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Finished Louie. Huzah.

So, with Louie being done, I realize, hey, it’s been one year since I started the blog. A full year since I left Blue Sky and started on this unemployment adventure where I devoted myself to my writing. I wanted to take a chance to look back at all my writing accomplishments since I left my job at the beginning of March.

  • Unlife Chapter 2
  • Unlife Chapter 3
  • Unlife Mini for NYCC 2012
  • Unlife Side Story (What’s this? I suppose you’ll see soon…)
  • Division #1-5
  • Breaking Bad Spec
  • Doctor Who Spec
  • Louie Spec
  • Peril and Perish
  • 145 Blog entries

And some of my non-writing accomplishments.

  • Got Married
  • Moved to LA
  • Bought a Car
  • Worked MoCCA Comic Con
  • Worked NYCC 2012
  • Started building a brand new social network
  • Built a desk from scratch (well, an Ikea desk)
  • Learned to cook
  • Reclaimed my self confidence

Maybe I’ll go into that last one another time (maybe), but I notice a lot of “I”s in that last segment. I don’t want to imply that I did this by myself. I couldn’t have done this without the support of my friends, my family, and of course, my significant other, my better half, my darling wife. Without everyone’s support, hers especially, I’m not sure half the things on this list would have been accomplished, let alone be accomplished so successfully (I’m actually positive I would not have been able to get married without her; I don’t think she would have allowed it).

I can go further into all these accomplishments and how I feel, but… I see this as a checkpoint. What’s been done so far. What I am capable of when I believe in myself as a writer and fully devote myself to it. During my nearly 4 year stint at Blue Sky, I only ever finished five issues of Fenix Gear, one chapter of Unlife, a short pilot, and one short movie, and most of that happened in my final year there. The fact that I accomplished so much in just one year since, and that the quality of the work far exceeds anything I’ve tried before?

I think just taking a moment to look at that and say “I did that in one year” is enough for a blog post. Especially because I’m taking a small vacation. My computer’s actually been broken since the start of Peril and Perish, but I didn’t want to interrupt my flow. With Louie being accomplished, I think it’s time I took a step back and recharged. I’ll be back once the headphone jack is working again.

What did you accomplish in the last year?

So, hear me out: I always thought the characters on Dragon Ball Z had brain damage.

I just imagine that this all took place in our actual real universe. And these guys were just boxers that took one too many to the head, and this is how they perceive events now. Like getting trained by Gods, going to space, shooting lasers. All of it is in their now mushy minds.

 

And Bulma is their crazy greedy manager.

 

She takes them to events, fills their heads with lies of Dragon Balls and Planet Nameks, and even gets her son to help out. Just imagine someone like Sylvester Stallone saying “Oh my God, look at that boxer. He’s so fast, like… like a lizard… a white space lizard… that can change forms… and has a military force of dairy…”

 

I CAN’T HELP BUT SEE THIS NOW!

 

Anyway, I felt like being weird. I think I’ll be blogging less. I’m doing a spec this month for some contest thing. I wanna see if I can put something solid together, from scratch, before the deadline. Wish me luck!

 

Someone once told me that there comes a time where you have to decide if you’re a consumer or a creator. This “consumer/creator” philosophy isn’t a new one, but something I hadn’t paid much mind to. I mean, why would I? I know I’m a creator. So what if I consume a bit on the side, right?

Well, wrong.

Just for edification, yes, I do consume entertainment, en masse. It’s the source of my creativity, being immersed in other people’s amazing ideas. It’s inspiring, and art should never be created in a vacuum. However, I found myself browsing IGN and Kotaku today. They’re sites I read all the time years ago, searching for the latest Star Wars news, or information on the upcoming Portal movie. But this time around, I realized I just… didn’t care anymore. I had no urge to consume. The meal was no longer appetizing.

