Monday, February 21, 2011

Spilling Out In Panels Pt.2

A week or so ago, I showed you guys some of the character concepts (works in progress) that I've come up with so far. But to be honest, while they will be major characters, they don't really look all that interesting when just described. I wish I could draw something up for you folks, but the truth is, I can't draw. That being said, I've decided to go back to the well and share a couple more character concepts (also works in progress) that I've come up with. This time, we're doing superheroes!

Madame Breeze: Real name: Collette Jones, 5'8" short black hair with sky blue streaks in it and brown eyes. She has light mocha colored skin, comes from a mixed heritage. She has breasts somewhere in the B-range (sorry, this is kind of vague, but I'm not an expert on breast sizes...yet). When out of costume she's going to typically be in a sort of neo-hippie/tropical get up. Long skirts with colorful patterns, camisoles, and sandals. Costume: The main colors will be sky blue and black. Calf length pants, similar to capris. They have blue inner thighs, and black for the rest of them. Ankle high black boots. Her top is sleeveless and cut down to her belly button, in a sort of obvious male pandering way. The front of her top is light blue, as if it's a continuation of the blue in her pants. Then black for the rest of the top. She wears black leather gloves that are rolled down a little. (I'm thinking something like the gloves Rogue wore from the 90s X-Men cartoon). On the backhand portion of the gloves there's a light blue spiral design this is her personal symbol. Powers: Madame Breeze's powers are pretty simple. She turns invisible whenever she's in a deep shadow.

The Serenade: Real name: Rebecca Montag. 6'0" bleach blonde hair and grey eyes, white. She has much larger breasts than Madame Breeze, I'm thinking something in the D or larger range. Out of costume she's a fashionista. Trendy tops, skinny jeans, high leather boots, heels, manicured nails the whole 9 yards. Costume: Skin tight one-piece. It starts with a straight neck line and ends with a pair of short shorts. The main colors are white and a dark green. The costume is broken up into four sections. A green section covering her right breast that extends down to her midsection and then goes over halfway. A white section that covers her right lower section and goes up to meet the green section. On the other half of the costume the colors are just reversed. Also, when in costume she wears her hair in two long braids, and has green florets painted around her eyes. (Like the female night elves from World of Warcraft, yes I am that geeky). Powers: She has the ability to vibrate her molecules extremely fast then store up the kinetic energy that she can release in powerful lime green energy blasts. When she uses her powers she becomes blurry until the blast hits its mark.

* * *

There ya go, another two characters from my comic. Hopefully these two are a little more interesting visually speaking. I still have a few more characters to share with you guys. So if this interests you check back in the coming days. If you didn't catch my other post about my comic stuff here's a link. Spilling Out In Panels

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sex: The Consequences And Learning How To Forget Them

The short nights are approaching
and like the changing of the season
they will descend upon us all.
They will fight
in the long afternoon shadows
and the backseats of rusty old Chevys.
But for the first time,
I wish to enlist.

Spin that American Greatest Hits album,
the one I bought
the last time the levees broke,
because I no longer
want to be a constituent
instead I pray that someday
you'll legislate against me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I've Got A Little Story For You

Stories are powerful things. They define who we are, they are testaments to the fact that we have lived. I consider myself a lucky person for many reasons and one of those reasons is that I work somewhere where people have an overabundance of stories to tell. In fact it's my favorite part of my job. Everyday I have time to sit with my co-workers and share our stories. Some are funny, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain weird. But the fact remains, that everyday I get the chance to let people into my life, and in return they allow me into their lives.

I often think about the true power of a story. What about these little tidbits of our lives that we can vocalize or write down make stories truly great. To be honest I don't know if there's a true answer to that, but I can say that I have my own personal answers. Stories are powerful because like I said before, they define us. If we share enough stories with people, we're giving them the ability to track our lives all the way to where we are now. I have friends who have very specific personality traits, some of them pretty weird. But I can think back to the stories that they've told me and find a line that explains almost every quirk and trait. And once I understand these traits, I feel closer to my friends.

Also, stories are our marks on this world. They are our tiny little scratches into the big wall of history and the entirety of human existence. Now sure, my story about getting drunk for the first time and puking on my friends bed, may not make the history books. But, what it did do, was find a tiny corner in every person's brain that I told that story to. I can now feel comfortable that the fact of my existence will remain in that person's head. If I'm lucky, they'll retell that story to someone else. Maybe it'll stop there though, but I still find comfort that for at least a few days, there's someone out there who knows that I've had a past. Stories are our truest legacies. Some people believe that their children, and their children's children are their legacies. But that's not the case, because each one of those children will have their own stories and their own legacies to create. Our stories though, are ours they are things that we can pass down without any loss to ourselves, and without worry that they will fall off the counter and break into a thousand pieces.

