Grant Alter - Struggling Comic Writer

Monday, August 14, 2006


I'm sure it's pretty common, but it still seems odd to me.
It seems that at different points in my life, a bulk of my stories tend to be easily groupable into a common theme.
For instance, when I first started writing comics, I wrote two books, The Core (which was a run-of-the-mill FBI book) and what would later be called Fractured. Both of these stories were, in essence, morality tales. I was very concerned with codes of ethics and the violation of said codes.
The Core, I was told, had no real hook and so it would likely go nowhere, but I played that particular story to its end just to do it. 3 issues later, I had my first comic script and I knew I could do it.
Fractured was actually my first real story idea, but I was toying with writing it as a novella (the original story may actually work better as a novella or film or whatnot), but it soon turned into a comic project. That particular story was really a morality tale. It was basically me asking what happens when someone kills for the good of society loses the justification that allows them to do their job.
Maybe it was interesting and maybe it wasn't. But one thing became clear and that was that in terms of a monthly book, it just wouldn't work. It was too slow and moody and, to be frank, you just didn't understand enough by the end of issue 1 to make you want to come back for more. The book ultimately evolved into a sci-fi action spectacular that held very little in common with the original idea, but was a lot more fun to read and draw. That book is sort of on an indefinite hiatus as of now, but that's beside the point.
Right now, my thing is survival. Stolen, a horror book I am working on, is essentially all about survival. There are morality themes and ones involving family as well, but what really fascinates me about it is the survival aspect.
And as I sat in a darkened theater watching The Descent (which was just okay), I decided to write a screenplay. I can't divulge any details other than it really ends up boiling down to survival as well. Right now, it seems that I am interested in stories where ordinary people do extraordinary things.
Does that make me unique amongst writers? Probably not. I imagine that most stories could be described that way, but that's where I am right now.
Next month, I could be interested in just about anything.
The best I can hope for is that I can manage to grab ahold of any idea worth pursuing and force myself to stick through to the end, no matter where my mind tries to run off and take me.
P.S. I've been working on the outline for the upcoming Hurricane Kids mini-series that may or may not be dropping sometime early next year, potentially from an up-and-coming publisher that just may have several really interesting projects set to drop before years end, and I am busting my butt to offer the most exciting, most fun, most jaw-droppingly awesome superhero comics this side of Lee and Kirby's Fantastic Four. Will I acheive my goals?
Tune in. I'm as interested to see as you are.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Back from WWC

Well, I got back from Chicago sort of late last night and I thought I would post some of my thoughts.
Very soon we'll have some very official publisher news. But here's the notes.

- Markosia (who pseudo-officially is the home of a certain project) is full of coolness. Chuck Satterlee is a great guy. I spent a lot of my time at the con talking to him at the booth and he seems like a really honest and trustworthy guy. I'm glad to know him. I also met some new friends, Sal Cipriano, Chris Dibari, and Ryan Stegman. They all have Markosia books (The Hill, The Hunger, and Midnight Kiss respectively) and they're all great guys. I'm glad to know them as well and they all privately told me good things about Markosia.

- Brandon Terrell and Brett Schoonover are great dudes too. They have a book with Ape called Horrorwood and it's tops. At the same time, I met Ben Lichius of the Black Coat, which when I first heard the concept sounded like something I wasn't interested in, but blew me away when I actually read it. Apparently, everyone else likes it too cause he had to go buy copies of number 1 from retailers so he'd have some to sell. That's cause it sold out.

- In the past, a lot of friends met over the internet have been disappointments in person. Derek Ruiz is not one of those people. He is exactly how he seems on the boards and AIM. He's genuine, nice, and just a lot of fun and I look forward to a long lasting friendship with him. He introduced me to the crew at the Dabel Brothers booth as well and I met Ernst and Les Dabel who are about as friendly, genuine, and modest as people can be. They truly deserve all the success they're having. Sean Jordan and his lovely wife Stacie were also super cool and fun to be around and then you have Matt Hansen. Look out. He's a one man party. Lock up your daughters too. I mean, really. Lock them up.

- Kristen Simon is great as well. She's funny, smart, and really nice. I was supposed to meet her at Knuckles (or Fisters, as it has been called) and I was terrified. Once I met her though, I felt stupid for having been so nervous. I look forward to working with her more. I didn't really have much interaction with Jim Valentino, but he seemed cool as well. And then you have Scott Wherle, who I ran into at the show and immediately got along with. Great guy. Saw him several more times and enjoyed talking to him every time.

- I really hope I haven't forgotten anyone, but those are my new friends.

- And then there are the old friends who it was lovely to see again. Greg Thompson and his wonderful wife Jennifer (drummer magnet), Kara Fairfield and Tony Moore, who I didn't see as much as I would have liked to, but were cool just the same. B. Clay Moore, Jeremy Haun, and Jason Latour, Mark Sable, Andy freaking Macdonald...the list goes on.

- Len Kody, I didn't find you, but I looked and looked. We'll have to hook up sometime in the future.

It was an exhausting trip, but overall, I think it was a good one. Thanks to Brad Wilders (who is my permanent best man) for everything. I hope that your little foray into the world of indie comics didn't suck TOO much.