It’s very very VERY easy to say the reason I don’t consume is due to the quality of what’s available today, but that’s a cop-out. New Star Wars and Portal movies? Well, years ago, it was new Final Fantasy 7 and Spider-Man. Same thing, just different product. But these days, I no longer mark my calendar in expectation of a release. I don’t track spec features or news reports about upcoming products. Instead, I make my own products, and take a sampling of what’s available when it’s available.

The thing is, I have my own road to walk now, and I don’t have time to follow someone else’s journey. I’m not their target audience anymore. I’m not the one they are giving the news to. They’re aiming at the rampant consumer who chomps at the bit for any news they can get about a Boba Fett spin-off movie. And hey, that’s cool. Though I have spoken about how I would rather the Star Wars flicks be bad instead of good, due to my cynical nature, the truth is that it’s just not something that can hold my interest anymore.

I don’t really have much to say here. Blogging is still difficult to get back into, and I’m still in story mode. The page calls to me every day. I thought I’d take a huge break between P&P and the next project. Instead, before I pdf’d my final product, I was already hard at work at a new project that is somehow even MORE ambitious than the last. Yet I managed to update almost every day this week. I force myself, but it’s because I have a job now.

Oh yeah, I have a part time job now. Just Saiyan.

The truth is, between the job, Solstice, Peril and Perish, Division, Unlife, and friends and family, I just don’t have time to consume anymore. There is only creation.

Recently, I’ve gotten a lot of comments about how “chaste” my stories can be. My tales tend to stem from a youthful place, and that’s reflected in the writing. And it’s true, sexuality is something I’ve actively avoided in storytelling (with a few minor exceptions, like Birds of a Feather and Unlife). I wish I could feign ignorance and say I have no idea why. But the truth is, I’ve known for some time.

Shockingly, this can all be traced back to Fenix Gear.

When I first started showing people the art going into Fenix Gear, even in the earliest days, I would get a lot of criticisms and jabs about how I love to write women, and how there must be some perverted reason. “Of course they have cleavage”, people would say, or “That’s your fantasy? Sexy women save the world?”. It got old super fast.

The truth is, I made Fenix Gear about women because a) the main characters were women, and b) that’s it. I don’t know why I’m expected to write about men when I’m already a guy. I like women. A lot of my best friends are women. And the only ones I’ve had sexual encounters with were the ones I actually dated. Sex has nothing to do with the fact that, all my life, many of my favorite people have been female. So why would it have anything to do with the stories they’re in?

I realize it’s impacted my writing a lot. Peril and Perish, for example, is largely devoid of any sexual tension. And though I use the excuse that I don’t want to over-direct or shoehorn in anything unnatural, I know it’s really because, well, sex wasn’t what I was thinking of when I wrote it. The story isn’t about that, but about other complex issues. I often find romance plots forced into stories, and it always irritates me. Why do I have to throw something in there just because?

And finally, I tend to write about things I yearn for. It’s why I write about superheroes and overcoming people who say “No you can’t.” When I don’t have a yearning for something, when I already have it (like, say, a stable romantic relationship), I tend not to write it. I write to explore the things unknown to me, and though I take a lot of what I know and utilize it in my writing, it is, in many regards, wish fulfillment. Fantasy. And the reality of my love life has always left me content.

This is something I will have to work on with my next few projects (although Unlife Chapter 4 and Solstice are looking to follow the same path). There’s always room for improvement in my writing. I just don’t want to be a perv.

Hey everyone! So, I thought I’d give you a taste of Peril and Perish in the form of a blog post. Below is the final TEASER (opening 5 minutes before the theme song/title sequence). I’m immensely proud of this, and wanted to flaunt it in all your faces. Again, the script is available upon request.

Enjoy!

———

TEASER

EXT. WEST BANK WALL – PALESTINIAN SIDE – ISRAEL – NIGHT

Two CAPED ACTION FIGURES slam together.

NAJI (O.S.)
Krsshh! Ka-thwoom!

