Monday, December 20, 2010

What've You Got Planned?

Looks like Eric has a bit of a tactical disadvantage to over come here! He really should have planned...a-head (BWAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

Anyway, this is it, Meat-Heads!

So after all this time, all this blabbing, what's the endgame here? What are my plans for this magnum opus known as Dead Meat? Well, after a long time and lots of consideration, I decided that I could spend the rest of my life waiting around for this thing to get picked up by a publisher, or whatever, and I'd be doing just that: waiting. I decided it was time to tackle this baby on my own. However, in this day and age it's not as simple as printing up a bunch of copies and going to your local store and begging for them to put your hard work on their shelf. Actually, as far as print goes--it's practically impossible.


Nowadays, anyone can publish their own original content, and become a succes over night! Case in point:

However, it's not quite as easy as that. You still need to network, market, get the word out, and most importantly, you have to come to terms with the fact that, for the most part, people don't like paying for stuff. So that's why I decided to post Dead Meat on the world wide web, absolutely free!
"Surely you can't be serious!"
Well I am surely...and don't call me serious. Wait...scratch that...reverse it.
"But how are you supposed to make any money?"
Truthfully, very slowly. The idea here is to present the product for free, but then to make your money on peripheral things such as merchandise, convention appearances, original art, and then eventually selling hard-copy collections of your book packed with all sorts of extras that will entice your audience to want to revisit your book that they fell in love with all those years ago!

What it comes down to is patience. It's a lot of work, and the reward is slow, and honestly, you really have to love it to be able to stick with it. I said at the beginning of this blog that this was a lot like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, and I still believe that. This is going to be a learning process for me, and hopefully as I stick with it, it's just going to get better and better, and to be completely honest, I can't wait to start it. I can't wait to finally take this story I've been cradling for the better part of 10 years and COMPLETE it. I can't wait to see where my characters go, and I really hope that the characters and the stories are good enough that people are just as excited as I am to see where they go, and ultimately where they end up.

This blog will continue as the official Dead Meat blog, but this will be the last post here until January 1st, when I officially launch my comic at As of of 12:01, January 1st, 2011, will be your window into the chaos and excitement that is the world of Dead Meat.

I invite you all to check it out, and comment, and make suggestions, and hopefully enjoy the product as much as I've enjoyed the process.

Until Next Time....

Monday, December 13, 2010

(Punny Title About Character)

I'm back from the dead, Meat-Heads! Sorry for the radio silence over the past week or so!

Let's take a trip back to the subject of characters. So when I was coming up with my core characters for Dead Meat, I took a look at some of the things I didn't like about the way a lot of other undead-related media out there, and obviously tried to do something different. Many of them were heavily realistic (well I mean as realistic as one can really be in this genre), and I kind of felt like sometimes characters visually all ran together. Maybe that was some sort of metaphorical comment on linking the characters to the undead, but maybe the artist or designer just really likes drawing people in t-shirts. Who's to say, really? Anyway, it was about this time that I remembered my mantra: "It's a comic book!" and made it a point to inject some individuality and excitement into my characters, and one major influence I drew on was G.I. Joe. I mean say what you want about G.I. Joe, the one thing they were great at was making very distinct looking characters with very distinct attributes:

Each one had a unique look, voice, and personality. It was with this in mind that I started crafting the basis for the concept (I used to describe it as G.I. Joe meets Dawn of the Dead), and as I've stated before, it was a lot lighter and more carefree, not unlike G.I. Joe, but as I got into the meat (BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA) of the characters, another pet peeve of mine really started to stick out.

Characters in these post-apocalyptic stories are mostly either people who are dealing with the situation as it unfolds (Dawn of the Dead, The Road), or people who are firmly entrenched in the crappy world that now exists (A Boy and His Dog, Road Warrior), and are usually either really young or over 30. Anyone in between is usually a background character, and not paid a lot of attention to. Now, again, Dead Meat was conceived as a silly story about a group of late teens/early twenty-somethings running amok in the undead wasteland. Well as I thought more about that concept I started to take it pretty seriously, and it really started to appeal to me. I started to become fascinated with the idea of focusing on a group of guys old enough to remember the world before the apocalypse, but young enough to have spent their most character-forming years surviving and adapting to a world-wide 180 degree shift of lifestyle toward violence and death and truly incredible circumstances. They're really stuck in the middle in this weird place, and I thought that really lent itself to exploring some interesting character traits.

