Friday, June 22, 2012

Letter of Intent.

Finalizing pages.  Finishing inks.  Lettering.  Getting the format right.  Living our lives at other jobs.

It's been a busy few months for us over here in the "Youth" camp.

For one, because our lives for some reason decided to be incessantly busy, we'll be pushing Issue #1's release back a few weeks.  We're gonna have it ready for you in the middle of the July.  It's a matter of time...we're doing this all on our own, while maintaining our other jobs and we're willing to admit...sometimes life just gets in the way.  But get's gonna be cool.

Don't know if you guys saw this but our good friend Iyane Kane did an awesome render of Jim on his own and it's just too cool not to repost so here it is...
(c) 2012 Iyane Kane
You gotta love talented friends, man.  Too cool.  If you dig this, you'll be totally into Iyane's other stuff, which is jaw-droppingly cool.  Check him out at .

Evan is close to finishing with inks, and we're right on track for our new deadline.  We're also starting to put together a kickstarter page to raise some funds for the book.  Printing ain't cheap, and we gotta buy in bulk for the issues, so keep your eyes peeled for the kickstarter coming up soon.  We'll have lots of cool prizes and such for you, as it goes with most kickstarters, so that'll be up soon.

Now, as it's gone with most of these posts, I wanna hone in on a central thesis rather than just hype the book, because really the point of a blog is to tell you guys what's going on and give you some perspective of where we're coming from as creators of this series.  So, I wanna take some time to discuss the intent of the series.  The "message", if you will...

As much as Evan and I love superheroes, books about them, movies about them, what have you..."Youth" is NOT about that.  When we started this...some 3 1/2 odd years ago...our original intention was to give Evan a story he could draw for a class.  So I wrote him a six-pager...and then wrote a full issue of what would be the first incarnation of "Youth", which for the record...totally sucked.  The original idea was so convoluted, complicated, and unpleasant sounding (especially when I pitched it to Evan), I almost gave up entirely.  I had already brought in too many characters, origins were so messy, etc.  It was aggravating to try and write something and not get excited about it, especially this new style I was learning.  I loved it, but I also said to myself, "I love comics, I love writing...but maybe I'm not this kind of a writer."

So we sat on the idea for about a year, and then one day, I started thumbing through the original inks, the original concept for the series.  I looked at the first issue I wrote...and pitched it.  I mean, I deleted everything, save for the opening scene (the teaser).  I stripped away everything, and brought it back to a simple story, because as a writer I had realized I lost the one thing I should have over a universe I was creating the first go-around at this: Control.  I finished, looked at it, then told Evan I had rewrote the first issue of "The Middle" (original title, terrible)...and it totally works...and "now it's called, 'Youth'."

Evan and I decided very quickly we were going to do this on our own.  We weren't going to wait around for someone to discover it, mostly because that's stupid.  We'd put the issues out ourselves, just to say we were doing it, so if and when someone came along looking to buy the property, we'd have a HUGE card on our table, being that it was creator-owned property, and that we were self-sufficient, putting it out on our own.

Historically, my collaborations have gone pretty horribly.  Fighting, Annoyance, Rewrites (I can't tell you how often I've gotten a re-write back and not found a lick of me on the page)'s never been good.  And then Evan and I starting discussing the story.  Where were we going to take it?  What kind of stories interested us?  That was obvious, but what kind of story would we keep coming back to as co-creators?  The proverbial "well"...was it going to be that thing we latched onto and have a marathon writing session?


We came to the realization quickly that our intent wasn't to give an origin story about superheroes.  It was about people like was going to be about the daily lives of people who are going through the ringer that is High School...and we'd throw some superpowers in there for some fun.  The whole time working up the 'Bible' for the series (which is what you do for TV series so every writer know hows things should go.  here, it worked as our road map for figuring out what was going to happen through the first volume), we realized the mundane details were so much more promising and entertaining story-wise than some huge over-arching concept about these kids being aliens or mutants or orphan billionaires (not that that isn't compelling stuff when in the right context).  We realized that what you go through in high school is just as fascinating and compelling as stopping an alien invasion or taking down an ancient clan of owl worshippers (enjoy that one).

I've never been a "big picture" writer.  I love small stories about people.  Fractious moments in time...those are the movies (Indies, I guess, in a word) that get me going and those are the kind of moments I write about.  My notebooks are filled with anecdotes about nothings that mean everything.  The scripts I've written, the shorts I've made...they're all about these precious moments we find in our lives.  It dawned on me that the voice I had for this book had to be my own, and  I realized I could write the way I always did, even if it was in comic book form, and Evan was totally on board with that.

In summation...we aren't re-inventing the wheel...just using a different one, and we hope you dig it.