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David Lynch

Ladies Close Your Eyes Chapter one ‘Crazy Clown Time’ (Raw)

Ok well here it is. I was going to post this tomorrow but I got a shift at work on my prime spamming days, lucky me haha. So I thought I’d post it today and get it out the way because I’m smug as fuck about it. I really like where it’s going and where it’s taking my writing and how it’s evolved over the years.
So this is the culmination of my years of toiling and bad choices.

As per usual, you can go read the full chapter for free on inkitt;
Crazy Clown Time

~

A fly tossed and turned on the bed it had made from the inside of a street lamp. It writhed, flitting it’s slow burning wings. The sound of its buzzing echoed and shook the dried up husks from the night before. It lay down on its back, it’s underbelly exposed to the warm glow of the synthetic sun. Fading off into an incandescent permanent state of blissful sleep.

“Pauly had a red shirt”

“Pauly had a red shirt”

“-Suzy, she ripped her shirt off completely”

Outside the lamp the streets of Highland were laden with a thin film of dry dusk. It cooled, solidified into a thick cold sheet of night. It was quiet, so quiet if you stopped walking you could hear your own heartbeat. The streets seemed frozen in this part of town at night, like a photograph. A car radio played an obscure slow song.

“Pauly had a red shirt”

“Pauly had a red shirt”

“-Suzy, she ripped her shirt off completely”

A grey oldsmobile cutlass idled under the street lamp. A bare stretch of land. The car at the side of the road parsed between a large empty lot consisting of nothing but light brown dirt. The California mountain range by moonlight backdrop. On the other side a church that looked like the taco bell symbol edged in by anoemic looking palm trees. The parking lot of the church was almost empty but for a large white sedan, other than that he was the only prowler out.

“Danny poured the beer-“

“-Danny poured the beer all over sally”

A man’s hand drummed against the driver’s side door. Stiff fingers fumbling out an awkward beat. In the driver’s seat he sat, bathed in artificial night. The cone of unnatural light cast a deep dense shadow. The radio continued to play as the car idled.

“Danny poured the beer-“

“-Danny poured the beer all over sally”

The hood of the car was broad, it menaced the sidewalk. Hummed and seethed. A low hungry growl rising and falling over and over. The headlights dipped. Sucked the night air through its teeth.

“Danny poured the beer-“

“Danny poured the beer-“

“-Danny poured the beer all over sally”

The tires clawed the road, and then released it again. Padding it like a cat. Tensing and jostling, it waited.

“Ah, ah“

“Buddy screamed so loud he spit”

“Buddy screamed so loud he spit”

A waft of cool night air carried the dank smell of cheap perfume. The hairs on the driver’s bare arm raised in anticipation.

She leaned against the passenger side door, she was perfect. He withdrew his arm as she pressed herself against the car. The smell of her dimestore perfume sent his head swimming. A blissful day dream of a hot summer day, pushing a girl on a swingset. The balmy smell of wheat, dried sweat.

She pressed a weapons grade set of fake tits against the glass of the cutlass. Her skin was milky white, almost translucent. The skin of her breast stretched to the point of revealing all those thick blue veins. Almost like a steak. A sheen of sweat over them made them look like two moons sinking into a leopard print tank top. The word “Juicy” embossed on the front.

“We all ran around the backyard-“

“-we all ran around”

She leaned forward, balancing herself with one arm cocked over the roof. Taking those cold slabs of flesh off the glass. He watched her from his dark seat, as she lowered her head to talk. But she seemed to stop short of her eyes. Only revealing a set of dark red lips, her liner even darker, made her lips look like burnt leaves. As she mouthed “Open up” tapping her tacky toxic green stick-on nails against the glass.

He waited a moment, looking at the veins on her neck, her pale flesh like the page of a book. He followed her green stick-on nails as she motioned to him to open the window. And back to her neck, seems like someone couldn’t resist to doodle all over her. Crawling up her neck the words; “Prudence never pays”. His eyes drawn to her obscene breast. The words “He never even looks at me” tattooed across them in the same style.

He could sense her rising impatience. Stretch marks carefully hidden began to poke out above the exposed top of her bra. She had flabby white arms. He imagined her as a german barmaid type, crudely throwing plates onto tables. Giving up that life to stand out here getting goosebumps looking at strangers.

“We all ran around the backyard-“

“-It was crazy clown time”

He wound down the window slow. She seemed to flood through, her smell vile and intoxicating and stronger than ever. Perfume junk food. He knew it wasn’t good for him but he kept breathing it in, drinking it up.

