About Pace

edited November 2012 in Work Logs
Okay, gonna start one of these - -mainly to think aloud about projects.

I mentioned in the Kickstarter thread I've been casting about for a smaller, initial project with a survivable minimum goal of $5K while hoping to drive commitments over 10K.  This is in flux as the actual project may shift things as it develops.

One of the long-term goals of starting to work with Kickstarter would be to use it as a funding platform for larger works, so this initial project should be audience sympathetic going forward.  Since the most likely follow-ups would either be my adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth or Zombieball, I'm aiming at a horror/dark fantasy crowd.  

Apart from just adapting a another, shorter Lovecraft piece I've one idea percolating at the moment:

We live in the demon-haunted universe Lovecraft wrote about in the 1920s.  After aeons in the darkness, the alien nightmares he wrote about have started to emerge, if not into the light, into the shadowy penumbra of human awareness.  While governments and respectable researchers try to keep their secrets, the truth is spreading like a plague.  Some scoff, others hold tight to their Holy Books, and some try to prepare for a conflict they could never win against a foe they could never understand. 

A few, upon learning the truth, look to the darkness itself for comfort; and seek to contact these ancient, pre-human gods;  to appease and worship them in hope of surviving the inevitable apocalypse. And, among these traitors to humanity, there are those even more depraved and driven and they seek more than survival. . . 

They seek love.


The core of the story is a first person narrative of a man seeking the love of the other he knows is lurking somewhere in the world.  His life outside his day-job is spent in Lovecraftian fetish clubs full of prosthetic and body-mod wannabes and arranging hook-ups through web sites servicing the tentacle-friendly.  He's desperate to feel the unknown sensations he thinks he can only have when he finally meets something truly alien.

I already see some risky overlap with Moore's Neonomicon, so I'll be avoiding those direct comparisons as much as possible, but it may be a good thing to be drafting in his and Lovecraft's wake.  

The main character is jaded, no longer turned on by people with applied or tattooed scales, doesn't feel arousal at the strange touch of a hand with its finger-bones removed to better mimic tentacles.  The smell of human flesh, ejaculate and blood no longer holds any interest.  Through whispers in the darkened fetish clubs, and furtive hints left on message boards,  he finds a trail to the alien and follows the dark path to satiation.

My one worry is this will be too dark - -like early Clive Barker dark - -and not be able to find the crowd for it.

More thinking needed.


  • I definitely think you'd find an audience for it... Maybe not that big, or possibly even through public channels - I see some of the people that might actually be into this, might be bound to stay in the shadows. But, the last couple of paragraphs also reminded me a little of the movie 8MM (with Nicholas Cage)... It's more about snuff films, than tentacles, but it could be a good reference as well. 

    But it sounds really interesting. Though, after having initially tried to read Moore's Lovecraftian books (from Avatar), I lost interest, because there wasn't a relatable "in" to the story for me... So, I'd maybe caution to remember your audience might be people not as into the material.
  • Thanks.  Will have to track down 8MM, but I think I might be swerving away from the jaded hero now, if that's the similarity point.

    Overnight I realised the lead can't be too lost into the new subculture -- he has to be emotionally available to the reader even as he does darker and darker things. 

    He's chasing the one who got away;  the love of his life went down this rabbit hole before he knew if he ready for that step and so left this gaping hole in his heart.  He needs to find her, and the only way he can is by following in her path, no matter how depraved it may be or what it may cost him.

    I liked Neonomicon, but it felt more like Moore was engaged in a number of thought experiments and not trying to really just tell a horror story.
  • Heh, it's funny. The more you just described it the more 8MM it sounds... Which is not a bad thing, nor is it necessarily something to shy away from. First, the movie's fairly old now, and not too well regarded. (It's major appeal to genre fans is that it's written by the guy that wrote Seven.) But, in that it's a private detective looking for a girl that has disappeared and is in a seeming snuff film. So, the guy has to venture into the dark world of fetish porn. It gets really dark... 

    But, yeah, definitely follow your instincts no matter what else might be out there... 

