Okay, so here is a rough of what I'm going to use to search for an artist. If anybody has any advice for me it would be much appreciated. Too much? Too little? Please let me know.
THE BLACK WALL
STORY: Twenty years have passed since the World Trade Center was attacked on 9/11 and America has become a much changed place. Hank Mitchum has spent his years outside of the military wandering from state to state, job to job, until his motherís death brings him back to Reno, NV where he grew up. It is here that his eyes open to the reality of a changing society far removed from the pre-terror world where the presence of the state was felt much less.
Hank becomes intertwined with this world when his old military friend Mark Stern offers him a job within the security-industrial complex. The chance at easy money from an easy job has Hank saying yes no matter what his qualms are. At the same time Hank meets a young prostitute that he saves from the brutality of a Federal security Agent, but also loses to the alienated, violent world that has come into being in the waning years of empire.
Though Hank has suspicions of the business his friend Mark is in, he must decide between exposing conspiracy or showing Sara the way to personal freedom.
PHILOSOPHY: This is not a story that lies within the confines of mainstream ideology, and it is certainly no friend to the authoritarian state as it exists right now. I donít believe this story has a right or left direction as it focuses in on the corporatists state, the police state, and the surveillance state, and how personal freedom and civil rights work within a world that accepts these dangerous conditions as normal. While my personal ideology falls somewhere within the anarcho-libertarian world view, I canít see a liberal who understands the importance civil liberties having problems with the presentation. I only mention philosophy because I donít believe a partnership on this project could survive without being up front about it. Any artist that signs on will probably have to be on board with the ideas presented. Unless youíre an extremely open person, I just donít think it could work.
ARTIST: Iím looking for somebody who is as serious about their art as I am about writing. Iím not looking for a beginner or a pro, but somebody who is where I am, ready to make things happen with a strong project. Iíll be up front, I canít pay a lot per page, but I definitely donít expect anybody to do this for free. Iíve personally had it very good for a long time with my other projects, but that dynamic isnít the norm. I donít take skill or time lightly. As a writer I understand the thousands of hours you have put into your work and I will put forth the best price I can.
Any earnings will be a 50/50 split after what has been paid up front has been earned.
ART STYLE: I may envision the finished look of this comic one way, but you may read the script and see something else entirely. This is actually the most exciting part for me personally. Hereís how I see the comic: Black and White, heavily influenced by noir style comics, with the gritty look of films of the 1970ís. After reading the script, you may try to convince me that this should be sparsely colored or full-colored and that we need a colorist. It may be the case that my idea of how this should look is very unoriginal and you have something much stronger to offer. I want to hear it! I canít wait to hear it.
Now the look of the world is very important and I donít think there is much compromise here. It is the near future, but America has never gotten out of its economic depression. Itís a future of two worlds. One where we are getting used to the facts of stagnating prosperity, but also where we still spend and vacation and try to live the dream of the consumer. Itís a world of Disneyland and depravity, the past and the future, smartphones, drones, pimps, and pushers. While most of the story takes place in poorer areas, we will see the slick future that we are always presented with in movies, but in far out of reach places for the average person.
MY WRITING STYLE: The style Iíve developed over the years is pretty straight-forward. I donít think there is an industry standard for comic writing, and if there is, Iím not sure where I fall. I used to write comics in a very episodic fashion, but I have completely dropped that with The Black Wall. This story is structured through acts and scenes of varying lengths. I donít write them in print comic length. I donít believe a story(especially one appearing on the internet) should be that confined or structured. I am very detail-oriented and describe the characterís mindset and atmosphere of the locations at the head of each scene. The pages of the scene are broken down panel by panel with description of the action and feeling that should be presented within the panel. I also like to use a lot of symbolism within the visuals.
I donít want to come across as a control freak. Iím very much into the artistic partnership aspect of comic books. I also understand that you are trying to interpret written words into a visual medium in a very limited space. Things will obviously change from script to fully drawn page. I try to conform one scripted page as much as possible to working on one piece of paper. I may get overzealous sometimes and you need to control that.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I donít have professional experience, but I have been seriously working on my own writing for the last ten years. It is how most of my free time is spent, and I personally love spending it that way. It is sometimes obsessively spent that way and I have to force myself to step back from it. I have written screenplays, short stories, comics, and blogs. Right now I have three comics online. Two old, Coffee Time & Across the Way, and one current, Tales of Hammerfist.
The two older comics I consider a huge education for me. Itís where I really learned to do this and since I placed the dialogue bubbles in myself it is where I really learned that overwriting can ruin a page. I also learned a great deal about pacing. I used to feel that an online comic had to be more episodic, but crafted correctly I now know that they can work like any other story. Momentum in the online comic world is important.
The most important lesson I learned is to have a finished script. Both comics had a general direction but were largely improvised. My current project, Hammerfist, is completely mapped out and the script is about half-written. The Black Wall is 95% finished, with the remaining 5% being tweaks to details as of the writing of this synopsis. Iíve learned the importance of the artist knowing the extent of the commitment, and this project will be a multi-year one.
OTHER DETAILS: If you have made it this far, you might have a real interest. So lets get into some other details of The Black Wall. I would like to see two pages appearing online per week, but understand if you can only do one, or prefer to start at one to get used to the schedule. I think two would be ideal though.
With each Act I would like to see a release in print form, with a full book being released once the whole thing is online. The plan is to also have an e-book, and I would like to figure something out for mobile devices where you can flip through one panel at a time. This isnít a hobby. Profits are important.
I only expect art for the comic, but any help creating art for the books, website, internet advertising, flyers and such would be helpful. Iím pretty descent with Photoshop, so it isnít expected.
This comic will fall under the Coffee Time Comics banner.
If anything feels off-base within this synopsis, please let me know. I donít mind criticism and find feedback helpful. Thank you for taking interest in this project.
_________________Coffee Time Comics