A PALESTINIAN child named NAJI (8) mimics the sound of explosions as his toys “battle”.

He stops when a faint WHISTLE is followed by a muffled CLAP. That explosion was real.

NAJI’S SISTER (17) calls out to him.

NAJI’S SISTER
Naji! Dad said it’s time to come in, alright?

Naji ignores her, playing next to a HUGE STEEL WALL not a few feet from his home. In the far corners, the wall is still incomplete.

GRAFFITI on the front reads “I didn’t ask to be Palestinian. I just got lucky.” He stares at it –

FWP! FWP! FWP! Small gusts of wind in rapid succession, at the pace of running footsteps.

Naji looks up, the wall blocking most of his view. The night sky is empty but for the half moon –

No. Something’s moving, SKIPPING across the sky. Naji puts the two toys together into his pocket and starts running alongside the wall, trying to catch a better look at the figure in the air.

EXT. ISRAEL – SKY – CONTINUOUS

Israel shimmers like gold beneath a floating five-year-old. She is ISRAELI, and wears a makeshift MASK and pink terry cloth CAPE made out of a SECURITY BLANKET. Her name is PEARL.

Pearl has her hands on her hips in the classic superhero pose, the watchful protector. Her eyes scan the ground below.

Behind her, a figure pops up; only his long RED CLOAK can be clearly seen. AXIOM.

AXIOM
Pearl, you’re not supposed to be
up.

PEARL / PERIL
Crime never sleeps, and neither do
I. Peril watches over Israel now.

AXIOM
“Peril”? I see. Well, maybe you can
teach me a few things, Peril.

PEARL / PERIL
Probably not. You’re old.

Axiom laughs.

Pushing forty, the Israeli wears a “classic” black and white outfit. His red cape is long, a royal toga, and an EPAULET rests on one shoulder. He is Pearl’s father.

He watches Pearl, lovingly. She surveys the city below, growing frustrated.

AXIOM
What are you looking for?

PEARL / PERIL
Bad guys, Daddy. Superheroes fight
bad guys. Don’t you know anything?

AXIOM
Well, you’re not a superhero yet –

PEARL / PERIL
I’m aging as fast as I can!

AXIOM
And superheroes don’t fight bad
guys. They save people.

PEARL / PERIL
Did you save everyone already?

AXIOM
No –

PEARL / PERIL
You did! You left no one for me to
save.

AXIOM
That’s not –

PEARL / PERIL
(pleading)
Put someone in danger. For me?
Please?

AXIOM
Okay. Time for bed, Peril.

EXT. WEST BANK WALL – PALESTINIAN SIDE – CONTINUOUS

Naji stops running after the pair in the sky when he hears SOMETHING from the wall. A WOMAN’S WHISPER, too faint to understand.

He pushes against the wall, listening carefully. His eyes widen and flicker –

Naji’s hand PASSES THROUGH THE WALL, as if he were a ghost!

As he yanks his hand back, his sister calls for him again. He turns towards her –

BOOM!

EXT. ISRAEL – SKY – CONTINUOUS

The explosion rips through the night. Pearl and Axiom turn to see the wall bursting on the opposite side.

Axiom is alert, but Pearl looks pleased as punch.

PEARL / PERIL
YES! You did leave someone for me
to save! Thank you, Daddy!

AXIOM
Pearl, it’s time to go.

PEARL / PERIL
Okay, I’ll see you at home.

Pearl dives through the air towards the explosion.

AXIOM
PEARL, NO!

Pearl RUNS through the sky as if it were slanted ground! She’s SLIDING and SPIRALING like a flimsy paper airplane, coming closer and closer to the wall –

Pearl stops in mid air. She’s stuck. Suddenly, she comes plummeting down and is stopped inches from the ground.

EXT. WEST BANK WALL – ISRAELI SIDE – CONTINUOUS

Pearl drops gently as Axiom floats down next to her. Pearl struggles to lift herself, but can’t. Axiom is the source.

