Wednesday, October 24, 2012




So for this comic book i'm writing? It will span about a thousand years. I'm roughly following the timeline of human history, at least in terms of clothing styles, technology, cultural activities (jousting tournament vs. football game), and architecture. I won't be including real things like civil rights (they've always existed in this world) or WWI or II. It's not set in a real country. I won't be worrying about vocabulary, except when it's fun (S'blood! Look at that swanky tomato! Groovy!)

However, the thing about comic books is that they provide something of a shortcut. You don't have to spend pages and pages setting up the plot and explaining that this takes place two months before Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. You don't have to give background or describe the demographics of the hometown. You can just show a couple of panels of people wearing particular clothing and having brief conversations about MLK while engaging in particular activities, and everyone knows exactly what you're talking about. You've cut to the heart of the story without wasting time.

So regardless of the actual country that my story is set in, and regardless of the actual events discussed within it, if i have men in powdered wigs and knee-breeches, or women in flapper dresses with shingle haircuts, everyone is going to feel like they already know something about the story. There will be certain feelings and expectations brought up by the visual cues, which is the whole point of having visual cues.

I know. The title of this post is "question", and so far all i've done is lecture you on comic book visuals. I'm getting there, i promise.

The last issue will take place somewhere in the 20th or 21st century. I've thought a lot about the visual cues (bell-bottom jeans vs. pencil skirts, top hats vs. backwards baseball caps), and i've thought a lot about the subtler nuances of culture conveyed by those visual cues (Civil Rights movement, suffrage for women, Great Depression, Space Race).

I have narrowed it down to three decades: the 1920s (flapper princess?! What's not to love?), 1950s (suits and cigarettes and bright red lipstick), and 2010s (a princess with skinny jeans and tattoos?). I'm asking everyone for an opinion on this, because when someone hears the bare bones of this story, there are certain feelings and thoughts evoked, and certain visuals begin to swim around their heads. Readers tend to make up their minds about certain things and to know what makes sense and what doesn't, and i'm trusting those instincts.

The overarching narrative of this whole series is two-fold: the fairy world is in conflict with the human one, and two fairies are struggling to rule one another. The two fairies are half-siblings, and the older one is of mixed race. They therefore have equal claim to the throne, and after many centuries of fighting they have decided that one of them will keep Faerie while one gets the human world. Of course, each is secretly planning to kill their sibling and take over both worlds.

In this final issue, they have decided to each marry one human, so as to gain a foothold in the human world to help jumpstart their conquest. But Rhynesh falls for the princess and kills his sister, putting an end to the plan. He then cuts all ties between the two worlds, ensuring that fairies won't be able to harass humans any longer.

So what decade? 1920s, 1950s, or 2010s? If you have an idea for another decade, feel free to make your case.

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