Tell your stories, do things in your life that will ensure you have stories to tell. Let people into your life, pass on your legacy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

1A Was A Lot Like 5B That Night

He lied to her that night

when she asked him if he remembered

the night when they crossed the line.

He said that he had lost the memory

of whether or not

there were any songs left

that could redeem them,

or narrate the consequences.

and like a goldfish

she forgot if that's what she wanted.

She satisfied him later

when he wanted her to remind him

of the events that led them away.

She tried her best to recreate

the dances she used to master

but no matter how hard she prayed

her hands refused

to press against each other.

and like a false prophet

he gave her blessings he had no right to give.

Then later down the hall.

She pressed her face to his

when he started dreaming of the southlands

just like his brothers had before him.

She told him that she needed the winter

but, perhaps if she pressed hard enough

her face would always be on his chest.

Even though she knew

eventually the tan would overtake it.

and like a proud captain,

he went down as far as he could.

He dialed the phone

when she started making proposals

that couldn’t survive the sunlight.

He knew a person

who’d appreciate the indecency of it all

and who wouldn’t mind the drive at night.

He’d be gone by the morning

but he couldn’t stand to leave his bed empty.

and like a dedicated writer

I scribbled through the phone’s racket.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Believe me when I say that I know that sometimes my poems can be a tad bit ambiguous and sometimes really hard to understand if you don't happen to have my mind, and the last I checked none of you did. So I thought maybe I'd share some of my meanings with you guys and in doing so maybe even inspire some of you to write something yourself once you see how someone else does it.

First off, let me discuss the set-up of this poem. This poem tells two separate stories with two different couples. The idea being that they both live in the same apartment building and these events are unfolding just down the hall from each other.

As for the technical side of things, I wanted to use a repeating format for this whole poem. The repeating format being one 8 line stanza starting with 2 lines, one line as one person's reactionary action, and the second being what they're reacting to. The next 6 lines are an expansion on the first two lines that are designed to build up to the next section.

The next repeating format I added to this was the 2 line bits that separate the major stanzas. These are basically 2 line similes. The first line explains just what the person is acting like, and the second line explains how.

The two times that I break this format is in the middle when I state that the next portion of the poem is taking place down the hall. The other time I break the format is at the very end. Instead of creating a simile about the person in the previous stanza, I break the 4th wall. I reveal that the narrator of the poem isn't a faceless voice, but someone who is actually a part of the world that this poem takes place in.

As for the imagery itself. Everything within the 8 line stanzas are for the most part, literal. These are things that the people in the poem are actually doing or thinking. Now that doesn't mean everything is straight forward and should be taken at face value. I played around with the language so that the things that have caused these people to do what they're doing is left for interpretation.


So there's that. I have to admit I'm not very good at explaining the things I write, it always makes sense in my head, but I think everyone can agree that the things in your head don't always make sense in other contexts. But I do enjoy pulling the curtain back a little. So I'm thinking that I'll do this with a few select poems or other things I post in the future. But definitely not all of them, because this was kind of exhausting.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To The Bark Or To The Brick

There are two magnetic pulls in this world. One towards the country. And one towards the city. I came to this conclusion after a conversation with a coworker of mine. I tried to explain to her why I will always feel more comfortable in the city, but I left that little talk feeling like I hadn't explained myself well enough.

People are constantly drawn to things. Some people are drawn to a tune they hear off in the distance. Some are drawn to a light they see far off at the horizon. But the two things that draw the most people is the country and the city. Both of them pull people in in different ways too.

Like for me the country pulls people in with the promise of serenity. This idea that people are returning back to their roots, the primal surroundings of their ancestors. There's a certain level of peace in the woods or the country side. It's this strange silence that isn't silence at all. I've heard some people describe it as being able to hear the earth itself moving underneath you. Then on the less new-age side of the spectrum I've heard a lot of people simply say it's just pretty. I can agree to all of that. In a way I enjoy all of that myself. But I think my relationship with the country is much more like being a loose familiarity with each other. I take my treks into the woods from time to time. I've been known to enjoy a stream or river. I've taken my fair share of pictures of early morning dew covered fields. But that's it. Anything longer than a passing through and I loose my comfort, I find myself growing restless and I begin to see negatives all around me. So then I know it's time for me to move on.