This side of the wall is nicer, all the commotion and fire coming from the Palestinian territory.

PEARL / PERIL
Daddy!

AXIOM
We’re going home, Pearl. That’s
their business, not ours.

PEARL / PERIL
You said superheroes save people.

AXIOM
Not those people.

PEARL / PERIL
Mommy would have.

Axiom’s face drops. He waves his hand, and Pearl picks herself up.

AXIOM
Come on. Go to your room. I’ll be
there soon.

But Pearl takes advantage of the opportunity. FWP! She leaps into the air and hurtles herself over the wall.

AXIOM (CONT’D)
PEARL!

Below Pearl on the other side of the wall, Naji is crying, screaming for his sister. He appears unharmed, but a BLOODIED ARM protrudes from the rubble…

Axiom takes hold and yanks Pearl back to the other side. The force causes her cape to come off and take to the sky.

Pearl is pulled to the ground as she watches her cape flutter and fall to the far side of the wall.

END TEASER

To be Continued in Peril and Perish – “Pilot”

Whoa. Hey everyone. It’s been a while.

I don’t think I need to repeat ad nauseum that it’s been more difficult to blog with my attention on P&P (which is now complete). It is what it is. I write every day, and sometimes that just doesn’t include the blog.

Though I have missed it.

In truth, I tried to blog a few times as I was going through my final month of P&P, but I could never pull the trigger. Tapping into those feelings was harder because I was so entrenched in this brand new world I created. At times, I have to admit, I lost track of myself. I was obsessed. Still am obsessed, because…

I often feel that I have been entering a new level in my writing, as I push myself to craft even tighter and stronger scripts. I’m reaching a place I never have before, and it’s exciting. I’m capable of things I never knew I could do, and am seeing writing in a greater scope. I can literally feel myself changing as a writer. Ascending to Super Saiyan as it were (look, in my mind, I’m a Super Saiyan. Don’t rain on my parade). On the other hand, this new plateau is monumentally scary.

The reality is that I’m the reason Jena and I are out here. The reason we left our friends and family behind and started this new chapter in our lives. That’s a lot of pressure, most of which I’ve placed on myself, to make all this “worth it”. I told everyone I was gonna do it, and I want to come back home as a champion, not as what got spit out.

It’s not even six months since our wedding, and so much has changed. Like wedding planning, the high-stakes intensity of our new situation has brought Jena and I closer together, and that’s never a bad thing. We are both following separate career paths, so we might see less of each other soon, which is sad. But every moment I do get with her is still as awesome as when we first met.

So, Peril and Perish. Can we talk Peril and Perish? I barely can, since the thing is still kind of raw. I wrote a blog post once when I was at my creative low while writing. I came close to posting it, to expose some of what I mentally put myself through but the whole thing seemed… emo. But it made clear to me how important Peril and Perish’s success as a script was, mostly for my previously stated reasons. However, maybe it’s something else…

Something that occurred to me only recently was how much Peril and Perish has become… well, adult Fenix Gear. I reused the term Samson knowingly, thinking it fit better with the setting. And yet, there are a lot of other striking parallels there that I can’t ignore. Superheroes. Being told you’re wrong and finding your own path. A hint at a larger, more sinister plot. You might think these are pretty standard tropes in TV and story writing, and they are, but they’ve become my tropes. I ripped off myself, and I did it better than younger me ever could.

What surprises me is how ignorant I was to it until I saw Zoe and Peril’s design side-by-side. When I told Jena of my “epiphany”, I was only greeted with an obvious “Duh.” Maybe it’s obvious to everyone else because they can see it from afar. Maybe I just wanted Fenix Gear back so bad because it feels like I lost it. But it’s not like it’s all I wrote. Since Fenix Gear, I wrote Birds of a Feather, Breaking Bad, Division, Doctor Who, almost 200 blog posts and assorted reviews and scripts, AND Peril and Perish. That’s a pretty big gap, and as Jena pointed out, I will probably revisit this territory down the line again because, well, that’s apparently what’s important to me.