“You want some company?” She said as she perched herself on the edge of the window. The night panned around as it was ought to do. Getting a good look at her. Her ass squeezed into a pair of camo yoga pants that seemed two sizes too small. Despite that being impossible. Who knows what she was hiding under those, more stretchmarks, some cigarette burns.

He didn’t say anything, the night air danced on the back of his neck. Tiny cold feet tapping up and down his spine, telling him it was right, tonight. He didn’t notice his hands on the wheel until they were tensing up on the faux leather. The noise of flesh tightening as he squeezed harder and harder. Rhythmically building until it felt like something might burst.

He pressed a button on the dash, the door unlocked.

She slid into the car with a practiced hip wiggle. She fell into the buckets seats like a catcher’s mitt. The door slamming shut behind her.

Up close she had sullen eyes and a wide flat face. Her hair was a washed out brunnette imitation of something Marilyn Monroe may have had at one point.

“Quiet type?” She said.

He breathed out and kept his face hidden by a nervous hand at his mouth as he leaned his arm against the window.

“Crazy clown time”

“-it was crazy clown time”

The music was much louder in the car, masking the sound of his heartbeat in his ears. It was all around him, the inside of his car felt like it was filled with cotton balls. He couldn’t look at her, she was too close, he scanned her up and down from the corner of his eye.

“Do you have a place we can go?”

“Crazy clown time”

“-it was crazy clown time”

~

Green Sunday Chapter 15 ‘Strange Eyes’ (Raw)

Finally back in black on facebook, spent all morning trolling people about Trump and getting in various pointless internet arguments to spark the old brain furnace going. I know it’s pointless but it sort of just gets me going, it stokes the coals, gives me a rush, really gets me in the mood to tear some shit up in a literary sense. If it doesn’t consume my whole fucking day. I always like to think that the mind is like a razor and you need to take it out and cut now and then so you can remember how to use it and keep it nice and sharp. Or if you like some ancient samurai quote about swords getting rusty or covered in blood and sticking I can’t be bothered to google ha. Even better highlander two; “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if you don’t take it out and use it, it’s going to rust”. Which now I’m recalling it probably also is about swords since it’s highlander but for some reason has always sounded like it was about dicks. Guess that says more about me than the film. GOTZ D DIKS ON D BRIANZ OOOOOHHH!!!1111

My audience (all three of you, and that’s being generous) will be happy to know as of some time in the middle of the day yesterday or was it the day before? I completed Green Sunday, my steaming pile of something close to zombie satire. Kaloo kalay, I hear you say.
Yeah well still in editing hell despite being completed, here’s the following chapter, I’m gonna keep editing it on the same schedule, no reason to rush that stuff just because it’s completed. Instead I’m gonna keep editing it gradually and move onto writing something else in the mean time to keep me sharp and sane. I’ll decide later today if I want to plan for nanowrimo or just do a short to bump up traffic on my inkitt page and show people I can write more than zombexploitation. Maybe something dramatic, a period piece. I am fucking with you. It’ll be in the same vein, maybe something a little more serious, a little more pulpy or surreal. Gonna start hashing it out after I finish writing this crap.
Ok well long story short, this is the first portion of the next chapter where some crazy shit happens, some resident evil maybe some weeb action who knows?

As usual you can check out the full chapter on inkitt until I find something better. I think inkitt is ok but I might change it to goodreads if I go the self publisher route just because the review system on inkitt lends itself to nepotism. But who am I to complain with my five star rating haha?

GS Chapter 15 ‘Strange Eyes’

~

The brief silence ripped apart like a laminated piece of paper. A red beetle door with garish orange flames spray painted on it flew across the garage. Spinning like a coin flipped by a king kong size index finger and thumb. It hit the wall of the shop pancaking the fat bike. Embedding itself in the concrete and sheet metal load bearing wall.

The fat biker was eviscerated by the force of the door and his body hitting the wall. He looked like he’d fallen from space. His body was only recognizable by garish near human shaped body parts. Hands, feet, an eyeball, a tongue. A limb with bone shrapnel perforating the skin from as many places as seemed humanly possibly. His bodies wet carcass popped like a waterballoon full of dark red jello. Sticking in some places, plastered to the wall. Heavier matter slopping on the floor making a cringe inducing wet slapping noise.

He looked inside out. Grown men who watched people beat eachother to death and fed people to half dead freaks threw up raw hotdogs on the concrete floor.

Mojang shook as he clutched the grenade launcher in his large hands.

