Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Out from the Shadows

Back in May of 2005, I traveled with a few friends to Wizard World in Philly to promote some independant comics that a few of us were doing. I had known many of those guys for a long time through phonecalls and e-mails, but this would be the first time I had ever met most of them face to face. All of us were excited to bring our work in progress and our sketchbooks to show each other what we had been cooking up. That first night of the con, nobody slept; We passed around our stuff, each person giving feedback to the others and everyone who was there will tell you that it was one of the most productive critique sessions in their memory.

My contribution to that night was the first draft of Enlightenment. As I said before- it was a lengthy script which stopped abruptly and was different in a few key ways from the script that Dan and I are working from for the devil you know.

The first major difference is the opening; If you are one of the few who has seen the original comic sized preview, you will note how it started in the middle of action. Characters were thrown out at you, and by the time you had a solid idea as to who everyone was, the plot took an abrupt turn and everything was thrown on it's ear. That first page of the preview was where my first script started. We realized, however, that some back story was going to be needed to make sense of it all. Originally, I was going to explain that back story in a flashback about a third of the way through the book. When we decided to move to a mini series format, however, I re-visited those events and wrote a short scene for the opening to introduce Green and Jim in a more organic way.

The "dream" sequence in the beginning was another scene from later in the book- once I took the flashbacks and a few other scenes out of the mid point of the script, there was no place for it anymore. Rather than scrap it, I edited down to something short and merged it with my new opening. Dan loved it, escpecially since he used it as an opportunity to merge his new color artwork with the inkwash style of the original work he had done.

The other major change was that the story was streamlined quite a bit. In that original script, there were 2 main villains. As I said earlier, the scene that became the preview was written as an excercise- it was never meant to be anything other than a "what if" character study. The "main" villain was yet to be unveiled... The problem was, there wasn't enough time to really answer all the questions raised by the palm reader scene and still have a major story with an even more gruesome villain. What complicated things was, my little "experiment" went over SO well with everyone who saw the pages Dan had done, that I had to scrap the two thirds of the story that dealt with villain #2... along with all the characters and sub-plots that were connected with it.

What I was left with was 4 scenes and the new opening which formed the core of a new direction for Enlightenment, so I spent about 2 months writing new scenes and re-working the existing material into something with a radically different plot, but with the same feel and tone as the original script. I ended up with 6 comic sized issue scripts... but the mini series format was never meant to be...

Today's image is a sneak peak at one of the latest scenes Dan has whipped up... Enjoy!

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