I think you can probably tell where I'm going with this, but the other major pull in this world is the city. Now the way I see it, the city does this in a very unique way. It pulls in people with the promise of pulling in more. A city is nothing without people. Sure the buildings are magnificent, but they would not be there without people. Really, a city is simply a testament to everything a human being can accomplish. A city is like a trophy, for a grand competition between a person and their limits. For me, when I realized this I noticed a different kind of air in cities. Perhaps it's just the carbon monoxide, but I'd like to believe that the air I'm noticing is created by a single consensus by everyone around me that they recognize that in a small way they have created everything around them. A certain level of pride I'd say. But it's not an idle pride. It's very much alive, it almost forces people to seek out experiences, to create situations in their own life and those around them that force people to engage in something perhaps they don't understand. It's like walking down the street and coming to an intersection. You wait with a group of people you don't know, and you wait until the light changes. Then it finally switches and you all walk, together, all with the same destination, even if that destination is as mundane as simply being across the street, and just like that you have a connection. You've experienced what it's like to develop a connection with other people. Like I said, even if it's an incredibly mundane thing, in a small way you've just injected yourself into the human race. Connections like this form constantly in a city, and for me that's where the magnetism comes from. This idea that every moment, you're connecting with other people over and over again, like thousands of batteries arcing off each other, that's what pulls me into a city. Whenever I find myself in the city I can't help but watch all of this happening. The invisible pride of the people, the urge to move through the streets and buildings, the tiny sparks that errupt without anyone else noticing, if you pay enough attention to it, it's almost like watching fireworks.

Now don't get me wrong, if you are a country person, I don't think any less of you. In fact I'm envious of you, because you obviously see something out there in nature that I just haven't been able to see, and I'd like to. But I can see those invisible things inside a city, and that is what pulls me there.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Back When I Could Still Time Travel.

Remember those days when smoky fingers

broke themselves trying to part your dancing skirts,

Like cats in heat running through the tall grasses

On a windy afternoon.

I’d laugh, you’d laugh,

then you would lay flamenco lies on their foggy eyes.

But when the callers finally left,

and it was just you and me.

We’d share that couch

like two neo-post-grunge-modernists

making love in new, rebellious and special ways.

You told them all that you were a Latin ballerina

and I told them I liked Nirvana.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baby We Were Born To...

Yesterday was my birthday and like any self-respecting 23 year old Wisconsinite, I went out. I partied, I raised a little hell, but most importantly I had fun and lived. But I couldn't help but feel that there was something missing, an emptiness about it all. This void I felt didn't belong to me necessarily, but the weight of it, or lack there of, felt as if it was on this entire generation's shoulders.

Last night while I was already neck deep in the excitement and alcohol I had a thought. The whole night, the drinking, the dancing, the laughing, the horrible singing, it was all just so damn romantic. Now of course I don't mean the Valentine's Day sort of romance. But that feeling you get when you realize that you're doing something that could be a rock & roll song, and that in 10 years it will still be one of your favorite stories to tell. But that void I mentioned earlier was still with me and I began to realize just what it was. I felt like I was part of a species that was going extinct.

Now, I may be completely off base here. It's been known to happen. But to me it seems like that desire to raise hell, that rebellious want to be doing something you probably shouldn't be doesn't exist in Americans anymore. I feel this lack in everything these days. The music has no edge, even the popular music I like isn't really saying anything. The books are shallow and filled with interesting stories but no messages. It seems like we as a people have become very good at shrugging our shoulders but forgotten about raising a defiant fist. That we've forgotten that there is something good and important about making love, chasing girls and boys and learning just how far you can bend the rules, the values, the norms of society.

Now I know I'm not some masked rebel setting fire to the system. I'm definitely not some Lothario type guy, so perhaps I'm just flexing my hypocritical muscles. But I know that I'm in my prime right now, I want to enjoy it. I want to sleep with women, I want to drink a little too much from time to time. I want to cause a little trouble, I want to do all those things. I want to have fun, I want to live I want to do things that I can laugh about years later, I want to do things that will teach me things I can teach my family someday.

So, I guess I should say sorry mom, you're not getting your grandkids yet.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spilling out in panels.

