Research

[Warning: This post contains heavy sentiment and lamenting, if this is not something you wish to see, please feel free to move on to happier, fluffier posts/pages]

This is one of those times when I would ask my father. He is one of the few people who could give me an accurate answer. I wanted to do an ink sketch of a stuffed toy dog in Ancient Egyptian armour.

Except, when I Googled “Ancient Egyptian Armour”, I got a lot of Hollywood, highly stylised armour. I wanted something more realistic to what they would have worn in those times. I then remembered things my father was studying. Ancient Egypt was a catch all phrase. In order to get a better picture, I would need to be more specific and enter in a region such as Sumeria, Mesopotamia, or Palestine etc…

If my father was still here he could have given me clear directions along with some intriguing anecdotes about Ancient armour and this would have been so much faster. Which brings me to why I’m posting this here instead of in my own process blog. In order to give more insight into the man known as Jim Wagner.

Jim Wagner had a vast knowledge of language and stemming from that, knowledge of various cultures and their history. One of them was Ancient Africa and the Middle East (please note my own ignorance on the subject and therefore I am only speaking extremely colloquially and in the most general of terms). I grew up with access to specialised knowledge thanks to my father. I’m only now just beginning to understand how rare this knowledge was and it only saddens me more that this wealth is now gone.

And So it Begins

Tonight I began searching for what I believe is the sequel to “Railroad Rising”.

Right up until he died my father was writing. My mother later found some pages in his clipboard that was left in his hospital room. His writing, which was quite frightful when he was healthy, had deteriorated significantly as he grew closer to death.

When I first got the pages I quickly scanned them over to see what was on them. On one of the pages I was pretty sure that I saw the names of one of the main characters from Railroad. But as I looked them over tonight, I was unable to find any names that jumped out at me. But I was sure that he had begun writing a sequel.

It looked as if I would have to search through everything to find this missing manuscript….

When Words Collide Day 2

It’s late (or early, depending on how you look at it) and so I’ll keep it brief.

The first part of my morning was spent printing out books. Which were the perfect calling card….the way ashcans are supposed to be! I feel so awesome and retro about that.

It was one of those magical nights where you just fall into conversations with just the right people at just the right time. The only reason it stopped was because the hotel would lose it’s liquor license if we continued to drink, and they had to get the room ready for tomorrow.

After talking with everyone I realised that I felt bad that I didn’t pitch Grotto of Poppies more, cue the half-asleep log line: A current day world where secret societies rule the world and constantly battle for power. The Black Lodge vs the White Lodge….yeah I’m too tired to describe it….it’s awesome and I can’t wait to work on it after I’m done my other two comic projects…to be discussed on a different blog.

When Words Collide Day 1

So I like the idea of posting every night after the conference, in practise however, I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up on the rest of the days of the conference.

This was my first conference which has some similarities to a convention but it’s much more intimate.

The biggest thing that I’ll say is that there is a lot of information there. The only problem? The panels simply weren’t long enough! I’d just get into the panel and they’d be closing down and getting ready for the next panel. But I’ve got crazy recordings and so much information to compile.

I am loving the overlap between media and how each of the different mediums influence each other and inform each other. There were a lot of good conversations going on, with topics that translate directly.

I am going to bid everyone a good night now as I have to get up early to print mini-comics off for tomorrow. (Some things never change)

Waiting, Poised to Pounce

I’m currently waiting for the editor to get back to me with revisions and changes for the books. This is nothing like editing comics. The turnarounds are much different. Instead of working at a breakneck pace against a last minute deadline, it’s much more laidback and relaxed. (On my end at least, I know that the publisher is juggling a lot of books and releases and what-not.) I was told that I could most certainly review the edits for the book but that a lot of it could change because my Dad was waiting for her revisions first. And so, like my father I wait. Poised to pounce on the revisions and make notes at the drop of a hat.

In the meantime, I do things like work on my own projects and also work on some promotional items for the book.

Housecleaning

I’ve just begun to organize all of the writing. And by that, I mean that I’ve put all of the related material that I am currently working on into one folder, begun an “unsorted folder” and have a couple of other folders which are already dedicated to specific stories.

My plans are as follows, towards the end of editing with the publisher, I’m going to find out if there were any near misses. Books that were almost published but just didn’t quite work out. Either that or see if I can develop something further with this current story. From there I’ll plan further.

I’ve got a lot of books to go through. This means a lot of material. Either fully formed, or needing to be reconstructed from the ground up. It proposes a great creative challenge which both excites and scares me.

The Editorial Process

They say that an editor doesn’t have to be a writer. I would say that is sort of true to a point. But it really depends on what type of editing you’re performing. For your basic, in depth proofreader/grammar checker I would say, as long as you understand the basics, you can get by.

For doing what I’m doing? As I look over my dad’s book, I try to imagine what he was thinking when he was writing this. What was he trying to convey? With that mindset, I will be looking over what his editor has asked to be revised and respond how I think he’d have wanted to respond.

Luckily, I have known my dad my whole life and therefore I like to think that I knew him pretty well.

Confessions

Good morning internet. It has been over a month since my last confession I mean post. If all I had was writing, this would be unforgivable, but because I’m me I have non-writing commitments which also needed to be tended to. But now I’m back, and just in time.

July and August are being set aside to finish editing the book which will see publication this year. I’ll also be using this time to arrange a venue for a book launch in Vancouver and confirm with my Mother about one in Saskatoon at the same time (roughly).

The thing that gets me when I’m reading my dad’s work is that I begin to analyse it. It’s one thing to analyse a writer’s work and it’s an entirely different thing when you are analysing someone’s work who you knew very well. You begin to think about what they were thinking as they were committing the words to the page. How they felt, physically and mentally. How they perceived their roles in life and how they interacted with their friends and family. Please note, that while I do all of this, I still am able to enjoy the story for what it is. Entertainment. I merely get much more out of it than most people do.

This also reminds me that I need to go to the store to pick up paper, a black ink cartridge and a red pen….