15 More Days

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And there you have the name of my upcoming comic project. Syllabus will be a serial narrative that will keep going until the day that I tire of creating comics. It’s a story that has been building in my head for years and the underlying concept of the narrative will allow it to continue indefinitely. The first post will appear on New Year’s and will be followed up, at minimum, on a weekly basis. Just keep checking back to this blog for the latest installments. I’m currently redesigning Lead Battle into a more comic-focused layout. I’m hoping to make it the one stop place to go as opposed to this blog. You’ll be able to find all my past work with a simple link instead of manually searching through this blog’s archives.

As much as I enjoyed working on Hullabaloo, it was too grounded in reality. I’ll be getting back to Honey, Austin and Tress at some point. The great thing about Hullabaloo is its slice-of-life simplicity. I can continue making new strips alongside Syllabus whenever the need arises.

To the nearly a dozen individuals that I’ve enlisted as my research advisors, I hope that this does not disappoint. I’ve chosen each and every one of you because I value your opinions and trust in your knowledge. Even though I’m heavily backlogged with material to read and watch, it will all be worth it in the long run. Thanks again for the help because I certainly can’t tackle a massive project like Syllabus on my own.

Posted by Batalla at 9:32 PM 0 comments  

Bringing a Theme to a Meme

Friday, December 05, 2008

I could've sworn I've done this before, Anna. Since I'm on a creativity kick, I'm deciding on that as my theme. So here, in chronological order, are six things you may or may not know about me:

1 - I wrote a book in the first grade about a lion, a tiger, and a bear. Oh my! It seemed that Ms. Mayer (or was it Meyer?) noticed me drawing animals in class one day and thought it would be a good idea to encourage such creativity by having me develop an entire narrative out of the scribbles. Not having anything better to do (I didn't get a video game console until the second grade), I chose to take her up on that offer. After a couple days, I turned in about 12 pages worth to her. After class the next day, my teacher gave me a surprise present. She had the pages laminated and bound. I still have it somewhere with the rest of my junk. I changed schools after first grade so I never knew whatever happened to my teacher. I remember looking out the car window several years later and seeing an old woman with dark glasses and a white cane being led around by another woman. She had the same hairstyle and clothing as my teacher.

2 - I performed an improvised stage play in third grade about the X-Men. It was talent show day or something and me and several of my friends had no idea what to do. We watched one of the girls play a song she wrote on the piano. After a couple minutes of mindless noise, we looked at each other and almost telepathically knew what we were gonna do. We all got up on the auditorium stage and pronounced our intention to perform a short scene with our favorite comic book characters at the time, the X-Men. It started with us in the cockpit of the blackbird jet talking about our plan to take down Mr. Sinister. It ended with all of us jumping "out of the jet" and off the stage to attack the imaginary supervillain. Keep in mind this is just a bunch of over active third graders in regular clothes with folding chairs as their only props. Jeez, how the hell did we get away with that one? That's magnet school for ya.

3 - I co-wrote a book in fifth grade about Aliens versus Predator. My friend, Aaron, and I chose to do our creative writing assignment on that subject after reading the "Aliens vs Predator" comics. Basing on what little was known at the time on the two species, we came up with a narrative from the Predator's point of view during an Alien hunt. We theorized what the Predators' home planet was like, what their different job classes were and tried to analyze the technology they used. Although Aaron probably did the bulk of the writing, I supplied all the artwork that accompanied the text, which was about one drawing for every four pages of text.

4 - I came up with an idea for a superhero comic in middle school. Drawing (ha!) inspiration from the X-Men, Power Rangers, Ronin Warriors and Gargoyles, I had planned on creating a superhero team comic. I was able to come up with a very thought out back story to the characters powers, even writing down a classification chart attempting to explain them. It never got past the character design stage for whatever reason. I guess it was because I was becoming more interested in girls. Still, it's not too late to dust off these ideas and make something out of them.

5 - I made a film in high school called "Quentin Tarantino's Hamlet." This was one of the funnest projects I ever did. It's what would've happened if the story was set in modern times and Quentin Tarantino had written the dialogue. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as Vincent and Jules. Hamlet cutting Polonius's ear off while dancing to "Stuck in the Middle with You." Ophelia as a cokehead. Hamlet, Laertes and Claudius in a threeway gunfight. So much subtext to go along with the outright ripping off of "Pulp Fiction" and "Reservoir Dogs." "The Lion King" was playing in the background of one scene. Horatio was in love with Hamlet. He was the mastermind behind all of the story's events. Everyone died because he wanted Hamlet to himself.

6 - I made another film in high school called "T.A.'s." This one spoofed Kevin Smith's "Clerks" but changed the characters to high school students. It was my final project and it was the perfect send up of my four years at Birmingham High School. The movie made fun of so many people, even the ones that were going to be in the audience watching. There were over two dozen cast members, half of them replaced just so the movie could be completed on time. Shooting wrapped up weeks before it was due and before any other group had even come close to finishing their film. I left the rest to my partner, Alex. How long could it take to edit? Two days? All of a sudden, it was time to turn in our finals and the only thing we had to show was the final draft of our screenplay. What. The. Hell. Then came graduation day and Alex somehow found it in him to show up with a copy of the movie on tape. We watched it with Ms. Rhew and some other loiterers in her classroom. It was ten minutes of rough footage. What happened to the other 2/3rds of the film?! Luckily, Ms. Rhew knew that the movie was complete. She was a cast member and even saw us film most of the it. I don't think I've ever forgiven Alex for dropping the ball. It's not like I ever saw him again. I think he moved to Chicago after graduating. It's hard to describe how robbed I felt, not just for me, but also for everyone else that participated in the movie. The least I could do was make a comic using the same characters that takes place where the movie ended. I worked on the stand alone story/sequel for six straight days during freshman year at UCSB. I made copies of the comic and the soundtrack used in the film and personally delivered them to as many cast members as I could. Because of that experience, I find it very hard to share my works in progress with other people. I want it to be done before anyone can see it. But I'm slowly trying to get over that way of thinking. I have to trust that people will be able to help me and thereby make my work easier to accomplish.

That went on longer than I expected, but I feel it needed to be said as well. Anyways, I choose to tag Meg, C.K. and Drew.

Posted by Batalla at 11:50 PM 5 comments  

Fantasy Star Resumes

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Decided to finally finish off Fantasy Star, my 12-part comparison between Final Fantasy XII and Star Wars over on The Bloggles Do Nothing. What was initially supposed to be a 12-day ordeal, is looking like a project that's been a year in the making. At least once it's done, I can move on to other topics on that blog in hopes of further validating its existence in conjunction with this one.

So here's what I've got so far:
Fantasy Star V
Fantasy Star IV
Fantasy Star III
Fantasy Star II
Fantasy Star I

Blast From the Past

Monday, December 01, 2008

Good lord. I nearly suffocated from the dust after digging up these ancient drawings, not to mention from my laughter after rediscovering my amateurish illustration skills. I can name off dozens of things wrong with the linework, coloring, proportions, etc. These characters were created many, many, many, many, many years ago while I was still in high school. The reason I'm digging them up is because they will be the main characters of my latest comic project. I've had ideas brewing for quite a while and I feel it's time to get started on them. In the coming weeks ahead, I'll post revised designs as it gets closer to the project's planned start date of January 1, 2009.

Posted by Batalla at 12:11 AM 0 comments