    I don't know if it was Neonomicon that I read (just looked, I'm pretty sure it was The Courtyard). It was just a little too esoteric for me... Which, could possibly be said of Lovecraft, too. Although he was much better at leaving certain things to the imagination, whereas you can't do that too much in comics.
  • I agree, comics has to show more, but I've always been a fan of how Ridley Scott showed things in the first ALIEN film.  As I'm blocking this out, there will be some tentacled nastiness at the end, but I'm hoping most of horror has already gripped the reader by how the people act and treat each other.

    Damn, no one local is carrying 8MM - -looks like I'll have to order it
  • 8MM was not very good.

    I really like this idea, Richard. I think dark is fine, as long as you make it subtle. 
  • edited November 2012
    I've heard it wasn't that good before, which is probably why I haven't seen it, but now my interest is piqued.

    I'm hoping it can be subtle and terrifying along the lines of Angel Heart, which is serving as a sort of tonal inspiration at the moment.

  • I watched Angel Heart again for the first time in years about 2 weeks ago. What a great film.
  • Broke the story down into eight six-to-eight page sequences so I can do my thumbnail breakdown.  Doing this I had a few characters, places and things reveal their need to be in the story, which is why I work this way.  

    Working on a pendulum structure -- I segment in the present, then flashing back to to point in the main character's relationship when they both first encountered the 'other', then swinging forward to the present where we left off, continuing until we find out why and how she left and he finds her and what state she's in.

    Should start the first draft in a week or so.

    Have to do the mental game of casting and location hunting as I go through the breakdowns, though that doesn't need to be nailed down until I start pencilling.  

    This might be an all-me production, which will take a good deal longer.  I might make the initial goal for a B&W edition and have one of the stretch goals the addition of colour and hire someone.  More to think about.

    Thinking D33P1 may not read as clearly as D33P_1 or D33P-1 or even D33P_ON3, though it may be smarter still to opt for much easier to 'get' DEEP1.  May not make up my mind until after I play with the design.

    Pinning a loose deadline for 24-30 pages, a cover, print and maybe some additional promotional material by the beginning of May with a possible Kickstarter launch in late May/early June.  Seems like a light deadline, but I expect/hope  the usual amount of freelance to come along so six pages a month might be all I can handle on top of that.  I may want to take a page from the recent 2-part article from The Beat and wrap promoting and fundraising around a major con in that May-June time frame.
  • He's chasing the one who got away;  the love of his life went down this rabbit hole before he knew if he ready for that step and so left this gaping hole in his heart.  He needs to find her, and the only way he can is by following in her path, no matter how depraved it may be or what it may cost him.
    One comics reference point this brings to my mind is The Extremist by Milligan and McKeever (part of the Vertigo launch).  Rather than seeking love, the protagonist is seeking revenge, infiltrating the fetish sex club subculture that killed her husband, and eventually being subsumed into it herself.
  • Hmmm.

    That one may be too close to this to read, but I'll probably have to anyway to make sure I'm not replicating anything.

    Thanks Jason.
  • image

    Gave myself a working title/logo as I keep adding notes. . . . This seems to make it more 'concrete' to actually have something visual down.
  • I like it. It's got that retro tech look about it - but something about it says "dark/horror".
  • Was stumbling about with the first scene (the book's structure is more-or-less done), and I just didn't like how it was developing.

    It's a sex scene, but it's really exposition, but it wasn't ending in a way that drove the narrative.  I've rewritten it three times on top of story-sketching it a few different ways to see if the visuals could carry it.  Nope.

    While sitting in my car awaiting an auto emissions test, I let the scene play out from memory, since I forgot to bring my notes or anything to write or draw with, and it became a good deal more cinematic.I realised things had to escalate faster. My protagonist is actually trying to get information out of his sex partner;  she realises it and she reacts violently.  My sex scene turned into a murder scene!

    A quick mental cataloguing of the rest of the story and realising I can eject a whole expository scene, introduce the PI he's hired right away and make him/her instantly more trustworthy and now have the potential of a police investigation dogging the protag.

    Few other changes -- he may be trying to find his sister and not a lost lover.  Something about his standing back while she plunged then his being so broken about it made him less interesting.  A brother who was going down this weird path with his sister then losing her in the  darkness might be more sympathetic and his guilt a better drive to go through all this.