So, Peril and Perish is done. I was tempted to throw it on the blog, since I don’t mind sharing with whoever wants to read. But for now, I’m just gonna say “Available upon request.” If you want to read it, shoot me a line.

I’ll be doing this more the next few days as I circle around my next projects. I’m doing a movie, chapter 4 of Unlife, and maybe some other things, so stay tuned.

Missed you all. I swear, finishing Peril and Perish was like walking out of a fog.

Peril and Perish. My new original pilot. I thought I’d share a few words about it, since it’s overtaken my life recently.

Long-time readers may recall that I brought up Peril and Perish a while ago. I even took a crack at writing some characters and conflicts, too. However, I didn’t have any immediate plans for it until someone pointed out that, with the popularity of superhero shows (Arrow, and the upcoming SHIELD), I should start developing a superhero pilot of my own, especially if I had interest in the genre. Peril and Perish was just waiting for me, and I embarked on the quest.

One of the biggest problem was, of course, finding the time. Yes, I am unemployed, but we were still in a state of construction and change in our home. I felt like a wanderer instead of a writer. I had no structure. It made it that much harder to tackle my biggest challenge: creating structure within the story.

Easily, one of the hardest things for me as a writer is to build (and present) a brand new world to a new audience from scratch. Even Fenix Gear, with tens of years of development, had a rough time establishing a stable world for the characters to live in. And if you write, you know that your environment is one of your most important characters. Possibly THE most important.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a great example. Sunnydale, the hellmouth, was a character. It attracted these diabolical forces while maintaining the “everything is normal” facade. The world presented challengers to Buffy while simultaneously presenting the themes in understandable and relatable ways. In a sense, the demons Sunnydale produced wasn’t as important as how they interacted with Sunnydale and paralleled with it. I think this is one of the biggest flaws in the expanded Buffy universe in the Season 8 comics. Sunnydale was basically “killed” in the TV series finale, and the story doesn’t have the same emotional punch with such an essential character missing.

My setting for P&P is… different, to say the least. I took a chance, and I’m sorry that I can’t just flat-out say what it is. There’s still a lot that I’d like to iron out before I can share a preview. But when your environment presents you with new story ideas and character moments organically, you know you’re on to something.

That said, I didn’t get there right away. It took several revisions in draft one to find my footing. My first pass lead to a top heavy draft that was just people in a room, explaining the world. I’m sure I don’t need to explain why something like that is boring. It’s the difference between a scene like this:

 

 

and this:

 

 

You can make the argument that one gets the job done faster, and more directly, so that you can proceed with the movie. Both scenes reveal core elements of the story, and feature a teacher educating an impressionable mind with a new concept, the force. However, one is engaging and teaches you about the characters and is a memorable moment in cinema, and one is famous mostly for being reviled. So which would you rather have?

I just kept revising and re-tinkering, and got closer to my themes and original idea, and stuck to my guns about the setting. I think I will still need to do another draft, but it’s great when you’re finally comfortable enough with a script that you can start having fun with the characters. I’ve started finding much more sincere moments and comedy that’s dictated by the characters and not by “I need a joke there”. It’s no longer about me forcing in exposition and explanations; the characters exist now, and they unveil the world naturally.

Writing Peril and Perish and re-writing over and over was a challenge for me, but once I finished, I felt great, really. I felt like I knew what I was doing. I had a method, a work ethic, and the smarts to pull it off. It hits all the essential elements, though it can still be modified and taken to that next level. But to create a script that “works” on a thematic and fundamental level, and to do so with a new world in such a short time?

Jeez. High five, Josh.

