To tell a story
One of me first memories is from when I was a wee lad, is struggling to read a TMNT comicbook. It was sunny outside and I was dressed in nothing other than a t-shirt and shorts, so me best guess is that it was summer. We still lived in fathers construction trailers that he bought for work (he used to build houses, the irony is not lost on me) so I had to be around four years old. I already knew a few words and phrases that I could distinguish from the word balloons or have me mother read it out loud for me, but more often than not I just made up me own stories while looking at the panels. And when the pages came to an end, I sat down and drew me own continuation (hey, I even had TMNT glasses with Raphael on them later on, so big fan). I draw them stories forever, letting the turtles battle it out with their enemies, batman, whoever I fancied them to meet on the page. It was liberating, it was fun and for me parents it was a blessing because that meant I sat still and shut up so they could get a wee bit of piece and quiet. I remember that issue of the heroes in a half shell with fondness, for in a way, it led me to the path I am on today, even if the memory is blurry and I can only remember about two panels (Times Square filled with taxis, some of them driven by Footclan members and a sequence where the turtles drives trough a wall and mows down their ninja archrivals with the turtle van).
The point is, I love telling stories just as much as I love to experience them. May it be from reading a good book or comic, watching a tv-series or a flick, not to mention picking up the controller and play a really good video game. I love that, it is like a drug to me and there is tons of more ways to tell stories nowadays. A really good story can stay with you for long after you finished it, especially when you realise that you are walking around thinking about a character or a group almost like old friends, remembering your time together or trying to figure out what will happen next. Right now I find myself thinking like that about the characters on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, or remembering the time I had with the horror game Until Dawn.
When I write me comics or short stories, it is a process. I try to evaluate every nook and cranny to see if the story makes sense, if the decisions the characters do is something that feels natural depending on their personality that I tried to build up. Sometimes I can sketch half a forest worth of manuscript only to later scrap it all by throwing it in the trash bin, just because it did not feel natural or made any sense. I have never held Deus ex machina solutions in high regards, especially if they just drop out of thin air when a character has painted themselves into a corner. If there is a well done build up towards it, okay, but not otherwise. And I am not saying that me webcomic Curly is unique, it is not. But I do hope that it is well written. Maybe I tend to play with the clichés or take a well know concept or formula in me stories, however at the same time I do hope that I tell the story well enough with its own twists and turns to make it enjoyable. To make the classic concept me own. I mean, a horror story about a family of cannibalistic hillbillies is not really créme del a créme del a Edgar, now is it? But I did it in me own way, in a way I wanted to tell it and I hope that I did leave subtle enough hints and background to why they became this way and what not. Enough to make sense, to fit into the world of Curly and build on it.
The master of storytelling (not just horror) Stephen King once wrote that he dislike plots. Because if you let the plot rule, the characters becomes secondary. If the characters get to rule, you can put different members of the cast in a specific situation and not of them will come to the same solution. They will react in manners that are natural to their personalities and it can change the whole plot, or turn it upside down and back again. It is organic. A plot on the other hand can force the cast to go out of character just so it will benefit the plotline. It is, in loss of other ways to express myself, a hell of a nasty trap to balance around without falling in. Even if you are on your tip toes it can still go awry, just because you made the decision to let something happen just because it was convenient. Alfred Hitchcock always maintained that the build up is the most essential and important part to any situation. If someone is going to get shot with a gun, do not just conjure it up from thin air, show it some scenes or moments before it is necessary for the character to use. If a bomb is about to explode, let the hostages become angry, emotional and sad, not just afraid and praying. Do I do that? I hope so. Do I compare myself to Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock? Hell no, but the insights these two masters have to share is way too good to not to mention. I am but a mere student struggling in their, and countless others, shadow.
But do you know what the best with shadows are? They are cool and refreshing and a really nice place to relax in when the sun starts to scorch on a hot summer day. I do believe that this rambling wall of text has gone on long enough for now. What did I want to say with it? Only that I hope that I write me stories well enough for you readers to enjoy them. And maybe, just maybe, will you one day think back on Kaz and Curly with some fondness or wonder what will happen next with excitement. Because if you do, that means that I have succeeded beyond what I could ever hope to accomplish. For in a way, I am still that wee four year old lad, struggling to make sense of the written story, all while making up more of it.