Monday, June 20, 2011

An Indulgence Project

I am down to single day digits for my time left in India. A week on Wednesday I’ll be back in Edinburgh, catching up on all I’ve missed and doing some exercise to compensate for a complete lack of anything in almost a year. 
‘Waters Deep,’ is complete in the first draft. I’m putting it aside so I can forget as much about it as possible, so that when I return the story and characters will feel that little bit fresher. I will also use the time to do more research and some work on one part of the novel that acts as the tie in for the series. 
In the mean time, I’m starting work on my first proper comic book idea, ICONz. This is something that has been hanging around in the back of my mind for some time (a couple of years, at least). It’s an indulgence project as I know it will have very little commercial appeal, instead its something I need to do, if only to prove to myself that I should never try the format again.
ICONz looks at the power of fame and the media’s interpretation of events once a person becomes a star, but seen through the concept of the super hero. A familiar trope, but one I hope to approach in a very unique fashion. At the moment I plan to write six episodes in rough, which I’ll then refine as I concentrate on the art work. If the art work is rubbish (a good chance) I might look at working with someone else. At the end of it (if I finish it, which will be years from now) I’ll probably give it away for free before collecting it and selling via one of the online POD publishers.
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
How Fforde manages to keep every concept and idea he has up in the air as he introduces a myriad of characters and world building is beyond me. He must have a mind like a sparking plug kept inside a well partitioned filing index. Shades of Grey is a departure from his world of nursery rhymes and living novel characters and instead sets up a world where colour hierarchy rules. Here you can, in the main, see only one primary colour, all the others are grey. Depending on which colour you see most prominently (purple the highest, grey the lowest) indicates your status in life.
Eddie Russet has been sent to the Outer Fringes to learn some humility. Arriving with his father in the quintessentially quaint town of East Carmine, with its odd ball residents, the boy find himself falling in love with a Grey, whilst realising that the once ‘black and white’ world is not all it professes to be. Dystopian science fiction has never been so amusing. 
The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón 
I have a suspicion that ‘The Angel’s Game’ was actually conceived before Zafón’s hugely enjoyable and successful ‘The Shadow of the Wind.’ Whilst it has a similar feel to the first book, it has naiveté about it, as if written by a much younger, less confident author.
It follows the life of David Martin, a young man who wants to be a successful author living in Barcelona. After a childhood of neglect he finds a sponsor and friend in a rich journalist, and soon starts writing pulp fiction under a pseudonym. As his fame increases he is brought to the attention of the mysterious Andreas Corelli, a man who makes him an offer he can’t refuse, but puts his life and soul in mortal danger.
Dark, brooding, with depiction's of Barcelona as an organic maze, this is a throw back to the gothic works of the 19th century. However, unlike his first book it seems both over and under worked in places. Good, but not a classic.
Read this week:
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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