Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Darkest Reflections

We have always done the same kind of work. Our methods have not differed as much as you pretend. I am a shadowy reflection of you. But it would have taken only a nudge to make you the same as me, to push you out of the light.
-Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

The hero won't be spending all his or her time at odds with other members of their supporting cast. Heroes need their villains because one side helps define the other. The best sort of hero/villain throw downs are those in which the villain, using his power, abilities, origin, personality, or some combination of the four, provides a direct contrast to the hero. He is the hero gone wrong, the hero who is sent off the deep end.

*Comics legend Peter David states that it's the same as the heroes and their arch-enemies. More often than not, they both work at the outer edges of the law. In the old days, the main way to tell the good guys from the bad guys was that the former would refrain from delivering the coup de grace. With the likes of the Punisher and Red Hood (Jason Todd), that line of demarcation has been erased. When the good guys throw punches with the bad guys, like as not, they're trying to put down their opposite numbers.

Recalling on internal conflict, the hero has to not only battle external forces but the darkness within himself. If man vs. himself is done properly, the villain in some measure, reflects aspects of the hero that the hero would rather not address. In working to defeat the enemy, the hero is battling his own darkest impulses.

A prime example of the contrast is Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect which puts the Hulk in a literal battle against a future version of himself called the Maestro who ruled a distant future with an iron fist. Peter David and George Perez took readers on a psychological trip in the second half of the book when the Maestro tried to bring the Hulk over to his way of thinking. What made the conflict so daunting for the Hulk was that he knew the potential of becoming the Maestro was deep within him. 

*David says not every villain needs to be an exact reflection of the hero. But he shouldn't be interchangeable with someone else's opponent, either. Both in terms of power and personality level, he should tie in thematically with the hero so that he is unique to the hero he opposes.

Take Mr. Fantastic and Doctor Doom for instance. Both are extraordinary scientific minds and explorers who seriously botched their endeavors which had taken different directions. Richards brought Ben Grimm, Susan Storm, and her brother Johnny on a space expedition that exposed them to cosmic rays thus spawning the Fantastic Four. However, Reed ignored Ben's cautions about sufficient shielding to keep the cosmic rays out of their craft. Victor Von Doom was conducting an experiment to communicate with a another dimension. But for his troubles, the experiment went sideways and it blew up, leaving him disfigured. Of all the twisted aspects of Doctor Doom is that he blames Richards for the miscalculations of his experiment.

In writing battles of good vs. evil, we should think how the villain is a contrast to the hero.

Happy Creations! 

*Writing for Comics & Graphic Novels with Peter David pg. 86

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Tools for Writing Comics Pt. 1

Hello, world!

I'd like to welcome you to the first part of my Tools for Writing Comics series.

I present to you three guides by the industry's brightest minds: Peter David, Alan Moore and Brian Michael Bendis.

First up is Writing for Comics & Graphic Novels with Peter David. What I found interesting is David's approach to writing comics how he's providing helpful insight as well his own personal yet funny anecdotes from his storied career in comics. [Peter] David's book also has advice on how to create your own comics from the essentials of character development, plot and pacing, scripting format, and an updated chapter on how to break in to the comics game by Andy Schmidt. The best part of this book are the writing prompts which helped me with original story ideas as I dove in to writing my own projects.

Second is Alan Moore's Writing for Comics. I've only heard of Alan Moore through works like Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and his work on Swamp Thing. I first picked up this book looking for sources on writing years ago. Another thing was to see what Moore had to offer on the craft. His way differs from others because he's narrating through an essay he wrote in 1985 on how to write a great script. In the reprinted edition, Moore teams up with artist Jacen Burrows and adds a bonus essay on how the writer should not be afraid to try new styles circa 2003. On the same level of Peter David's book, he gives an honest perspective on writing for comics.

Finally, we get down to...Words for Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis!
In my opinion, Bendis gives a very deep look in to the comics business. He shares the process of writing script formats to sequential art and more. The book also features insights from industry legends and glossary for business terms in writing for comics. What Bendis gives in detail is how to build relationships with the creative teams on a project. Added with his own experiences in the business, Brian Michael Bendis lays out the best advice for all writers: Write truthful and honest. 

