Friday, January 30, 2015

Development Flashback - Issue 4

Of all the books in the series to date, Issue 4 was the one that  I was most nervous about.

From a writing perspective, the idea of segmenting the action sequences and interspersing them with small little stories that gave some insight to the inhabitants of Melbourne City, whilst seeming like a good idea, couldn't help but feel like a risk.

When I first set out to write this series the setting of Melbourne City was just as important a character in its own right as Gabe, Parker and co. This was the issue where I'd start to explore this. The question that plagued me though was these small snippet story glimpses: would they have enough substance to justify their inclusion.

Deciding to take a gamble I had to pick my stories. We had the food vendor in debt to a loan shark and being bullied by a thug - this gave me the angle I wanted to show how easily the little people were getting overlooked by their corporate governors. There were the fashionista women talking about their superficial desires for cutting edge accessories and cyber implants, and then we explored the technology further cutting to the mother and her young boy. The boy with his vid-console being projected in front of him by the gloves he wore was yet another insight to this crazy cyber mad culture.

The easy part was to string it all together with one big battle through the city with Gabe and his current nemesis Snare. What helped here was that both characters had their own forms of quippy dialogue and thy were easy to bounce off each other as the battle played out.

From an art perspective, whilst I felt the internal art was beginning to improve with each subsequent issue (practice makes perfect they say - or at least you start to improve), it was the cover art that I felt I was taking the biggest gamble with.

Prior to Issue 4 all of the covers had a very dark and desaturated tone to them. This one introduced white and a touch of spot color. On top of that, I went abstract with the image of Gabe made from shattered glass.

The reasoning for this was two fold. I like the title, Shards. I felt it reflected the many broken pieces the city was made up of. These small insignificant tales of people who made up the city. It also fit as in one scene Gabe actually smashes right through a floating vidscreen and glass shatters everywhere.
It seemed a good fit and after running it through a couple of people i trust with early previewing of material I decided to go with it.

Its funny that this was the issue that worried me the most, as now as I look back at it, it is the issue I am most fond of. Not necessarily because I feel it shows any amazing writing chops ( I feel I am very much still learning when it comes to writing), but this issue was important as it made me worried, it made me uncomfortable and it made me take a calculated risk. I think challenging myself in this way will contribute to my growth, and after all that's what this is all about.

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