I suppose how good it is is a matter of opinion, though. Stories are made to be shared with people. And though I’d be fine just writing stories for myself the rest of my life, that’s not the career I have chosen. Next is the nail-biting “ask people’s opinions” part. If I learned anything, it’s to listen to what everyone says, but feel no responsibility to actually follow their advice. I will, of course, when it applies, but stories spark from a place of love. Sure, they can be put together in an assembly line and shipped out to the masses like a product, but I believe the creative spark is born from a different place. And some people might help fan the flames, or even give advice on how to make that fire grow in an economical way (or a destructive one). But ultimately, it’s not their fire, and they can’t make the call.

Without sounding like an ego-maniac, a writer is God. He creates worlds, history, and can snuff out any of it in an instance. It’s the writer’s responsibility to take care of it and let it grow in the way they see the most fit. And you might not always agree with God’s decisions, sometimes even denying their existence, but… the story goes that God created our world in six days. I did it in a month. Maybe I’m catching up.

I guess that’s it. Just wanted to ramble for a bit, share my thoughts. I hope I can provide a glimpse soon, maybe at the teaser. No promises, but the fact that I’m so eager to show it to all of you… that’s not too bad.

Wooo! I’m back.

So where was I? Well, the short answer is that I was becoming a mature adult. But that answer is suggestive, so let’s get into it.

It’s been hard balancing chores and what I should do with what needs to be done. The answers seemed clearer in New York, honestly. Probably because I had so many people TELLING ME what I had to do. I had an established routine, the pieces were more or less in place, and there was a certain amount of autopilot I could apply because I was so comfortable. Then I moved to LA and that whole pre-established system was dumped out. Time to start fresh, kiddo!

I got a new desk (that I had to assemble myself) and a new work chair (ditto). I had to find a new work space, both in my home and outside of it, and I had to build routines for the typical household chores that are now my responsibility. I have to do laundry by leaving the comfort of my home now. I have to repair what’s been broken. I have to be an adult. And really, that’s what has happened since I moved to LA.

Now, many of you may say that I’m not truly an adult, because I haven’t had to balance this with a paying job. And to that I say PFFFT! Part of being an adult is deciding what you’re going to do with your time. Are you going to work a job, or be freelance? Are you going to work hard to establish a career, or are you going to work hard to collect platinum trophies? Jena recently told me, “If your life’s ambition was to sit on the couch and play video games, I’d still support you.” Lucky for her, I’m filled with slightly more ambition than that, so I literally couldn’t do that if I wanted to. I have goals and directions that I have decided on and am working towards. And if I don’t reach those goals the one I have to answer to is… me, really.

The truth is, the reason I haven’t been blogging is because of Peril and Perish. You see, all those hours and months of blogging did something to me: it established a work ethic. Just a little over a month after arriving in LA, I’ve completed a brand new pilot that I’m actually proud of. Not something “in development”, but something worth showing off. And to do that in a month, for me, without anyone telling me “This is what you have to do” or “Follow these steps and you’ll pull it off” is a huge achievement for me. Jena has also come into her own too, building her own confidence and finding her future footing in her work. And I think that’s part of being an adult. Don’t correct me if it’s not. My self esteem is pretty rock hard right now (that’s what she said).

But all this does come at a price. Though I have a few friends out here, Jena and I both miss our friends and family from New York a lot. We didn’t realize how spoiled we were until we left. It’s been even worse for Jena, who doesn’t have a pre-established group out here like I did. So far, both my parents and our friends Rori and Ben came to visit, and I can’t describe what a breath of fresh air it was to see them. It was also effective in showing how far we’ve come; how this place has both changed us a lot, and how it hasn’t.

I suppose this blog post doesn’t really have a theme or anything. I just wanted to provide you all with an update as to what’s been going on. And the update is: I finally feel like an adult. I kind of fought that idea before, because I didn’t ever feel like an adult. Even working at Blue Sky, I didn’t feel it, even though people told me I was. I was in my comfort zone in NY, and had no reason to really stretch beyond that. It wasn’t until Jena and I were out here, having to make our own plans and scrape by on our skills and savings alone, that I finally believed it.