The bikers watched without sound as a puckish boy hopped off the rim of the pod. His body size and shape gave him away to be an age range that could have been anywhere between sixteen and twenty. He had a slim strong frame, coming to a short height of only around five foot four.

He scanned around the room. His face wasn’t visible for a carbon fibre helmet covering most of his head. Making him looking something between a paladin from WOW and a power ranger. His body was covered in a skin tight compression suit covered in individual plates of a space age metal. The plates moved and breathed with his body like the scales of a dragon.

A slit in his visor gave way to a penetrating stare and a strange set of blue green eyes. One eye was blue, the other was green.

The boy looked around the room like the terminator, but his eyes had a feint smile to them. As if he was in on the joke. His gaze nevertheless was cold and unfeeling with no unessecary movments. When he’d finished he flashed a cocky grin with his eyes and turned around. He hopped back onto the pod like Peter Pan, dislodging a strange chrome rod. The rod flaired out in the middle in both directions. Leading to two conical points on either end, measuring almost the length of the boys entire body.

Clutching it in the middle by what was now evidently a handle. He crossed his chessed with the strange chrome double ended lance and let out a cocky breathy laugh.

“What the fuck are you waiting for? This clown need to make you balloon animals? GREASE THIS MOTHERFUCKER!” Mojang stuttered wrestling with the volume of his voice as his whole frame shook from the base.

A symphony of gunfire erupted. Small arms fire popping and snapping in the small metal box building. Small machine gun fire, revolvers, pistols. A staccato ww2 bolt action rifles cracking like thunder intermittently. Between satisfying metallic clicking noises of bolts moving into place. The assault rifles slicing in whip like bursts of ecstatic crescendos. Bassy shotgun blasts punctuating the end of a phrase.

“I’m out”

“Me too”

The lancer punctured the cloud of dust and debree. And with one dismissive gesture it was dispersed. Revealing the lancer in his silvery scale armor. He looked untouched.

“What the fuck?”

“We missed?”

“I’ll stick this motherfucker!” An older man with long silvery hair and a black leather jacket covered in patches chimed in. He held a mosin nagant ww2 bolt action rifle. He’d so proudly procured it from a dead ww2 vets house. He could almost see nazi helmets popping off with each satisfying pull of the antique trigger. The fool charged the lancer, bayonet flashing in the air with martial furry.

The man came in at angle to the side of the Lancer, who didn’t even turn his head to the charging man. Despite his loud cries and determination to skewer the young knight.

The man lunged forward with the bayonet like a pike and stabbed at the lancer who didn’t move an inch. The instant the blade made contact with one of the many small plates coating the lancers body. A small sharp explosion like a party popper broke the supple body of the wooden gun stock. The gun shattered lit it had been struck by lighting and sent the bayonet bounding back. Firing like a piece of shrapnel up under his jaw and coming out the top of his head. Blood erupting out of the top of his head and mouth like a science fair volcano before he ragdolled to the ground.

The Lancer struck a pose and cast a cheeky grin with his strange eyes “I guess that means it’s my turn.” A tinny voice said over the rising dust and smoke.

~

Thanks again for checking it out (wait, did I even thank you a first time?) don’t forget to go to my inkitt page if you liked what you read and want to read more of that stuff.

GS Chapter 15 ‘Strange Eyes’

Cheers!

Chapter 4 Every day is like Sunday

Ok finally got the latest chapter properly edited at great expense to me I may add haha. As always do yo extreme paranoia and neatfreakedness this is but a snippet of the whole chapter which is enormously long. I’m almost finished the book at large, and I may go back and break up some of the chapters so that people feel smarter when they read it “Look ma I read a whole chapter, aint I just Albert Hemmingway junior?”. But no seriously, it’s almost done in it’s delicious raw form ready for editing. It’s shaping up to be around 80k give or take a few thousand words.
Anyway I hope these changes tickle your fancy and if you want to read everything out so far you can find them on inkitt in a lovely mobile format for all your doodads by following this link;

‘Every day is like Sunday’
~

On the edge of town, a sign read ‘Sage Valley – Population 979’. Halogen lights burned cold with a tinny buzzing sound that was both soothing and nauseating.  Early morning was shaking its head and wondering what had happened. It was dark, the air was thick and electrifying. A gas station sign flickered on and off; it was empty, a dead time. The cold concrete forecourt stood bare and desolate and dirty and drab. Cricket sounds etcetera etcetera.

