Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Last Shall Be First: Graphic Novel #1 Pencils Completed!

I've wrapped up principal penciling (is that like principal photography?!) on Megaton Man: Return to Megatropolis, a 160-page story created in five "issues" (I still think in terms of 32-page issues, although any publishing plans for MM: TRM would be for a single volume book). I finished issue #5 a few days ago, and created a new 2-page introduction for the beginning of the story. Below are the pencils.

The flashback here depicts events in Megaton Man #1-5 (Kitchen Sink Press, 1984-1985) and one-shots from the late 1980s including Megaton Man Meets the Uncategorizable X+Thems #1 and Yarn Man #1 (1989).

The framed picture of Simon flying refers to The Return of Megaton Man #3 (September 1988), the issue in which he was born. The flashback in the central panel depicts events from Yarn Man #1 (October 1989). See more on Clarissa James and the origin and evolution of Ms. Megaton Man here!

More on the Phantom Jungle Girl!

For more on how these pencil roughs fit into my current cartooning work flow, check out this post on my inking method!

This framing sequence is intended to negotiate between the Megaton Man Weekly Serial storyline (which I created online eons ago, some which was serialized in early issues of Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon), and the opening scenes of the graphic novel (issues #1-2 were posted previously as Atomic Aftermath), which wrap up a few lingering sub-plots.

There's no disguising the fact that I created issue #1 in 2002, #2 in 2005,  #3 is 2014, and #4 and #5 in 2015-2016. Still, my hope is that the narrative will hang together as a cohesive reading experience. In any case, without some kind of introduction, the early scenes (about ten pages) which deal with some dangling plot threads might come across as non-sequitur. I considered cutting these pages out altogether and beginning the story when the main action of the narrative begins (with Megaton Man and X-Ray Boy in high school), but  where to begin and how to introduce potentially new readers to the Megaton Man mythos still remains a problem.

I think including the early scenes with this intro as a framing device will at least demonstrates how convoluted and aimless Megaton Man's life in the Midwest had become before the jarring events of 9/11 call him and his extended family back to Megatropolis. (Besides, many of the characters in these early scenes who exeunt will either return later or show up again in the second graphic novel, which hopefully won't take as long to complete as this one!). Judge for yourself. Your feedback is welcome!

I'm on track to finally completing the graphic novel this Spring 2016! (For more on my thinking behind it, see here.)

Now, on to March Madness: inking "issues" #4 and #5, and coloring the whole 160 pages! Stay tuned for updates...

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