Monday, May 28, 2007

Do Not (let good swashbuckling fiction) Go Gently Into That Good Night

Sorry it’s been so long since the last update. I’ve been extremely busy and little has happened that is particularly noteworthy. Serializing Leash has been the primary reason for updating this blog, but I’m currently abstaining from posting any more panels for the time being, as I’m trying to get something picked up with it.

This is the last week of the quarter! Thanks goodness. Although I’ve accomplished a bit here and there, these last ten weeks have been extremely unproductive when compared to the months prior. A lot of this is due to an excess of homework and projects for a class which I enjoy, but whose projects are unusable outside that class. The work is done in a style at odds with the one in which I choose to work, and so I won’t even be using it for portfolio purposes for fear of damaging what little artist identity I’ve been able to establish with editors. Oh, well. Like I said, the quarter is wrapping up, and I’m ready to get back to work fully on Crogan’s Vengeance.

For weeks I’ve been stuck on one page – the composition has been all wrong. When I come to a hurdle, it tends to stop me in all capacities, not just the project in question. So everything that required creative thought was basically at a standstill. Last week, though, I figured out my problem and was able to fix the page, and everything has started flowing again.

Since the last post, I’ve completed my two page story for the Indie Spinner Rack anthology, which will be premiering at SPX in October. I also finally got together a pitch for Nickelodeon Magazine, which I’ll be sending out this week.

Oh! I’ll be teaching three classes this summer. Two of these are two-week workshops on making comics which will be going on in Hopkinsville, Kentucky during the K.I.C.C.S. program, a summer class series aiding in developing skills needed for kids to pursue higher education; the other is an internship in which I’ll be assisting Nolan Woodard with his Intro to Sequential Art class for SCAD.

Hunter Clark, Justin Wagner, Liz, and I went Thursday night to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It was a lot of fun. Sure, there were a few plot points that could’ve been stronger, but I liked it a great deal more than the second film. I approached this one differently, though – it’s not a pirate movie, exactly, it’s a pirate/fantasy movie. Taken as such, it was really enjoyable. The musical score had improved considerably, as well.

In doing research for Crogan’s Vengeance, I’ve been reading as much swashbuckling literature as possible, and have come to a remarkable and troubling discovery. Although I’ve read the few Rafael Sabatini novels available (some from libraries, some from bookstores – most are out of print), and have lamented their fading from the public conciousness (‘cause they’re SO GOOD), I (by a stroke of pure luck) came across the name of Jeffrey Farnol, another 1920s historic adventure novelist whose work is likewise inspiring. And you know what? Not ONE of Farnol’s books are in print in the U.S.!

I know that Swashbuckling fell out of favor in the 1950s, and that character-driven fare became the ideal, but that doesn’t mean that the extraordinary work done by these and countless other authors should be left to fade away. It’s terrific writing! Great stories! Granted, one can still find copies on eBay, but these should be in print. It scares me to think that such great work can be so easily forgotten and ignored. It’s far better than what I’m currently capable of; how does that bode for the perenniality of my stuff?