Facing the Past at 3AM

From the title you’re probably assuming that it’s 3AM Eastern and I’m set to whine about something. That’s probably true, as with everything lately, I’m no longer sure where everything is going.

I’m in the process of converting the last three of the older issues of Amazing Incredible to the new format. I’m already mentally apologizing to everyone for the horrible lighting in the captures I’m using. To stay true to the old versions of the comic, and frankly, to save time, I’m not doing reshoots for most of these issues so the lighting is primitive and everyone looks a bit off compared to the newer issues. I’m sure no one notices it (just like no one probably notices the dramatic change in my lettering style), but I do and it is driving me crazy for the one issue that I’m set to lay out today.

In the conversion process, I change old issues for various reasons. A lot of time it’s because there’s a problem with the original character models. I may have lost touch with a person who volunteered their face at one time or the model itself may have stopped working. The character of McHappy was both, for example, that’s why he now has hair and looks a bit off for those who remember the original issues of the comics. Since it’s a brand new character model, all shots that I’ve done using him need to be redone. Other times I may have lost the file or I may have changed character roles. In the issue I’m doing now, I’m going to have to resort to reshooting for the latter. Besides Tonya’s character model changing since the last time this issue saw the light of day, two of the characters featured (Brit and Darrin), both have had their roles altered by the prequels and it makes no sense whatsoever for them to be in the big scene featured in this issue. Thankfully, it looks like at some time in the past I padded some extra characters so I’ve swapped a couple of folks into the story that I really have no plans for yet.

Oh, the prequels. Yeah, right. Last year I had the bright idea to tie all of the series I’ve done into one complex universe. While Amazing Incredible was the “main” universe I’m using, all the comics I’ve done before were valid in their own little universes. The whole plan was to bring them back and tie them in as simulations that Bozzie used in the main story. Issues one through four or five of the current Amazing Incredible were meant to serve as launching points and wrap arounds for readers to go revisit the past series then come back to the main series. They were originally “zero issues” as had the dumb concept of writing a bunch of “zero issues” that would be inserted before the stories I had already written. Because this is ME and because I can’t stick to the old scripts, characters changed, roles changed, here a change, there a change everything a change change until I couldn’t just put the old issues back up. I abandoned the “zero” numbering scheme, renumbered everything and right now I’m finishing up the old issues to fit the new continuity. The obvious thing to take from this is that sometimes things change because I’m doing this on my own, I’m a perfectionist and frankly, I waste a lot of time obsessing about little things that no one really would notice or care about.

Okay, I’m being hard on myself. The prequels/”zero issues” are a sore subject in a way but, again, they’re something I’ve learned to live with and grow with. I got myself in a loop of restarting series or trying to remaster series since I don’t have access to a lot of the older files and starting at the same point, often rewriting a “master version” of the same issue. The prequels (now issues 01-07 of Amazing Incredible), explored a time period that I never looked into before. Every series pretty much started with Bozzie’s death (other than “Universe”), and we never explored the days before things went bad. I think my universe is deeper because of the changes I’ve made. I think there are more stories to tell because pretty much everyone is different than from what you or I remember them. Even with the “dragon intervention” wiping away a month (don’t ask), the old issues of Amazing Incredible are enhanced by the new continuity. I’ve given myself more room to work with and more stories to tell. I do have a master plot for somewhere down the line for where all the characters should end up and what happens AFTER that. I have somewhere to go when the dreaded summer solstice hits and I lose creative energy for months at a time and I also have a way to wrap things up should I ever give up on this hobby.

With that out of the way, here’s what’s going on. Issues 10 and 11 of Amazing Incredible are done. Issues 12 and 13 are about to go through reshooting and doing the layouts. I found the ancient inDesign file of issue 14 so that’s already laid out. Since two of the three issues needed the extra time, I sort of chugged through 10 and 11 this week. The plan is to put out the last of these issues on a weekly basis until I run out of Amazing Incredible material then start work on the occasional new issue as I convert and reshoot The Media Elite, Universe, Starshine Downs and @insanity. That should take me at least a year on a weekly schedule so we all know that’s going to take up at least the next three years of my life.

What does it mean to you? Hey, the comics are pretty entertaining and they’re free and they’re a good way to spend 20 minutes on a Monday morning. All I ask is if you like them that you SHARE THEM. Retweet me, share my link on Facebook or just give a “like.” I’m not asking you to put up posters in the street or get tattoos of the one or two characters you can remember, but two seconds to click a thumbs up may share my work with someone else and for that I’ll be eternally grateful to you.

Jim