After two years of development, Division Issue 1 is complete and being printed at this moment. My nose buried so deeply into planning, painting and preparing the story, I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like to not be working on it. A small team of absolutely insane people poured their blood, sweat and tears into this thing and hopefully there’s some sort of automatic voodoo spell from all that combined passion, that it’ll come out awesome and people will love it as much as we do.
I hadn’t updated this blog for the later part of the summer because I was laid off from my day job (along with a large group of equally unfortunate designers) and had to spend every waking minute between looking for work, interviewing, art tests, applying and Division. I couldn’t come up for air and I figured it would be ideal to wait and post again when the book was done. Well, here we are and I can hardly believe it. Although I’ve yet to hold a final printed issue in my hand, the feeling of accomplishment started pouring through me as I uploaded the file to our vendor. The thought of no longer frantically rendering pages into the wee hours, was a profoundly complex combination of elation and sorrow. Yes, sorrow. How sadistic can one be you ask? Apparently, “very”. I was longing to keep working on the book, when in fact the sheer strain of the labor over these last months nearly brought both my wife and myself to the brink of insanity. Now, the realization that the book has grown up and is ready for a life of its own, beyond our screens and imaginations, has set-in. It’s time for our baby to take it’s first steps as a supernatural noir action comic.
The artwork and story are really something. I’m immensely proud of it and eternally grateful for the hard work and talent that Mel and Josh poured into it. Zack came into the picture and offered his comic expertise to letter the book for us and that was a real life- (and sanity) saver. The reason we worked so hard on this both visually and cerebrally, was because we are readers too. We love comics, television, movies and games. We live in the stories and become one with the images. We wanted to create something of our own that could be that much of a reality and experience for others. Most importantly though, we didn’t want it to disappoint. There have been so many times I’ve opened a graphic novel because of it’s gorgeous cover art, only to be sadly disappointed by very uninspired and quickly executed interior artwork. I never want anyone to have that feeling opening one of my books. My goal is for readers to be enticed and lured by the cover, to then open the book and be consumed by the interior. I want you to devour my story, while my world devours you and you become one with it.
This Friday, we’ll be no longer selling the preview book. For anyone that grabbed Issue #0, thank you! and hold on to it, because maybe one day it’ll be a collectors item Division Issue #1 will officially debut at New York Comic Con, exclusively for sale at our table in Artist Alley which is Table W2. If any of you visited us last year, we will be quite literally directly across from where we were last year. Easy, no? We’re really excited for the Con this year because not only is Division and a whole heap of new art debuting, but Mel will have a special brand new item from her Realm Of Rem story with lots of awesome goodies to check out. So, i highly recommend you stop by our table, browse our wares, maybe buy some art, shake our hands, give us a hug, come out for a drink and celebrate us crossing our First Finish Line.
Ne letiferi vos dormientes deprendant…
Often we neglect to offer the proper credit and awareness to writers of comics. It’s easy to get distracted by beautiful art and forget that the lifeblood of the journey you’re on, flows from speech bubble to caption. There’s a fair amount of noodling and obsessing that goes on through the keyboard, just as much and sometimes more than that with the stylus and tablet. We all poured our blood, sweat, tears and God knows what other bodily fluids into this labor of love. Now we get to take a look at the man behind the curtain, tugging his lever, blowing plumes of smoke and flaming, really, just flaming a lot.. like a lot of flaming going on here.. and commanding our attention with his hand-crafted mechanisms of doom.
Josh Breidbart has worked his butt off to nail down some seriously awesome writing for Division. We love him truly and deeply. He wrote about his experience on his own blog and we’re going to share it here. Enjoy!
Hey everyone. Division writer Josh Breidbart, here to talk about the writing process and how Division came into being from my perspective. This is part 1: The Test.
So, when I first met Tom, the comic was called “Bloody Show”. I believe it had to do with how much blood and violence Tom wanted in it (he’s a sick man). Tom handed me a novelized draft of the first few chapters of his story, saying he was looking for a way to hone it into a comic. He told me he imagined Frank Miller meets Neil Gaiman with extra ass-kickage. A stylized noir. It was cool, it had vision and it had passion. I wanted in. If Tom didn’t offer me the job that fateful night I threw up 4 bottles of sake, I probably would have begged him myself (you know… after the hangover subsided).
So, when I begin, I have this awful habit of starting a script and throwing it in the garbage. Why? Because I’m a hack. Seriously though, it’s because I suck at outlining. A lot of people outline heavily so they know where the characters and the story is going. “Not me!” said the fool! Personally, my outlines are light because I like to find the characters in the writing. And usually, by the time I do, the story doesn’t reflect who they are, or their journey anymore. So I start over. The process works fine for me, as I love writing, but I’m sure is beyond frustrating to any partners I’m with (ie: The Tom and Mel of the group).
So, instead of taking the hard way, I tried something different. I wanted to make sure I understood Tom’s vision. Before launching into the first five issues, I did a “Test Script”. Not because it was requested, but because it gave me the chance to get to know Tom’s world and write it more accurately. It’s a fun tool, writing a secret history to the world that the audience never sees, because it adds a layer of depth for the writer (which then carries into the script). Normally, this wouldn’t be posted, and would just be something for me and Tom and Mel to talk about. But I wanted to give you all a first hand look at my first foray into the world of Division and how I saw it.
PLEASE NOTE: This is non-canon.
I had a lot of fun writing this. Maybe one day we’ll do this as a bonus mini-chapter (Tom’s gonna kill me for promising this). But this was great to prep me for the world and keep me from wasting time on any faulty drafts. Next time, I’ll share my experience on the first draft of Division that I wrote all five issues of…
And how I ended up throwing it in the trash anyway.
You can get some more helpings of Joshy goodness on his site http://joshbreidbart.com/
He also mentioned that he would be on hand for 1 day at New York Comic Con to sign the debut issue # 1 copies of Division with us. So, yeah.. that’s pretty awesome! All 3 hancocks on your issue # 1
Now we leave you with one last little tidbit to enjoy since we were on the subject of the value of non-visual story and aesthetic tools. We’ve been working on a Division mood and inspiration playlist. We listen while we’re making the artwork and feel that these tracks really capture the characters and mood of the world of Division. Hope you guys dig it!
And here’s a nice image to pair with these tunes. This is a sample showing Division HQ in the big city.