For my overall review, these books have pointed out a clear and concise view on how to not only write for comics but also how to thrive in the industry, making connections and how to build solid ones as one goes into comics & graphic novels. To anyone looking for resources on writing for comic books, I recommend these works from the legends themselves.

Happy Creations!

Thursday, January 9, 2020


Happy New Year, world! We made it to the next decade of the new millennium!

Now I haven't been on a blogging groove like I have but I want to let you cats know it's all good. 2019 has been a TRIP for me and I've been very reflective on how things had turned out. So here's a quick recap of what went down on my end of the last year of the 2010s.

  • My first Women's March
  • Open Mic Poetry
  • Being terminated from my old job after four years
  • Starting a new job with the developmentally disabled
  • My first poetry publication in four years
I'd give the details for each of these life events of yours truly but it would be too long to go through so that's my recap of 2019.

Be there as I get back in the swing of things in 2020!

See ya!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Stay Tuned!

I don't have any topics to blog about today. This is me getting my thoughts out.

These past five months have been a roller coaster. Things are changing so fast before I could even blink. I can't think of any place to start so I'm tapped out.

What I can say is I'm doing okay and ya boy needs a time out.

Stay tuned, cats!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Folklore Thursday: The Wild Hunt

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Folklore Thursday.

Today we travel to Europe exploring another one of its legendary histories. The Wild Hunt.

*The Wild Hunt is a folklore motif that historically occurs in European folklore, typically involve a ghostly or supernatural group of hunters passing in wild pursuit. The hunters may be either elves, fairies, or the dead.

*In according to legends, the Wild Hunt has had many different leaders. Most notable ones are Odin or Woton, Berchta, Arthur, and Gywn ap Nudd. Others names are biblical figures such as Cain, Herod, Gabriel, or the Devil.

AsgĂ„rdsreien [The Wild Hunt of Odin] (1872) by Peter Nicolai Arbo
  *Seeing the Wild Hunt was thought to presage some catastrophe such as war or plague, death to those who witness the Hunt. *Experts in conclusion to the body of the lore surrounding the Wild Hunt finds a number of themes that connect powerfully to the dead and the underworld.

That's a wrap for this week's folklore exploration, friends! Tune in next week!

*Source(s): Wikipedia/Wild Hunt
*Encyclopedia Mythica

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Folklore Thursday: Basilisk

And we're back with this week's Folklore Thursday.

Today we explore one of the most vicious and terrifying serpents in legends, the basilisk!

*In European legends, a basilisk is mythical beast reputed to be a serpent king, which is a hybrid from a rooster and a serpent. A single glance from the beast can cause death. Other accounts say that it leaves deadly poison in its wake and spits venom. *Another name for the basilisk is a cockatrice.

*The Naturalis Historia of Piny the Elder says the basilisk can be killed by the odor of the weasel, which according to Piny, was thrown into the basilisk's hole, recognizable because of the surrounding shrubs and grass was scorched by its presence.

And that's it for this week's folklore figure on this Thursday, friends. Until next time!

*Source(s): Wikipedia & Encyclopedia Mythica

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Folklore Thursday: Kelpie

Happy Thursday all folklore aficionados!

Welcome to my latest edition of Folklore Thursday! Each week I will give the rundown on the legendary, the weird, and the scary.

Today, we're exploring the Scottish parts of mythology with...the kelpie!

*In according to Encyclopedia Mythica, the kelpie is a water spirit that lurks in rivers and streams. It usually assumes the form of a black horse and entices people to mount it. Then rushes off to its watery lair taking the victim with it. Another account says they have the power to assume human form while keeping its hooves.

The kelpie can also cause swelling torrents, and may come out night after night to a farm to cause fear and annoyance. *In the past, human sacrifices were made to appease water gods and spirits. In time, this practice lead people to believe in the notion of evil water horses. However, the kelpie has been told in a positive light as saviors of drowning children. In some instance kelpies bear a warning to young women about handsome strangers.

So now you know about the kelpie.

Be there next week as we explore more folklore extravaganza!

*Encyclopedia Mythica

*Riding the Seas: The Kelpies and Other Fascinating Water Horses in Myth and Legend.