Comic Update - Still on the Way, Some Foundational Work Still Needed
Greetings all, and welcome once again to a blog post, this time giving you an update on the status of my current comics project Kiki Banana: Treasure Huntress, as a new challenge has cropped up in regards to crafting the overall story for Season 1, which impacts writing the first episode. Let's get into it.
Not Satisfied with the Current Premise
If you've been keeping up with the up-to-date progress of the comic via the shiny new Currently Working On page I made to be transparent with my audience as to how far I am in producing an announced creative project, you may have noticed it now (as of this blog post) says that my current task is "retooling synopsis to improve the story". The reasoning behind this may not be immediately apparent, so allow me to explain just a bit.
As it stands at the moment, the basic premise of the story of the first episode, the very foundation of its narrative... isn't doing it for me now.
The Current Premise doesn't live up the overall theme of the series
The basic premise for episode 1 I currently have is that Kiki, living on her grandma's banana plantation, is evicted due to her having no job, no livelihood of her own, and is made to seek one out in the big city of Port Merchantide, a kind of nexus point for the entire area this whole series takes place in. Hi-jinks and misadventures abound as she looks for one, not really wanting one to begin with but wanting to do her own thing... whatever that is.... it's treasure hunting (as the title of the series spoils).
This is actually a rather old premise I've had sitting around since pretty much the inception of this comics project a couple of years ago or so. I've since developed these characters and this world a little more since then, and as such this premise doesn't entirely fit the overall theme of this series, that being "wacky adventures across a strange cartoony oceanic world"... like if Bob Clampett, John K., and the Zucker Brothers joined forces to create One Piece, or something.
As it stands, the plot with Kiki just wandering town looking for a job is just not very... interesting. No matter how wacky and weird I make it, it still just doesn't feel right. It simply doesn't line up with my vision of a silly swashbuckling adventure tale. No matter what I do to make this plot line work, it just doesn't. I don't want people's first impression of this series to be that it's some slice-of-life story when that's not what the rest of the series will be at all.
So, in short, I need to retool the very foundational premise of the first episode altogether. However, in order to do that...
I Need the Premise of the entire season before I can properly start on the first episode
One revelation that hit me while trying to rework the premise for episode 1 is that I can't really do that without first knowing what the basic premise is for the whole first season.
If you're confused about what a "season" of comics means, I explain myself in the previous blog post here.
What I'm aiming to do is to tell an entire story (with an exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement, etc.) with the first season, which will be broken down into seasonal quarters (four groups of three episodes to be collected into trade paperbacks) that tell an entire story as well, which are further broken down into individual episodes, which obviously are going to be entire stories in and of themselves, as in true episodic storytelling.
Think of it as a matryoshka doll of monomyths, narratives within narratives within narratives, a fractal process of hero's journeys self-similar across all scales... Bit of a challenge, perhaps, but hey, I'm up to it!
So, in order to know what the story of the first episode needs to be, I need to first know what the super-story of the first seasonal quarter is, and to know what that is, I need to know what the super-super-story of the entire first season is... so that's where I need to start.
And just to reiterate, the overall story will be told episodically, meaning you can jump in at any point and be entertained by a self-contained story without having to have a shit-ton of backstory and exposition to know what the hell is going on. There will be some continuity, though, so if you do read from start to finish, a larger story will reveal itself to you.
Reshuffling Priorities until the Whole Story is Finalized
This may take a while...
In short, the main takeaway from all this is that getting to the first episode is gonna take a while... probably. It may take a few weeks, it may take a month or two, I don't know. I'll still let you all know my progress via the Currently Working On page, so keep up with it to know in real time what I'm doing.
In the meantime, I may as well show you what I had so far, seeing as I probably won't be using this anyway... Behold.
The front cover of Episode 1, called "Maiden Voyage"... All of this is subject to change, but at least it gives you a very clear idea as to what the comic itself will look like, the general aesthetic and all... although, backgrounds won't generally be this clearly rendered, that's only because this is the cover, and most emphasis is put on the scenery anyway. Most backdrops will be rendered more stylistically, like those old Hanna-Barbara cartoon BGs by Art Lozzi (a huge influence on my artwork, by the way).
I must admit, it kinda hurts that I'll almost certainly not be using this cover in the end product, because this took damn-near a solid week to complete. Oh well, it's fine, I'll find some other usages for it.
Needing to keep my creative momentum going
I'll be perfectly honest with you... writing is not exactly my favorite thing in the world to do (...says the guy with his own blog of all things). I don't think in words generally, I think in pictures and motion. My creative process goes something like this:
I think up a basic premise for a story or scenario
I give it over to my Imagination by holding it in my head while listening to relevant music or watching/looking at relevant art for inspiration
My Imagination starts throwing off ideas (in the form of images and pictures), chunks of story, plot, characters, set pieces, themes, etc.
I decide which of those ideas are good and which aren't, and filter accordingly
I start piecing together these ideas my Imagination continues to throw off until a coherent, working concept is formed
With the working concept as a kind of blueprint, I get to work producing it
That's a very brief summary, but I'll give you all a much more detailed breakdown in the future if you're interested.
Anyway, as you can see, my process is fairly chaotic, irrational, and heavily reliant on my unconscious creative Imagination as opposed to the conscious, rational, synthesizing thinking mind. Sitting in front of a blank word processing document or piece of paper just waiting for ideas to come about is not fun, by any means... but it is necessary to script out story plots.
Currently, though, I'm struggling to come up with any good ideas because, again, I don't have a clear vision for the overall season's plot, and sitting blankly in front of a computer screen ain't gonna magically make it any clearer.
So, my solution for this is, in order to keep my creative juices flowing, I'm going to relegate the writing of this comic's plot to Secondary Project and in the meantime work on smaller creative projects only until the plot for the first season, first seasonal quarter, and first episode are all finalized and usable to start production on the comic.
Sometimes, when working on solving a problem or coming up with an idea, it's best to just let it be, to cease fruitlessly finagling with the problem with your conscious mind and hand it off to the far-superior unconscious mind to creatively figure out for you while your conscious mind does other things. That's why, when you're sitting there thinking about the problem to solve, nothing comes up, but then it suddenly clicks when you're doing something entirely unrelated as a sudden revelation out of the blue. So that's my plan for the time being.
Bottom line, I got a little ahead of myself moving forward with the production of episode 1 of my comic before I had a clear vision of the larger stories it's a part of. Production of the first episode cannot begin until that clear vision is obtained, which may take a little time.
So anyway, that's all I got for now, just thought I'd let you all know the reasoning behind the comic's current status, and that it is absolutely still on the way, it just requires a little more foundational work story-wise before I really begin to build it.
Thank you for your attention, I appreciate it. Peace be, and take Care!