Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NEAR MINTerview Podcast

Quickie post (because darn it, I should be drawing right now).

My interview with Ben Peirce over at the NEAR MINTerview podcast went up today. If you're interested in hearing the details about how Nonplayer evolved from pictures on this blog into a full-on Image comic, you may find our chat illuminating! We also talk about the reasons for the issue 2 delay, as well as what's being done to get it finished. Plus lots of other stuff.

Ben's a great interviewer. I really enjoyed doing this one.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Everything's Different But Everything's the Same

At around 1 p.m. PST today, Variety magazine reported that Nonplayer had been picked up by Warner Bros., which is a company that makes moving pictures. We (or at least I) had not anticipated this leak, so I was a little unprepared for the new experience of sailing Nonplayer out past the sheltering breakwater of the comics world and into the choppy seas of the Internet at large.

Over the past twelve hours, Nonplayer has become something of a lightning rod for certain angry constituencies inside and outside of the comics world. Probably most common is the "one and done" critique, which suggests that I have cynically created a single comic book with the express intent of selling it off to a movie studio, never to draw another comic again. Some see a dark portent in Warner Bros.' eagerness to sign on the strength of a single issue -- is this the moment when Hollywood's comic book strip mine hits the water table? And still others just think Nonplayer isn't developed enough, or good enough, to deserve this sort of attention to begin with.

So that I am not tempted to waste hours defending myself on the Internet, I want to lay out a few facts here and then leave this whole topic alone for the rest of time.
  • I will finish the Nonplayer story arc. It may take years, but it'll get done.
  • The second issue will not go slower because of the Warner deal. If anything, this deal makes it easier for me to devote myself completely to the comic.
  • I am very excited to see Nonplayer adapted as a live-action film. And because the producer behind the Harry Potter franchise is overseeing it, I think it stands a very good chance of being a visually striking, intelligent, and emotionally nuanced film. I don't see how the existence of a Nonplayer movie in any way effects the quality or meaning of the comic I'm drawing. I want to see Dana ride Pookie into battle on the big screen. That's going to be sweet, and you know it.
  • The deal was not made on the strength of the first issue alone. Warner was shown a very detailed breakdown of the entire story, and they liked what they saw.
  • Warner Bros. has shown a heartening eagerness to swing for the fences, creatively. Inception, Harry Potter, and the Dark Knight have taught them that there's a market for thoughtful fantasy, and I think you're going to see a number of unprecedentedly cool movies from them in the coming years. Yes, there have been too many superhero films lately. Does that mean that we should pooh-pooh every idea that finds its first expression in the medium of comics? It's a pretty broad medium, guys.  
Anyway, I hope that if you like the comic, you'll keep reading it as it (slowly) comes out. I'll be doing what I always do -- trying to figure out how to tell a story with pictures. I'm still wrestling with page composition and clunky dialogue, still using every blend mode to try and surprise myself with new color combinations. This morning, I spent way too much time trying to make a utility pole look good. Nothing has changed here at the studio.

This was all supposed to be fun, remember?