Calling Some Shots
It's time to set some goals
Two and a half years ago I wrote my first novel. One year ago I finished making my first comic book. Two weeks ago that comic was published and shared with the world. So, what comes next?
I try and live my life by the philosophy of the shark - if somebody throws an air canister at you, don’t try and eat it because you’re just going to end up exploding. Also, always keep swimming or you’re gonna die. I thrive when I’m at my busiest. It’s at the rare moments of lethargy when I allow myself to wallow in “what if’s” and “why not me’s?” When I’m pushing along at 60 miles per hour, though, I don’t have time to get distracted by anxiety or self-doubt. It takes all my concentration to stay afloat and not drown and that focus is what allows me to keep pushing forward, even when common sense tells me I should give up.
Unfortunately, I let myself stop swimming for the last few months. Creatively speaking, of course. I traveled to Iceland and started a new job and spent a ton of time promoting the web release of WHERE WOLF but my creative output - something that is very important to me - slowed to a grinding halt at the beginning of this summer. I finished writing THE CURSE OF THE WHERE WOLF in May and, since then, I have barely written anything. Even this newsletter has been mostly regurgitating anecdotes about the making of WHERE WOLF for the last twelve weeks.
Well, I’m ready to strap on that fin and cue up some John Williams score because this shark is ready to swim again. Blame Fantastic Fest.
Fantastic Fest is one of my favorite weeks out of the year - eight days of non-stop movies and short films and parties and friends and general stimuli overload. I watched over thirty films while at Fantastic Fest this past September and it seemed like every new movie was better than the last. As I sat in the theater cramming all those genre sugar blasts into my nerve banks, I started to feel that urge to create rising again. Too much time had passed. I needed to tell some more stories. I needed to challenge myself and take some risks and step outside my comfort zone and all those other cliches you see stitched on throw pillows in guidance counselors’ offices.
So back to the question at hand - what comes next?
I have started working on my next comic and I’m very excited to be in process of funny book production again. I love working with creative collaborators and I’m looking forward to spending the next few months fine-tuning the story I’ve written with some truly talented partners.
One of the big goals I came out of Fantastic Fest with was a desire to be a part of a movie that plays at Fantastic Fest. Learning how to make a movie takes time and I plan to spend the next few years taking said time. I have a few ideas for feature scripts I want to write and I want to try my hand at directing some short films. Or at the very least, I want to play around with a video camera and try to replicate the stuff I love from other films. I’m a firm believer in learning by copying so my goal is to reverse engineer cool shots I love from films and figure out how to achieve something that looks on par with the stuff that impresses me. At the very least, it’ll be fun to play with a camera again - something I haven’t really done in any earnestness since high school.
Beyond that, I have some specific goals I’d like to achieve:
I’d like to write a story for Marvel Comics and Archie Comics. I don’t really aspire to be a guy who writes superhero stuff but I’d love to get to a point in my career where I could contribute something small to the books I grew up reading myself. I just want to leave my mark and then I’ll happily go back to my weird, super-niche creator-owned stuff.
That said, I would also kill to get an opportunity to adapt Gregory Mcdonald’s FLETCH novels into graphic novel form. I think they’re a perfect match for that format and I know I could do them justice. There are, of course, other IP trash cans I’d love to stick my nose into like the oversized raccoon I am at heart (*cough* THE BEASTMASTER, *cough* WAXWORK *cough*) but I figure I can always take what I love about those movies and tell my own stories. With FLETCH, it’s more of an evangelical bent - I just want more people to experience the genius of Gregory Mcdonald by any means necessary.
I have stories in my head that are in various forms of development. Fantasy-epics, YA adventures, autobiographical ruminations, superhero-adjacent horror stories. A ghost story that I am in particular very proud of. There’s no shortage of stuff I want to write so I just need to sit down and write it.
The purpose of this newsletter is entirely selfish. I wanted to put some of my goals down in writing - to capture that passion I have right now for telling stories and lock it down into something physical (well, as physical as the Internet gets). That way, I can look back at this newsletter and hold myself accountable. Don’t stray too far from the path. Don’t get distracted. Don’t stop to think whether or not something’s a bad idea. Just keep moving forward. Always forward.
And, for the love of God, stop eating compressed air tanks.