The stale, sterile light inside the gas station lit everything with an off-colour, sickly blue tint. It was just a small town gas station, like the kind you’d see in any crappy slasher movie: a one storey affair with a minimart inside, stocked with essential corn and meat-based snacks and energy drinks, the kind that turned your piss green and soupy.

“Daryl! You better not be sleeping again. Anyone else steals any gas I’m gonna take it out of your ass!” A booming, cigar-scarred voice came from somewhere in the back, through the thin corkboard walls of the gas station. A young man, with his feet up on the counter, slid the magazine covering his pock-marked face off one eye and opened it. He fixed his chair to the upright position, surreptitiously letting the magazine fall into his half-cupped hands. He gave an ever so effortless yawn.

“Shut up, you old fuck! I’m still living! Nobody out here!” he said, in a semi-raised voice, which he then lowered to address himself. “Gotta be four in the morning. No one needs gas in this goddamn town no more. Everyone driving those piece of shit roller-skate cars they got.”

Daryl rearranged himself in his seat and got as comfortable as he could get with his eyes open, reclining only slightly before pausing to look around and take a whiff of the cool night air cut with the smell of disinfectant. On top of the latent smells of puke and piss, there was a definitive lingering scent of cheap booze: burn your gut worse than drinking straight from the gas pump, but it was cheaper to drink from the bottle.

He resigned himself to the fact that nothing was going on. The roads were dead and dark and he rationalised a resting of the eyes, letting his heavy lids close and his vision become hazy as he blinked at the transparent glass doors of the minimart. Just as he hit the point of no return with his dozing, the doors parted soundlessly and then closed again, giving him pause as to whether he saw anything at all.

His eyes opened and rolled to attention as if he were waking from a coma. He could have sworn he saw someone come in. He strained to hear: padding, damp noises. A stray wandering off the street drawn by the smell of stale complex carbohydrates?

He straightened in his seat and stepped back into his body. He looked around. “Err, can I help you?”

A rustling sound, cans rattling; instant foreboding crossed the brow beneath his trucker cap. A cold damp grease formed where he had rested the magazine while he was sleeping. Sweat rolled off his forehead now as he felt the urgency of being alone. “Hello?”

Sounds of gumming and biting, ripping, crinkling: a dog for sure. He curled around the counter, picking up a tire-thumping bat from under his seat. He walked briskly to the front of the counter. Reaching the door, all his nervous energy left him with a cough. And he became lifeless and limp, trying to hold the bat firmly in a clammy palm. It dangled by his side like a twig.

“Who’s there?” Daryl called out, like all those clichés in the movies. And he cursed himself for falling into that trap. But a new, sudden fear of the unknown twisted in his guts now and he felt compelled to ask.

The scuttling sound of bare feet on linoleum sent a cold shiver up his spine and a dry gob of spittle down his throat. The noise moved deeper towards the back of the store. He felt his feet dragging him listlessly in the direction of the sound, the bat swinging at his shins.

“Hello?” he called out again, groping at the wet walls of his sanity, trying to come up with any number of reasonable conclusions to this event. A dog? A cat? A racoon? A crazy homeless guy? A drunk chick? Some hungry pothead or all of the above?

He turned down the snack isle, which was oddly paired with feminine hygiene products. He rested his shaking hand on the side of the metal shelves. He forced himself to look around them to where the noise emanated. His body felt numb. Pulses of adrenaline coursed through his brain and sent shocks all the way down to his fingertips.

Hunched over a small mound of assorted snacks and raw or semi-raw meat products, was what appeared to be a child. He saw its naked back. The skin looked cold and drawn and wet, like a fish or a lizard. It was so pale it looked blue. The child hunched over the food, making soft sopping gnashing sounds.

~

For the rest of the chapter mosey on down to inkitt sil vous plait;

‘Every day is like Sunday’

 

 

Welcome to Bat Country, breakdown of the first issue.

I wanted to do a breakdown of the first issue of Bat Country, try to make some sense out of the whole mess that is Bat Country, try to lay that whole twisted bag of snakes out, and if you’ve read any of it, you know this is going to be a long one.

If people would ask me what I wanted to achieve with this book, I don’t really know if I could sum it up in a few words. But I guess the closest thing I could say would just be a fear of open spaces. I wanted to cultivate and exacerbate my fear of the outside world. That’s basically what the title means; the world is full of carnivorous flying rodents that want to suck your blood.

Basically I’m just trying to make excuses for why this comic makes no sense ha-ha. It’s told from the perspective of someone who can’t see in straight lines, everything enters his brain differently and since he’s the narrator of his own story, the narrative is unreliable.