To those who know me, know that I'm a pretty big comic geek. In fact earlier today I did a demonstrative speech about how to properly bag and board a comic book. Well, I'm also a writer, well sort of. So I suppose it's a no brainer that eventually I'd try to write my own comic book. I've already completed my first 35 page script. But I have a problem. I can't draw to save my soul. For those of you who might now know, comics have pictures. But, I do have some descriptions written up for the main characters of my comic.

Jordan Murdock: 5'11, 180 lbs, 21 years old. Short cropped brown hair, green eyes. He wears looser clothing, canvas shoes (converse style). During the series he'll be wearing primarily an olive green zipper hoodie, and light faded blue jeans. He will start out the series clean shaved but as the events of the series pile on, he will develop patchy facial hair. He has strong telekinetic powers, when these powers are in use a sky blue aura will form around whatever is being affected, the aura will have a sort of heat wave effect to it. While he's not necessarily a slacker, he has a personality that definitely lacks ambition and self-confidence. He looks down at his feet a lot, and keeps his hands in his pockets.

Sonny Hernandez: 6'2" 210 lbs, 22 years old. Black hair, brown eyes. He is of Mexican heritage, this shows with his darkly tanned skin. His hair will be longer than Jordan's and he'll keep it slicked back. He personifies a greaser style, with a white tight t-shirt, black pants, with black leather shoes with thick boot style soles. He has a muscular build and a childhood scar running from his right eye to the middle of his cheek. He has that look in the way he stands and looks at people that he's been in a few fights in his day. He's not cocky, but compared to Jordan his confidence and general optimism shows.

Rachel Polaski: 5'6" 140 lbs, 28 years old. Dirty blonde hair, blue eyes. Dresses modestly and comfortably. Things like camiosoles, cargo pants and tennis shoes. She has middle of the back length hair that she keeps in a pony tail or a messy bun kept together with pencils most of the time. She doesn't have an extremely slender build, she has some curves that come from eating frozen pizza and fast food most of the time. Her breasts are larger, but in a natural way. Her face shows a level of contemplation and thought at all times. Due to some of her actions bad things have happened and that guilt will at times shine.

Agent St. Pierre: 59 years old, 6'0" 150 lbs. Thinning grey hair, brown eyes. His face is covered in deep stress lines, especially around his eyes and forehead. Wears the traditional grey or black business suits. At the beginning he will be very trimmed, neat vertical lines in his suit. But towards the end, the suit will look more disheveled and wrinkled. He will try to keep a cold demeanor but it's apparent that he has an explosive temper, and sometimes he won't be able to contain himself. While he has a temper he himself is not violent. But has no problem ordering others to perform the violent acts he himself won't do.

So here's the first set of characters for my comics. I'll reveal the next set next week sometime. This is probably a little premature, but if any of you who might be reading this fancy yourselves artists, I'd like to see what you can do with these descriptions, go wild on them. Like a good man named Wil Wheaton likes to say, "Get excited and make something."

Friday, February 11, 2011

'Till Your Mane Turns Silver

The deepest color
ever granted to a wildflower
will soon drain away.
The gentle blossom
splintered and cracked, reaches for the slow winds,
like the granite holds
for temples long gone.
In an all or nothing salvation run
with hopes, chartreuse dreams,
and a wish that the life in its petals,
will fall to the mercy of gravity
and quench the faint roots,
that are loosely hugged
by the prairie silt.

This survivalist,
unseen passes by my field blaze pupils
as I snap the stem,
caress your face and place that pale pink bloom
in your deep hued strands.

Milwaukee Socialists

I was pleasantly surprised
at just what white lights could do
to rust covered towers,
like socialist angels
dancing tangos and sambas
up and down the sewers.

I was pleasantly amazed
at the stench of the ales and ciders
that weighed so heavily on my shoulders.
I clapped while fathers and the ambitious
draped themselves in the robes
that were once rightfully mine.

Working it out

So this is something that I've done in the past, just not in a public way. My intentions here are to try and post either a poem, a short story, an excerpt from some of my long form projects, or just thoughts. I've been feeling really creative lately, and I want to capture that somehow, just in case I ever get to a point where I've lost my ability or desire to create things I can look back on this and remember a time when I used to have a tormented creators soul. I'm open to any and all comments that you may wish to leave. In fact if you have anything that you have created that relates to something I've written I'd love to read or see it.

So, here's wishing me luck I guess, enjoy.