Tuesday, November 20, 2018

To master a universe... (Tuesday Throwback)

On Tuesdays we flashback to a great post of yesteryear on this site. Today we take a look back on my thoughts on Masters of the Universe.


I love the Masters of the Universe film. It is far from a great movie, but I will never quite understand why fans of genre features hate on it so much. It’s a solid adaptation of the cartoon property that grows it up while also introducing some new ideas.

Part of it might be the budget. Director Gary Goddard did tons with the reported $22 million he had with the film, but it still seemed stretched to its limits at certain points. Or perhaps it’s the lack of some regular cartoon characters like Battle-Cat, Orko, Merman or Trapjaw. Whatever it is, I would argue that Masters of the Universe is one of the forgotten classics of the 1980s.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Staying on Target! (How I Nano My Wrimo 5)

Two and a half weeks in and the mid-month doldrums are in full swing for National Novel Writing Month. I think this is the phase that derails most people as they work on their early projects. It's the thing that convinces people they just don't have what it takes to write a novel. Because when it gets into the meat of your novel, it's really easy to question everything you're doing and whether it is the right story or if it's even slightly well done.

Which is another reason I embrace the power of NaNoWriMo. It pushes people to move through that mid-month lull. As I'm writing this, I passed the middle of my fifty thousand words five days ago. I've lost a bit of my head start so I'm not quite as a head of pace as I would like to be. But I am pushing along with new words everyday, even if some of them are proving harder than others.

When I start a story with multiple points of view, that can often be the hardest part of the storytelling. I have to make sure I give each character something compelling to do as the story progresses. The loose plotting I do doesn't always give this beat by beat. Even when it does, I often quickly find one character less interesting than the others. I seek to remedy that as I continue my work though, trying to lock on to the key of each character's narrative.

Kent Morgan is that character for The First: Hero's Dawn. He is the first of the heroes to put on the mask and start the fight against crime. A child of  wealth, he left home years ago to travel the world in search of some kind of enlightenment. But that all ends when an old acquaintance shows up at the door of the remote monastery where he lives and informs him his entire family is now dead. He comes back to civilization to find the people behind his family's deaths. In doing so, he makes himself a target, a name he embraces as he dons a mask to fight criminals.

Making that story compelling in unique ways doesn't prove as easy as my other heroes. Though each hero plays with a heroic archetype, the masked vigilante is perhaps the most used trope in comics. Differentiating him from that trope makes his tale a bit more difficult to expand upon than those of Hero and Sea Sorceress. Yet it's a challenge I'm enjoying the effort to overcome.

Today's target image is an Unsplash photograph from Artur Matosyan.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Great Art: Scott Pilgrim by Drake Tsui

Thanksgiving is on the way, so what better feature for Great Art than a Pilgrim... Scott Pilgrim! While I will never get enough of Bryan Lee O'Malley's great work, this time around the focus is on this amazing piece of fan art by Drake Tsui.

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art over on the Tumblr. And after you're done admiring some great art here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from me this week!