Now doesn't that mean that I have to change all my character designs to guys in matching black body suits? Huh? Doesn't it? I thought that was how you portrayed those kinds of changes! Like this:

Nope, that isn't what that means at all! Add as much Dennis-Quaid-Face as you want, but taking a character seriously is not about changing the color of its costume and adding a permanent scowl, it's about taking the CHARACTER seriously! It's more like this:

When Frank Miller revamped Batman, he stripped away all the goofiness that had come to be associated with the character, and explored its dark, brutal core all without having to change him out of his classic costume, pointy ears and all. So what am I getting at? Well I guess what I'm trying to say is have faith in the characters you design, inside and out. Or maybe I'm saying that Bat-Ape was a bad direction to take the character in. Or maybe that wrapping a character in black leather doesn't make it more "real." Or maybe that Dennis Quaid's face only makes one expression. Regardless, just remember that you can take a character (or characters) seriously without sacrificing any of the fun that makes the characters exciting in the process--I mean this is all supposed to be fun isn't it? Right?

Until next time,

Eat Dead Meat!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Uh oh...looks like someone's fed up with Eric's shenanigans!

So I want to kind of do a follow up on the last post about violence. I'd like to talk specifically about guns, and their use in drama. This was sort of fueled by a discussion I had with a friend of mine about this past sunday's episode of a certain horror-based television show.

So let's get right to the point: GUNS DO NOT EQUAL DRAMA. There is nothing I hate (HATE) more than when, in a dramatic scene or work, someone tries to ratchet up the tension and the suspense by having a character (or characters) pull out a gun. Now, I can understand why a writer would think this is a good idea, and that is best summed up by renowned screen writer of the Agent: Michael Scarn series:

I get it. Guns are dangerous, guns are volatile, guns have repercussions, and could go off at any time: what a perfect metaphor for a tense, dramatic scene (Why do Western duels work so well? Because we KNOW that someone is going to DIE)! Yeah, well, it's also a very lazy writing crutch beloved by lazy and/or bad writers. I was going to put up a clip from Tommy Wiseau's The Room, which is a tour de force of epically bad writing/execution (or is it an epically executed comedy? Who's to say?), but I thought that would be too easy. So Then I thought about R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet, but that's waaaaaaaay too long to post here, but then I remembered this South Park clip that hits the nail on the head:

It's a shame I can't post the entirety of Trapped in the Closet, as it totally encapsulates trying to manufacture drama through tricks and cliches.

Anyway, so if one guy having a gun is lame, how lame is multiple guys having guns? Really lame, unless you're Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino makes it work because he recognizes what pulling a gun on someone means, and has no qualms about executing everyone in the room in order to display that. Those scenes are never toothless arguments that end in someone caving in order to move the scene along, they almost exclusively end with everything falling into chaos. Assuming you're not Tarantino, drawing a gun on a guy who has a gun, in a room full of guys who have guns is completely redundant, because if the gun symbolizes power, then there is no upper hand because everyone in the room has the equal amount of power! Not to mention, this whole cliche usually happens at a point in the script where you KNOW no one is going to get killed, or even shot, so 9 times out of 10 the audience isn't buying it anyway! If the audience knows it's just lame posturing, then why on earth would the character with the gun in his face feel any different?

As I said previously, guns are now forever linked with the undead, on a count of them being the most visceral, visually explosive way to dispatch them. This is fine, but I think when one is trying to tell a story about character conflict and interactions, guns shouldn't be part of the equation unless your characters are legitimately going to use them. If you've got an hour and a half to kill, do yourself a favor and re-watch Night of the Living Dead. It's a great character study about a group of people with volatile states of mind dealing with the tension of the situation they're in, AND THERE ARE NO GUNS! Ok, maybe there's like ONE gun, but even so, by the time it's taken out and used to threaten someone, it's already very clear that someone might seriously get shot.

In summation, GUNS DO NOT EQUAL DRAMA, and if you don't agree with me I swear to God I will shoot you.

Until next time,

Eat Dead Meat!

Oh what the hell: