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  1.  (7632.61)
    Cool.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2010
     (7632.62)
    You're the best.
  2.  (7632.63)
    Better than all the rest!

    sorry
  3.  (7632.64)
    Kelly Sue: Thanks for taking time out of your life to illuminate the various details we've collectively asked you about--it's been a delight reading about 'em.
  4.  (7632.65)
    @kellysue - Ditto what shining_lion said. It's greatly appreciated, and enjoyed.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010 edited
     (7632.66)
    Well I had just started drawing again after a 10 yr hiatus working on more far out network / hacker culture based work. I was posting my stuff regularly and someone got in touch asking me to illustrate a few pages of a screenplay they had developed. I read it and it was funny enough for me to loose a small amount of pee. I got back in touch and asked if he would be up for me developing a graphic novel based on his screen plays. So I'm the artist, its for fun but we will be releasing it as a web comic and the writer has got some interest from production companies so the two could compliment each other. I'm kinda doing it for experience and focus. Having two wee kids myself I can only work quite slowly on it. I'm kinda classically trained which strangely I find a hindrance when it comes to working at any speed i.e. its hard to stop myself titting around, standing back and staring at each line to make sure its balanced correctly etc.

    I realised my question was stupidly wide so Ill narrow it down a bit.

    - Me and the writer have never met, should we meet or at least phone each other.


    Yes, I think so.

    - What is the most annoying thing I could do to his good work


    Claim ownership. See, this is where this could get sticky. You might want to get an agreement in writing, so that you're both protected.

    - What sort of speed should I be working at? (currently 1 page every 2 - 3 weeks(I got a job, kids, doing a phd and started bodybuilding after a drunken new years resolution to increase my muscle mass))


    I think you're the only one who can determine how quickly you can work under the circumstances. I'd say if there's too much time between sessions of sitting down at the drawing board, you're going to have to sort of restart your engine every time--and that makes everything harder. Personally, I'd go for shorter, more frequent work sessions... but I'm not sure how well that tip translates from writing to drawing.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.67)
    How would one go about getting involved in manga adaptation? I have an English degree and experience in the "real world" but it occurs to me that there isn't really a definitive career path for adapting manga. It's something I'm interested in pursuing, just not sure how.

    It'd be great if I could just start out small, doing research and that sort of thing. I don't even want money, I would just like the opportunity to gain experience. Do internships exist for this sort of thing?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


    Internships absolutely exist with the publishers. And Fraction and I had an intern once, but I'm not sure how common a practice that is. (He was great, by the way. And I recently got an email from another creative writing student at his school looking for an internship. If we were still in KC, I'm sure we'd take her up on it.)

    Unfortunately, there's no direct path into adaptation--none of which I am aware. I fell into it sort of backwards (like, it seems, every job I've ever had), and I've been hearing for a good three or four years now that the trend is to cut budgets by eliminating the role--having the editor and the translator do my job between them. That makes sense, as really mine is the only position that *could* be cut, but of course my ego demands that I insist the books suffer. (As do the already-overworked editors.)

    You know, I suspect your smartest move would be to set your sights on a position in editorial.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.68)
    Are there any particular types of stories or story elements that you think just universally DON'T lend themselves to a comics format very well?

    What do you think are the storytelling limitations of the format? Or maybe there aren't limits, just elements that require more difficult techniques to convey? Are there stories that you think MUST be prose or MUST be graphic to convey a certain effect, or do you feel anything can be conveyed in either medium if you plan it out the right way?

    I'm working on both prose and comics projects (prose by myself and comics with a great artist partner), and while I love doing them both, I'm trying to develop better mental techniques to use both formats to their fullest, no matter what story I'm trying to get across. I know that one format is clearly more cinematic than the other, but do you have a deliberate way of approaching it as a writer when you actually select a subject or a scene to include? I hope that question isn't too muddled. Thank you!


    It's not particularly muddled, it just isn't an easy answer. Every time time I start to formulate a response--a set of rules or a declaration of best practices--I think of books or stories that violate those rules and I'm lost again.

    There's nothing I'm about to say that isn't terribly obvious, but let's think this out together:

    Comics are primarily--not exclusively, but primarily--a visual medium, so while a story about the life of the mind is possible, you're going to have to approach it a little differently. We'll eventually need to see WHAT your characters are thinking and not just THAT they're thinking, right? I mean, a comic of two guys sitting at a cafe discussing philosophy is going to get pretty dull after a while. (As soon as I say that though, I'm struct by the challenge. How could you reflect the themes of their discussion by how you chose to focus panels and what else might be going on in the cafe? I bet it could be done and I bet it could be really cool--I don't think it would work as a gn, but as a short piece, it could be fun.)

    The cliche is SHOW, DON'T TELL, right? That actually applies to all fiction writing, but particularly so to comics. What that's meant for me is that I lose my crutch--that bit I enjoy so much where I entertain myself with what I think is a novel description or turn of phrase--the part where I'm entertained by the sound of my own voice? Well... it's a bit self-indulgent in prose, but I'll likely get away with it. Some of it, anyway. In comics, unless you're publishing the SCRIPT, the form doesn't allow for that sort of thing. You can force it in in captions, but it's going to be glaringly obvious and hopefully you'll recognize it and be embarrassed enough by it that you'll cut it before your editor has to.

    Aaaaand of course I can think of one very famous comic book writer who violates that notion regularly and does so to great effect. So... where does that leave us?

    It leaves me a bit inarticulate, it appears.

    Do I have a deliberate approach, you ask? Sure. I have some rules, some games I play with myself. They tend to change from project to project (Gaiman once told me--and I don't know if this is his or if he was quoting someone else, but it's brilliant--You never learn how to write a book. You learn to write the book you're writing. In my experience, that's gospel truth.), things like give them a reason to turn the page, and ask yourself, does this scene advance the plot? ...but I'm finding that trying to nail down a list for you is like trying to pin down mercury.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.69)
    Are you guys liking Portland? I remember you guys moved here during the meteor shower. Will there ever be any interesting Portland-based comics heroes aside from when Wolverine passes through the northwest?


    Loving it so far. These old growth trees are so beautiful. I'm struck by it daily.

    Are you reading STUMPTOWN? I haven't sat down with it yet, but I'm psyched.

    Oh! Oh! I'm totally naming my next cat "Woolfgang".


    Awesome.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.70)
    I have a 'technical' writers question, hope you can help.
    I’m in the process of transition between self-contained short comic stories and long format (graphic novel or a series). Since I’m not used to long format writing, what are your advices on keeping the reader interested, not making the story drag,… basically moving on from short to long while keeping up the quality?
    Thanks for your time.


    If you're bored writing it, they'll be bored reading it. If it feels false or forced, it is.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.71)
    The third issue of my comic, COOL KIDS, is about Louise Brooks. Or, rather, attempting to use Louise as a role model. :grins: Thanks again for taking the time to do this -- I really appreciate it.


    I'm going to require a copy of that. Perhaps we can work out a trade.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.72)
    Same reason my kid's called Lilith.


    That right there is cutting to the core of the matter.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.73)
    New question, and I will not be upset or insulted if you choose to pass on it. In Fraction's last residency, you made mention of recovering from addiction. From some simple math, it seems that you were pretty well into adulthood when you kicked whatever you were addicted to. It's obvious that such an experience would affect your life. Do you feel like you "lost" some of your 20s, for example, or were any of your "big life decisions" delayed (intentionally or otherwise) because of what you went through?


