Freewrite 11/2/20

The TV flickered at the back of the room. The vaulted ceiling overhead was supported by metal struts and in the dim light the TV cast altering shadows about. The sound wasn’t on.
“You shouldn’t have come,” said Cogar.
The man’s face was broad, his upper lip dressed with a mustache, and his bald head shone in the glare from the screen.
Behind Rosie, the big person shifted on their feet and Rosie couldn’t help but be aware of how Busher held that hammer, as though to bring it down on someone’s head without a second thought.
“We had to. You know I wouldn’t have come here if I had another choice,” said Carlos.
Rosie noticed he was standing ridged. There was none of that easy swagger about him, none of that assuredness he’d had when he pointed his strange gun at the monster on the train.
“So, they’ve driven you out of hiding? How?” asked Carlos.
Rosie looked to Carlos who had eyes only for the broad, stout figure before them.
When he spoke again with was slow, as though he weighed every word. The girl was a veil.
“That what?” asked Rosie.
Carlos looked at her. That strange shadow that hung over his eyes twisted about his head, making him hard to read. “You were my veil,” Carlos said. “But they still found me. . . somehow. Some one close to you must be a vessel.”
“What are you talking about.”
A bark echoed through the warehouse suddenly.


BRAINSTORM

The sun beat down on the warehouse roof. The talk came from within.

Inside, Cogar is bashed and bruised. Rosie is raging.

Carlos is nowhere to be seen and Busher tries to hold Rosie back.

Rosie demands to know where her brother is.

Cogar doesn’t know.

Behind him the TV is flickering again, and there is an ariel view of police vehicles parked at a departent store mall in downtown Pittsburgh.

A ticker across the screen reads: BOY TAKES HOSTAGES WITHIN BLOOINGDALES.

Cogar’s eyes slowly turn toward the TV.

He explains how there is almost certainly nothing Rosie can do to save her brother.

She doesn’t care. But she does chill out. Carlos flows out of her as and re-establishes himself next to her. He looks shaken.

Rosie demands to be taken to the mall in order to find her brother.

How do they get INSIDE the mall without the police noticing?

Options:
Cogar has a magic door.
Carlos uses a magic coin.
Rosie absorbs the power of something and arrives there.
They drive the bus directly into the entrance of the department store, crashing through the police baricade and into the doors of the building. . . . I actually like this one, thematically.

Rosie pulls Carlos back toward the van they’d stolen. She’s been to this mall before and knows the way, as long as she’s on the free way.

They drive to the mall and crash through the police barrier, the whole time the snipers take shots at them. Rosie is identified as the girl who shot a man on a bus the night before.

Comic Review: Decorum #1

Decorum #1

Image Comics

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Art: Mike Huddleston

 

I don’t know what’s going on in this first issue, but that doesn’t keep me from loving it. Decorum is a unique mix of exposition via biotech adds and graphic narratives similar to your normal comic book. However, there’s just a lot going on in this issue that sets it apart from other comics on the market.

Decorum #1

The story is disjointed. It flits about, first with exposition–an info dump that explains the basic premise then shifts to a narrative in which indigenous peoples are being conquered by strange aliens. Motives are unclear, as is the world that these factions operate in. The majority of the story focuses on a courier. A woman tasked with taking packages to and from places. It’s a strange construct in a piece that is as much science fiction as it is fantastical since there would be drones to make those necessary deliveries. But overlook this plothole and the issue has everything you could want. Suspense, intriguing characters, and an immersive world.

Read my full review on Sequential Planet.

A Look Abroad: An Interview with Danish Comic Creator, Halfdan Pisket

I wrote this for Sequential Planet. It’s a piece of an interview I conducted with Halfdan Pisket last summer while in Denmark. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Here at Sequential Planet, we focus on the newest and biggest comic book releases the market has on offer. But what about the comics you don’t hear about? That was my mission while in Copenhagen, Denmark, last summer.

This idea didn’t occur to me until I was on the streets of Copenhagen, in the heart of the city, the Indre By district, just a block or so from Ørsteds Park. That’s when I saw a comic book shop. Comics. Danish Comics. What would I find on those shelves? Inside the shop, Fantask, were the standard releases. Marvel, DC, etc. There wasn’t anything uniquely Danish that I could see on the main shelves. That being said, the variety was impressive for such a small shop. Not only did they have comics, but a healthy display of fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as a manga section, and D&D/Pathfinder corner. A well-curated shop, to be sure–but almost everything was in English. I approach the woman behind the register, tentatively.

“Hi,” I say. “I’m visiting and love comics and would love a Danish comic as a souvenir, do you have any suggestions?”

She did. She guides me to a small section of Danish graphic novels and floppies. “But you don’t speak Danish, do you?” she asks me. I do not, I tell her. “This one,” she picks up a wide thin book, “this one has no words in it, but it is beautiful and he is local. This shop is even in the book.” I take it and flip through it. It is beautiful. It’s not a comic, but it’s not just a picture book either. It’s inks and watercolor and each couple of pages is its own story. The artist’s name is on the back. Adam O.

“He’s local?” I ask the woman. She tells me he is.

That night, I look up Adam O. and his book Kakofonia on Google. I find his email and ask him, politely, for an interview. I explain I’m trying to find the pulse of the Danish comics scene. Within the hour he emails me back. He doesn’t live in Denmark, but in Sweden, and he doesn’t make comics much anymore–though he knows someone I should talk to. Halfdan Pisket. He tells me this is the man I should see. This is the most famous Danish cartoonist/comic creator. He includes Halfdan’s email. I am thankful.

Halfdan Pisket’s graphic novel trilogy is not translated into English yet. It presents me with a difficult task. How do I interview someone about their writing and story when I can’t read it? But also, this is exactly what I wanted. I wanted to hear about what I didn’t already know about. Isn’t this perfect?

On the morning we meet, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, it’s mid-August–the people of Copenhagen are beautiful. Halfdan lives a mere 10-minute bike ride from where I’m staying and he comes down to let me into his building. His apartment is nice and modest and clearly an artist lives here. He has some bookshelves lined with comics and graphic novels. Some are ones I recognize. Elf Quest, Black Hole, but there are others I don’t know. He pours me a cup of coffee and we sit on his balcony overlooking the street. Every once in awhile a car drives by, but there is little traffic here. Most people ride bicycles.

When I tell him my idea, this concept of bringing the Danish Comic scene back with me, in a way, to the United States, he cracks a half-smile on his thin, lightly stubbled face.

“But it is funny,” he says, “because I grew up reading translated American comics. And when you are a kid, it’s superhero comics, it was X-Men and Spawn and later I read Frank Miller’s Dark Knight and after that, I thought, I could read more of something like this. . . It wasn’t until I started making comics, myself, in Danish, that I realized there were other people doing it. That was when I started reading Danish Comics.”

Before I go any further, I should note the profound impact Pisket’s work has had in the realm of Danish Literature, but also on a continental stage. Dansker (Translated Dane, in Danish), won the Politics Literature Prize in 2016, the Ping Prize in 2017, and in 2019, just before I met with him, the Dansker trilogy won Best Series at the third-largest comic book festival in the world, the French Angouleme Festival. Back in 2015, Pisket was also awarded the largest art grant in Denmark worth 850,000 Danish Krone (around 130,000 USD), the first graphic novelist ever to be awarded the grant.

Read the full feature at Sequentialplanet.com