INTERLUDE. As promised, gremmies, Nic and I wanted an “intermission” piece while we’re working on Track 2. Nic titled this illustration ‘Interlude.’ I call it, ‘Vikki in Repose.’ In either case, you get a very cool and somewhat personal view of our heroine. Is there downtime on Mars? Hope you dig it.
The song is my contribution. Is it autobiographical for Vikki? I wonder.
I’ll be posting a few more concept sketches from our “spin-off” Adepticon comic this week on the Twitters. It takes place in the same Sisters Grimm-verse, but centers on a smuggler and a rogue ‘bot. I’m excited about it- finished writing it today. Stay tuned for more info.
PAGE FOURTEEN. And, fade to black. I wanted to say “star wipe”, but I think “fade to black” works better here. In any case, that’s the end of Track 1.
I think, looking back through these 14 pages, I’m pretty happy with the pacing. It’s tough to do all this set-up and character introduction and still keep the plot moving. I think the real trick is having Nic’s art tell part of the story; every page has something interesting going on and he refuses to waste any space. I feel like, even after just 14 pages, Mars has a definite look and its denizens have a certain style.
So what’s next? Track 2 ‘Band on the Run’ starts in two weeks. We’re taking an extra week so I can do one more script edit and Nic can catch up on some of his non-Sisters Grimm work (he does manage to find time for other projects). But we do have a nice “Intermission” piece already done, so expect a Friday update next week as usual.
We’re also working on a limited edition print, a cinematic-style poster. It’s coming along nicely and I’m sure our Twitter followers will get a preview soon.
Finally, we’re also working on a little spin-off comic for our good friends at the Adepticon game convention (www.adepticon.org). We’ll have more news as things develop.
So thanks to everyone who’s been checking out the comic. It’s sort of a relief to finish the first chapter. Someone told me that a webcomic doesn’t get taken seriously until after a couple years of regular updates. I hope that’s not true for us. I hope we never get taken seriously.
PAGE THIRTEEN. Interior Studio SD4. Busted. Maybe not what you were expecting? Certainly not what the band thinks is happening. Dub clearly has a lot going on….
There was a lot of discussion about the SexBot design. We wanted her to be an obvious android; a lower-end model. But still sultry enough that some lonely Martian would shell out some real credits.
We also get to meet some of Olympus City’s finest. Nic has a knack for hard-boiled detectives, methinks.
PAGE SEVEN. A couple more interesting characters added this week. I see this as sort of a Guy Ritchie moment. The frame freezes (easy enough to do in a webcomic) and you get the little bio on each character, possibly to the accompaniment of gunshots.
So you have a rebel leader, a smuggler/music producer, and a pirate* playing poker while listening to the Sisters‘ demo. Can’t be good. And keen eyes might’ve spotted the shipment Shanti is talking about on the last page…
In other news, if you haven’t checked out the two pages in the MarsNet section, I encourage you to just do it. I think it is some of the best character design Nic has done (or anyone for that matter, but I’m biased). Remember these bands; they’ll be back. Hell, these could be our first two spin-offs!
Lastly, just a couple words about Chicago Comic Con. I’m not going to use this site as any sort of opinion platform, but it strikes me as sad that Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse don’t actually go to Chicago Comic Con. That said, I talked to some very cool people and the Artist’s Alley was the unequivocal highlight of the con. I’m thinking, by next year, the Sisters Grimm will need a table there. There or C2E2.
Finally, if you’re the Tweeting kind, we’ve been doing some exclusive Twitter pics/previews. I wouldn’t want anyone missing out.
Beside defying media too fast
Instead of pushing palaces to fall
Put that, put that, put that before all
That this isn’t fortune at all
Radio Free Europe- R.E.M.
PAGE TEN. Again, some characterful facial expressions by Nic. The girls seem to be getting more familiar. And a nice page full of dialogue. I’m happy with the way the conversation flows here and Sam does a nice job of summing up the predicament. Poor Vikki Grimm gets another page of being pissed-off. Will she ever catch a break?
The MLF ‘cast is a homage to Radio Free Europe, which was funded by the U.S. Congress as a political tool during the Cold War. It’s also a shout out to my favorite anime series.
Number 9…number 9…number 9. If Vikki G looked annoyed or pissed last week, she’s positively livid this week. I love what Nic did with the practice space. Again, it’s the little details, like the lipstick stain on the glass. And the ashtrays.
Someone asked me if the MARSnet material was directly connected to the main story. It is, but it may take some time before the full extent of that connection is revealed. I think that this format (webcomic) allows for these Verhoeven-esque vignettes. You can drop them and establish an atmosphere or further the narrative without taking up a weekly update, interrupting the story. I love this week’s. The anchor came out great and we snuck in some nice foreshadowing.
Finally, tonight we have a special music pairing request all the way from Argentina. Nic was telling me that while he was working on this particular page (no pun intended) he was listening to the Led Zeppelin classic, ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You.’ I think it goes well with the lounging girls in panel one.
PAGE EIGHT. Nic’s character designs never cease to amaze me. Beyond the excellent “costumes”, he nails their personalities through expressions and posing. Kessler and Dub are great, but I love the annoyed/pissed off Vikki Grimm in panel Four.
Ever since I started writing comics (about six months ago now), I’ve wanted to include the caption, “Two days later, at the practice space…” Finally the dream comes true!
I think with all the smoking going on (apparently there are vast hydroponic domes with the sole purpose of supplying our character’s needs), I think this week’s music pairing has to be ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ by Oasis.
Finally, someone asked me what webcomics I’ve been reading. Honestly, I’m not an expert and there is a lot of great stuff out there. But one comic that I’ve been catching up on is 6-Commando by Mathieu Moyen.
PAGE SIX. This page really demonstrates Nic’s attention to detail. The wine glasses, carafe, and smouldering ash tray on the upper level gives the studio a real personality. I love all of Nic’s “set designs”, but this one is particularly cool. It’s a nice combination of traditional recording studio and futuristic bachelor pad.
We also get introduced to Damien Kessler, head of the Martian Liberation Front. Can’t wait until you get to meet the rest of the poker players…
Stay tuned this Wednesday for what I think is possibly our coolest background piece- MarsBeat, the Martian music Netcast.
PAGE FOUR. The title page for Track 1, ‘Radio Free Mars.’ Each Track (chapter) will probably be roughly 10 weeks…roughly.
Trying to suggest a music pairing with this page would mean that I’d be telling you what I think the band sounds like, which I don’t think is 100% appropriate. You should sort of fill that in yourself. That said, I can name you three bands I listen to regularly while writing the script/notes/emails to Nic. Elastica, Garbage, and Hole. But the Sisters Grimm is also a power trio, so you have to consider the great tripods of alternative rock: Green Day, The Police, Muse, Dinosaur Jr, and of course Nirvana.
My Brave Bass.
Some of you might be wondering about Vexx’s antique bass guitar. It has been in her family for generations and legend has it that it originally belonged to a great-great uncle who had quite a successful music career himself, though records have long been destroyed…
Page Three. You finally get some dialogue! Don’t worry, there are whole pages of yammering coming up. We’re just taking some time setting the stage, literally.
Nic really gets sci-fi noir. In fact, I would say this week’s music pairing would have to be some moody Vangelis. You can almost hear the flickering buzz of the neon signs as the rain falls in the background.
I wrote in a little ‘shout out’ here to a great Chicago institution, Medusa’s on Sheffield. I have fond memories of that club and it was the place to go (until you turned 21).
In other news, Vikki Grimm is on Twitter now. She’ll be posting updates and SG news, along with some exclusive info and concept art. Maybe even some lyrics.