and waited until the receiver in his ear crackled to life. Preparing himself for the aggravation that was about to overcome him, Dalbir spoke into the small microphone, still connected to the gauntlet’s inner-workings.
“Jay? Why are my sensors picking you up in New Jersey?” he asked, trying to only sound half as annoyed as he was.
“Nothing,” replied Jay’s voice, crackling over the com-link. ”Just some minor issues… with the Martians.”
“The Martians?” exclaimed the flustered Dalbir. “This is intolerable!” And then, one he had lowered his voice so the investors could not hear, “you know I get top billing on all extraterrestrial threats.”
“Well I only agreed to that because no one really believed in aliens. Once I sensed them entering the atmosphere, I knew differently.” It all seemed quite straightforward to Jay. And then, almost pleading, “Come on. People could have been hurt. And I bet your satellites didn’t even pick up the ship until just now. I’ve been here all of seven minutes.” Jay was right on that point and Dalbir hated him for it.
“Fine,” said Dalbir, “Can I help it if it’s more efficient to track you than threats? Why do you think I keep you in my employ? But don’t forget that you work for me.” Jay was getting bored of this exchange faster than Dalbir was calming down.
“Well if you’d like to come down here and pose for your little cameras…” Jay cut out.
“What?” asked Dalbir after a moment.
“Dalby? You might want to get down here. The situation has altered. I’m sure your sensors will pick it up on the way.”
“Beautiful,” smiled Dalbir. Standing three inches taller, Dalbir rolled up his shirt sleeve and attached the Action Gauntlet he had been talking through onto his arm and turned to his audience. “Well, gentlemen. It seems that I’m needed at my other job. If you talk to Judy, she’ll reschedule. Terribly sorry, but you know how it is. Humanity doesn’t save itself when faced with terrors from beyond our world. Have a nice day.”

End Preview

When things pick up and I get some buffer, I'll start building an actual site to house this project. Or maybe a dedicated blog. We'll see.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The New Deal

It's been a long time since I posted on this blog and there is a good reason for that. For about a month, the project was officially dead in the water. Melia decided she couldn't keep up with the rigors of sequential art and, seeing as she had only ever been in involved in this for her own amusment, I had no room complain. Easy come, easy go, but I was stuck with the problem of how to procede without an artist. For a while, the whole endeavor seemed doomed.

Eventually, I decided that I could reformat the whole project as an online serial pulp. I've begun to rewrite my prologue script into a prose piece and I find that, along with being reinvigorating, the process helps overcome some expositional limitations I was facing when attempting to streamline the pagecount of the comic.

The best part, however, came the other night when Melia informed me that she would be happy to try out illustrations for the serial, along with covers. This is tentative, but the nice thing about the prose route is that I am less bound by the illustrator and, being a smaller artistic commitment, Melia is more likely to stay on despite the pressures of school. Furthermore, if need be, I can find a replacement without the perils of the daunting workload. Hopefully this project will be more resilient than the comic was.

So keep your eyes posted for GAME CHANGERS: Prologue - Blue Monday. Coming some time in the next two months. I'll post some segments up here soon and put the completed prologue up with cover and illustrations when it is finished. After that we'll have to make a dedicated site.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Script Is Done!

I just completed the script (the current draft, anyhow) for the comic prologue that Melia and I are doing to flex our creative muscles and test our mettle. It's fourteen pages at current count and features Jay, Wiki (or Professor Forge as he likes to be called), Casey Jones, some Martians, and something else *tease*

It sets the stage for the comic proper and puts some pieces into place for the first arc. It's been fun writing and Melia has given me some good feedback throughout the process.

Here's a snippet:

Page Three:

Three rows of Panels. The top and bottom are long and unbroken. The middle is broken in a jagged way (leaving negative space) to signify distance over telephone.