    Sure. I was 2 months shy of my 30th birthday when I kicked, so yeah... I'm kind of retarded--in the most literal meaning of the term. A lot of the growing up that most people do in their 20s I sort of had to crash-course into my early 30s. (Aaaaand a lot of it, I'm still working on.) I didn't get married until I was 32, didn't have kids until 37. But you know, I don't have the luxury (or curse, really) of being able to see the gazillion different fractal lives I could have lived had I made different choices at different times. The, uh, other Kelly Sues in other worlds live those lives; I get this one. The choices I made--right or wrong--made me who I am and, you know, I'm happy. I've got things pretty good. And maybe those crash-and-burn years gave me the gift of humility, which probably contributes more to my relative happiness than any other character trait I've got going.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.74)
    Hi Kelly Sue! It's nice to see you around here again. I enjoyed your contribution to Fraction's residency quite a bit. I hadn't caught that you were doing Marvel work; has anything been announced besides Sif?


    Not yet; keep watching.

    Someone asked about Tallulah, and I'm honestly curious about HL. Why Henry Leo? Where'd that come from?

    (My legal first name is Henry, but I grew up with my mom calling me Brandon — long story. All "Henry" ever got me was made fun-of in high school, but now I see folks like you and Fraction, Jess Nevins and Colin Meloy naming their kids Henry... I'm curious what this resurgence is about.)


    I can't speak for everyone else, all I can tell you is that we wanted a name that sounded like a nice guy, a guy who would help you move your couch. A "Henry" would come over if you needed him. That's really all there was to it.

    ("Leo" has been in my family for 5 generations.)

    //You talked about your daily routine — what's it like on the writing end? How do you structure your daily writing time?//

    Hm. I'm not sure I do. There's a lot of self-hatred and flagellation involved. I don't really recommend my technique.

    (Unless you mean, like, WHAT I'm writing on a particular day, then I am absolutely married to OmniFocus, which I would be lost without. And I'm a big David Allen nerd.)
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010 edited
     (7632.75)
    1. Will you and the family be making another appearance at heroescon this year?


    I don't think so! And I'm completely bummed. But Ms. Tallulah is scheduled to make her appearance somewhere near the end of April and I think we're going to need to catch our breath for a bit.

    Fraction is going to San Diego. The rest of us will play that one by ear but that's the earliest we could consider any cons.

    (You and Heather should probably take pictures of your cute outfits and post them to Twitter for me so that I can pretend we're hanging out.)'

    (Was that creepy? I think I just came across as creepy.)

    (Shit.)

    2. Knowing that you and Fraction are both working on Asgard-related projects at the moment, do you share creative ideas about what to do with the characters and where you're wanting them to end up, or is it a solo process?


    SIF, as much as I loved it, was a one-shot. So, I mean, we talked some, but it's not been an extended consult or anything.

    3. I've recently started churning out short stories, some of which I would like to turn into web-comics, comics, or graphic novels. What would you say some of the most important things to keep in mind are when converting from one medium to the other?


    Boy. I've never actually done that, so you've got me. Scroll up a little to see me fail miserably at defining my approach to prose vs. comics.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.76)
    Do you still want to share an office or do you think it would be too distracting?


    As long as our living quarters afford separate offices, I suspect we'll have them. (Fraction has the TV on while he works, I prefer the quiet.. stuff like that.)
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.77)
    Two questions left! But they'll have to wait until after I drop HL off at school.

    Thanks for your patience, all. BRB.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.78)
    I keep forgetting about this aspect of your creative life - what're some of your favorite roles?


    It might be the productions, rather than the roles, that make these fond memories for me, but:

    Lorencova in Havel's Temptation
    Romeo (yes, Romeo) in Romeo & Juliet
    Mistress Quickly in Henry IV, Parts I & II
    Echo in Eleemosynary

    For Shakespeare, do you prefer the comedies, histories, tragedies, or none of the above?


    That's like picking a favorite child, isn't it? Maybe histories, but boy... if that's true, it's by a very slim margin.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.79)
    Who are your favorite writers working today?


    Uh... off the top of my head Joan Didion and John Irving. (I'm staying away from comics because I'd essentially be naming all my friends.)

    Mwah.
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      CommentAuthorkellysue
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2010
     (7632.80)
    Okay; I think I'm done.

    Did I miss anybody?