    Was hoping to have the script done already, but Christmas and health issues really kicked my ass these last weeks.

  • I work pretty much the same.  I can write, write, write... but when I just sit and play out the scene in my head (or act it out) new things happen and often for the best.
  • image
    Didn't want to risk dropping something that might be too NSFW in the recent art thread, and this ain't nearly finished work, so I thought I'd plop her down here.

    I do near-daily studies from photos -- usually pin-up stuff like above - - this is from a few days ago and I scanned it to go with a blog post about motivating yourself to draw.   You can read it here if you're interested http://burningmonster.blogspot.ca/2013/01/a-vulgar-motive.html

  • I think you may be onto something with that idea of drawing sex fantasies.  I may have to give that a try.  [resumes drawing himself having sex on a roof downtown in a Batman cape]  When I'm done with this.
  • Good article. I've been doing a bit of that myself. Just drawing naked sexy women because I like it and I need a drawing recharge.
  • Thanks guys!

    A piece of Deep_1 concept work:
  • Hmm, an offer to do a new monthly ongoing with a reasonably big name writer from an established publisher nearly scuppered my plans for the year.  

    Then they shared the financial info;  $100 a page for finished art, straight work for hire and no royalties.  I'm sure they'll get someone, but what a horrible place for an artist to find themselves in

    I see little reason to do anything but creator-owned work at this end of the market.

  • I think I have to see JOHN DIES AT THE END real soon - -one of the things I've had in DEEP_1 is a drug called 'goth - -small, dark mushy pills which turn out to be tiny fragments of shoggoths (which eventually leads to the condition above).  Finally watched a trailer for the film and I'm seeing similarities to the  'Soy Sauce"  drug from the film.  'Goth isn't as important as SS seems to be in JOHN, but I want to make certain of that.

    I might make 'goth injectable or use some other method to introduce it -- it's one of the body-horror elements of the story I really want to keep.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoggoth, for those not HPL fans like me.
  • The soy sauce is (in the book) demonic possession in drug form, and gives you psychics powerrs of varting degrees.
  • Thanks Justin -- I think I'm going to be dealing with this in a  different way and won't not to have to worry about it then.

  • Been plugging away at DEEP_ONE -- ditched the too-clever-for-its-own-good "1" as well as a few other things.

    Looks like a project with a writer I've wanted to work with for years, on a known character that's the sort of thing I wanted to work on since I took doing this seriously may have just fallen into my lap.

    It's monthly, though.  Might push everything off onto the shelf for who knows how long.


  • Hmm.  Well, that monthly fell out of my lap.  Back to my previously scheduled plans.

  • So this Inktober thing turned from a fun bit of play into a growing pile of work I made an effort and had some success with. So I'm going to do a book of them.

    As I was already planning to do a small Kickstarter comic project to get a feel for how that works in practice, this will bump it a little down the road.  As I'm already a third done drawing Inktober and I was already in contact with a printer for the similar-sized one-shot, it's actually an easy switch.

    So. . .

    Nightmare Harvest: 31 Drawings by Richard Pace

    (working title -- want to suggest Halloween without it becoming a seasonal book)

    The book will print the drawings in full colour as originally completed and, additionally, digitally coloured on the opposite, facing page to fill a 64-72 page book.  The price point for a B&W only book was shockingly close to the full colour that it just doesn't make sense to do a B&W only book.

    31 of the backer rewards will be a copy of the book and one of the pieces (chosen at random).  

    The initial goal is for $4000CDN, with stretch goals at $5000 (hardcover) and $6000 (I'll craft a short horror comic for the book).

  • Looking forward to giving you my money, Richard. Make sure you sort the international shipping (though I don't know if it's as bad shipping from CA as it is for the Yanks to ship to CA).
  • Thanks -- thinking I'll be socializing the shipping a bit.  I'm assuming a number of the costs into the financial targets, including shipping, so the international price bump will be smaller -- likely just $5 for anything sent regular mail  instead of the stunning $20-25 add on I've been seeing lately.

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