Apothecary Supreme Page 30 – Reward

April 10, 2017

Imagine that, I may actually finish something with a properly satisfying conclusion!

ApothIssue1Page30PREVIEW2

http://apothecarysupreme.thecomicseries.com/comics/31/

Thanks to holding back on releases a bit and not being massively lazy it looks like I’ll be able to update each Sunday till the end of this issue/story/whatever. It also seems certain – really, really this time – it’ll all be over in two more pages!

Random trivia; this page probably had more dialogue alterations from the script than any other. I was 100% on what I thought they should say till I got there. Drawing it all my bizarrely may have helped put me into their heads…

So, one last major plot point and I’m done! Whatever could it be? ;)


Ghost in the Shell 2017 – Can an adaptation be faithful to a fault?

April 2, 2017

So, yesterday I saw Ghost in the Shell 2017.

As you might notice if you go waaaaaaay back through this blog I hold the 1995 original in rather high regard, being one of the foundation works that developed my interest in the cyberpunk genre in my teens. On the one hand I knew off the bat the remake couldn’t hold up; not simply out of arrogance but because the impact for me personally will never be the same. On the flipside, I didn’t want to dismiss a remake simply for daring to exist and figured I’d at least give it a shot to form some kind of opinion and see what the US take on the franchise would look like.

The shocking verdict?… It’s okay.

No drama, no outrage. Just alright. Not a patch on the original, but not a bad film in its own right. And yet, in a weird way this is even more frustrating to me than a laughable train wreck.

Hollywood has begun taking its adaptations quite seriously, being respectful and diligent with its source material. Is this really a good thing though?

It’s largely the same feeling I got from the Watchmen film; slick, accomplished and weirdly empty. For all the accuracy in its recreation I could never get that precise thought out of my mind, that rather than being immersed in a story I was watching some bizarre reconstruction for assessment.

Aesthetically GitS 2017 was just what I wanted, but ironically perhaps it was the scenes which attempted to emulate the original film exactly that felt most flat and empty. For all the evident technical prowess and care in recreation on show the end result for me felt lifeless. Lacking in passion and simply ticking off boxes rather than causing me to feel exhilaration or intrigue. When the film did its own thing in a way that was more inspired by, rather than a direct copy of the other films/series I found myself far more engaged.

It’s also worth remembering that the superb 1995 film only borrowed characters, tech ideas and a handful of plot points from the manga. I imagine many would furiously disagree with me, but the Shirow Masamune original – while innovative and well drawn – lacks the cohesion, focus and atmosphere present in Mamoru Oshii’s film, to say nothing of the sleazy content present in the manga which always felt unwelcome to me.

All this made me think that perhaps the whole concept of directly remaking a film is broken, inevitably doomed through unfavorable comparison and a lack of surprises. Perhaps the only way to truly adapt something is ironically to tear up the rule book and follow your own path. It may be a more risky approach but at least there is risk in the story as a result, a sense of the unknown, genuine peril and feeling of actually discovering something.

On the bright side, at least this has spurred me into checking out the more recent installment on the anime front; Ghost in the Shell: Arise.

Will it be any good? At the very least I imagine it will be different and that really may be for the better it seems.

 

 


Plotting More Comic Stuff

March 27, 2017

Slow and useless as ever, that said I’ve been not quite so slow and useless lately… Right now I’m trying to build up a small buffer to finish Apothecary Supreme in style rather than in dribs and drabs as things have been.

For what it’s worth, I’m almost there and I’m more determined then ever to get my stuff together and see things done properly. So yeah, watch this space etc etc


Apothecary Supreme Page 29 – Reunion

February 20, 2017

 

apothissue1page29preview1

Did I really say just three more pages last time? Looking like four here, pacing can be a fickle thing…

http://apothecarysupreme.thecomicseries.com/comics/30/

Frustratingly this one has been sat on my hard-drive waiting to be finalised for a while now thanks to other distractions, which is really not helping my already slow release schedule. For once maybe I’ll just shut up and get on with more…

 


Apothecary Supreme Page 28 and where I’m going with all this

January 22, 2017

Slowly getting there…

http://apothecarysupreme.thecomicseries.com/comics/29

All's well that ends well?

All’s well that ends well?

This page essentially wraps up the main dilemma of the story (the ‘dragon’) and leaves me with what is basically a coda for the final three (or so) pages sorting out the loose ends between Burkhard and Greta.

It’s at least reassuring to be so close to the finishing line but I don’t want to launch into a full reflection on the comic/issue’s development just yet since I’m saving that for when it’s done-done. Instead I’d like to briefly ruminate on the future of my work and this comic.

The plan has always been to go back to self publishing and attending expos, however I want to be 100% I have something worth sharing to avoid repeating all the mistakes I made last time around all the way back in 2013. Areas I definitely want to put more consideration into this time are the final printed format, cover and stall. Presentation is an area I previously neglected to my own detriment, something three years in design/marketing day jobs has really hammered home.

More than anything though, tackling a convention stall again is a chance to really test people’s reaction to Apothecary Supreme. I feel that even recouping expenses may be overly optimistic after so long out of the game, but for me getting back into this is both a launch board and experiment to assess what my next course of action will be. I’ve likely mentioned before that this comic was intended as a bit of a test; on the one hand it’s a self contained fantasy/horror story, but could potentially be the basis for other episodic tales of weirdness depending on the response.

If I feel that people want more I will likely continue with other stories in this setting, targeting a faster production cycle and any other weaknesses that could be addressed. On the other hand, should I decide to abandon the story after this at least there is a complete narrative on its own, rather than another unfinished ‘to be continued’. Ultimately it will depend on my feelings once I’ve gotten it out there in printed format.

I did have the London MCM Comic Con in May penciled in as my deadline to wrap everything up and finalise a print run. Unfortunately, it seems I was overly naive in assuming booking a table would be as easy as it was in the past; demand is way up and I’m told all the tables were taken in the first hour of going live, making it about an hour too late in my case…

Aaaaanyhow, rather than be miserable about this I’m taking it as a sign I should adjust my objectives slightly and aim for a smaller expo first. MCM Manchester seems promising and I have a few allies in the area I may be able to summon, so watch this space for updates!

In the meantime, I need to stop wasting my free time in Overwatch and finish this mucky little yarn.