Top Panel: Wiki's office/boardroom. There are people in suits. Wiki is one of them, but he sits at his desk. A slanted view from behind Wiki (his back facing, his face not shown) would be best, Wiki's back at the right. To the left, there is plenty of space to view the people, the office, and the word balloons. On Wiki's Desk lie a couple of half finished doo-dads, including maybe a half finished version of his helmet and a fully functional gauntlet.

Wiki: Why do my sensors have you in New Jersey?

Jay (over com-link): Nothing... just some Minor Issues... with the Martians.

Wiki: The Martians? This is intolerable. You know our agreement. I get top billing on all extraterrestrials threats.

Jay (over com-link): What could I do? People were in danger. If you want to fly out here and pose for your little cameras it's your...

Panel Two:

Jay, looking up at something

Wiki (over com-link): What?

Jay: Dalby? You might want to get down here. The situation has... altered.

Panel Three:

A close up on Wiki's mouth (preferably from the side?) His face still hasn't been fully shown, but a smile is blossoming on his lips.

Wiki: Beautiful

Panel Four:

Another long panel in the office. Wiki stands up, facing the reader, fixing the gauntlet onto his arm (his jacket off, the sleeve rolled up). He's looking at the gauntlet and not the other people in his office. The wires that come out of it are dangling down.

Wiki: Well I'm sorry gentlemen, but it appears you'll have to finish these accounts without my assistance. It looks like I'm needed at...

Page Four:

Full Page Spread of Wiki flying towards the threat. Try to make him as big as possible and for him to take up the whole page. Try out your best Hero Shot.

Caption: - my other job!

Hope you all stick around for the final product. Melia is working on pages as we speak and there should be something to post pretty soon.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It's going to be a slow couple of weeks (so slow I might start using this as an actual blog), but here's one more post before pages.

Some action/pose sketches for Cassia and Jay. As always, I think Melia does a great job bringing out personality effortlessly.

And a Peek at Wiki's helmet. Though this is just a quick sketch and might be subject to change later on.

Later on, maybe some Martians.

Thanks for reading. As always, more of Melia's stuff can be found at her deviantart (http://sinspire.deviantart.com/)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Final Designs (They're So Pretty!)

Final character pieces! Isn't this cool? Wiki sticks out a little bit, it seems, but I think that it might just be that his colors are so far and away from Jay and Cassia's.
Here's Cassia. She's probably changed the least of all. The Tats are gray now, but they'll probably change color regarding her temperament or spells. There was a minor misunderstanding resulting in a full on redesign (which might get posted in the interim between this and the pages), but she's been the most agreed on of the characters. Some of this could relate the fact that I left all of her entirely up to Melia.
Wiki has changed the most in the design process and I still don't know what the final helmet design looks like beyond a sketch in Melia's Moleskin. I'm really happy with the different greens and the contrast between the fabric bits and the metal bits. I think Melia found a great middle ground between Iron Man and The Rocketeer. There are so many little bits here, like the glowing buttons and the stray wires, that make this pop. This is the most pleasant surprise, since I'd never seen Wiki colored before today. Thankfully it works.

Jay is like Teflon in both the comic and the design process. Accessories seem to bounce off of him like bullets. No shoes, no goggles, no necktie, no belt. Melia even forgets to put the fingerless gloves in half the time. I feel like Jay gets vaguely cheated by this whole character design process as he's defined more by his motions and his actions than his look. Still shots like this will be rare for Jay, I assure you.

So there we have it. All three characters, deftly rendered by Melia (*cough* http://sinspire.deviantart.com/ *cough* ). Prepare for another lull between this post and the pages from the prologue we're working on. Maybe I'll post the Cassia misunderstanding as well as some sketches for other characters from down the road.

Doc Caveman?

The Jailers?

Ghost Girl?

Emilia Erhart?

It just depends what I can convince Melia to draw.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wiki 2.0

So here's a new design for Wiki. I really like the lack of helmet and the bigger shoulderpads put against the jumpsuit.