I’ll be doing two more updates this week: one about Peril and Perish, and one about Unlife and the recent events going on in the comic.  It’s good to be back.

I often mention Fenix Gear, but I don’t really dedicate full posts to it. And considering what a major part of my life it is, I think it warrants talking about today, especially with the news of a new issue coming soon.

Fenix Gear was the phantom I chased for years, since high school, I think. Everyone has that one passion project that means everything to them, that one great idea they’re saving for the right moment. And I chased it, restructuring, reforming, recreating in this imaginary sandbox that I loved so very much. It was a haven for me, at times. A wonderful little play land to try out new stories.

It lived in my head so long, and the process to put stories together was so time consuming, that the story was reshaped over and over with every attempt I made. I kept trying to get it right, to get my story out there. But in truth, the story kept changing. It wasn’t until I started working with Zack that I stopped recreating and tried working within the world as it was. But I still wanted to do better. I still wanted more. I wasn’t done yet!

But then I was done. There were three reasons: 1) I had no money to finance the dream, since I was independently publishing each issue; 2) After book 1 came out, I had a falling out with someone who had always been my sounding board for Fenix Gear; and 3) I was burnt out. Honestly, I was just so tired. It was exhausting doing all this, constantly promising myself and everyone around me that it was going to be good, dedicating my whole life and all this effort to it. At the time, I felt that it wasn’t worth it.

Yet the project opened up doors for me. I started working with Zack, who brought me on as a partner on Unlife (more on that in a bit). I met Tom and Mel, who entrusted me with their own passion project, Division, and who I have watched struggle in the same ways I did when I was in love with my project. The project taught me do’s and don’ts, and allowed me to get a handle on writing and creating good work habits. And finally, I held a script party to read the original draft of the trade, and it was there that my future wife, Jena, came and read the part of Leylie, and got her first glimpse into my imagination. I think of Fenix Gear as having been somewhat responsible for her being with me. So, who am I to say that it wasn’t worth it?

What’s fascinating is that for all the time and energy I spent on Fenix Gear, for almost half my life, I’ve never gotten further than 110 pages into the (apparently) epic tale. I’m actually in dark territory with Unlife right now. Fenix Gear had story after story that played on an infinite loop in my head, but here we are now, 113 pages in with Unlife, and the story is expanding. I’m introducing new elements into the series and playing with them in a larger scope. I’ve never written something approaching this length before, you see. Fenix Gear had a lot of planning and design work behind it, but as far as actual story, this is new.

Fenix Gear used to be my comfort writing project. But when I finally got my desk (and built it, with great difficulty) and returned to writing, the first thing I did was make time for Unlife’s next chapter. I did it because it’s just so much fun and reminds me why I got into writing. It brings back that energy I felt when I was first putting Fenix Gear to the page. It’s a memory of doing it, rather than simply doing it. The activity of making Fenix Gear is what I think of, not the story itself.

But now, I have talked to Zack, and we’re making another one.

22 pages, $1 online, and if you email me a picture of you with the original trade you bought, or other proof of purchase, you get it for free, since you supported the original endeavor.

The truth is, I miss these girls. Seeing them in Unlife again was nice, really nice. Zack and I talk a lot about returning to this world, and now we’re do so as much more experienced artists. I’m not quite sure what story we’ll go with here, since there’s so many I want to tell, STILL! I’m excited to go back to this world. Why? Because…

They’re my girls. In a sense, they’re like daughters. I created them, gave them personality, and they came alive on the page for me. There is something to appreciate in creating something you love. And I want them to succeed because… I want them to have that. Isn’t that the kind of vague and somewhat unfair wish a parent makes?

Anyway, Fenix Gear. I look forward to stepping on your shores once again, now as a much more experienced writer. I’m curious what I’ll do with those 22 pages. I can promise you this though: I plan to make every page count. Because I love it.

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