So the first page I get my sneaky twin peaks reference in to Big Ed’s Gas farm (I’ll look a right twat if that’s wrong now ha-ha) and get into my thing about sugar, I’m sure if I was some hypersensitive writer for the guardian I’d call it ‘sugarshaming’ ha-ha. But since I’m not I tend to think people associate lots of sugar with childishness, as if growing older means you no longer see a reason to enjoy ‘the sweet life. I wanted to introduce Ransom as a character that relished in his childishness and was almost petulant in his reaction to people trying to shame him into conforming to their own way of thinking.

TLDR: Motherfucker like his coffee sweet.

I think maybe a year or two ago, I began this strange fascination with cooking shows or just food shows in general. I watched come dine with me just to watch absolute cunts sit and try to withstand each other for a few evenings in a row, talking shit about each other in the backroom. There was something delicious about uncomfortable silences shared by complete strangers who had never the less grown to hate each other over the course of one evening ha-ha. English people like myself have such an acquired taste for awkwardness.

Then I started to watch Man VS Food, for those that haven’t watched it, it’s basically a show about a chubby American fellow going from town to town taking up eating challenges. Eating a giant burger or a colossal omelette or something, or a really hot curry. I really enjoyed it for the food (I love food) and the competitive nature, it was just a fun show.

But this was when I was little more social justicey, so I started to spin my Marxist (did away with those thankfully away, just a nice empty space now ha-ha) and it made me think this show was everything wrong with America. It was decadent, ‘people are starving’ I said to myself as I watched this pudgy American stuff his face with a hotdog the size of a skateboard.

I was both in awe and disgust with America and the American way, a fine line between love and hate indeed.

One of my many fantasies is that of walking the earth like Cain in Kung fu, I’ve often thought about just walking, getting into some adventures and just travelling. Then to hit the ground realising I have no money and my shoes are made from inedible canvas. The realities of it were just too glaring, how would I eat, how would I make enough money to travel and survive? But then I realised that in America those two things could coincide. In the wondrous USA you can be paid for eating, so something that could have been just a throwaway piece of plot filler became almost the crux of the story.

On a whole the basic joke of the story is that it’s almost as if to America thinks it can reach enlightenment through eating. Purely by how much they eat and how much of science they honed of gluttony.

This was going to by my satirical comic poking fun at the American dream, the hypocrisy of modern culture and capitalism and religion and all that good stuff. But after a while those things started to bore me and realised that trying to force people to think like me through a comic made me as bad as the assholes I was critiquing, so I cut that shit out. Now I just want to make people laugh and make them think and deliver something so fucking out there, they’ll never forget.

Diagnosis love is another reference to Twin peaks, well the first season, which is my favourite. It had this soap opera running in the background of the occasional episode, the story of which was cheesy but was a mirror of what was happening in the show. I really liked the feel of it and how it added another layer to story, making it seem self aware. I initially was introduced by this; I don’t know what you call it really in Max Payne 2. The idea that you can’t tell if you’re mimicking the art or it’s mimicking you. Obviously Max Payne must have copied it from Twin Peaks.

I suppose in a way a part of me wanted to mock most other webcomics where this type of storytelling isn’t intentionally cheesy and ridiculous ha-ha. It’s there to contrast the goings on in the ‘real world’ but mirror them just enough to seem relate-able.

It’s choked full of odd references, Night of the Hunter, Wild at heart, dune, Beetlejuice, I want to get across to the reader that outside to Ransom is literally an alien planet, these diners in the middle of nowhere are like ‘safe spaces’ from all that nature trying to get him.

Liberty or the cowboy is another matter all together; I guess he’s a reference to the Big Lebowski in a way.

The first issue that makes me cringe is the dialogue; yeah my own dialogue makes me cringe. I wanted to copy the style of Max Payne, Address Unknown and Twin Peaks, so essentially I wanted the dialogue to be as cheesy and as hackneyed as possible. I want it to feel fake and strange and just wrong, like a 90’s TV show. And gradually if people keep reading that’ll fade away and it’ll grow with the reader. It’s very much, I hate to say like Natural Born Killers (I hated that movie), the style, the critic of American culture. That niggling feeling that all that freedom and all that space gives you. I can’t help feeling that that feeling is intoxicating and addictive and the reason for all the evil in the world and all the good.
People can be so free they feel trapped, they have all this power to do whatever they want but they stay where they are, pacing back and forth in a cage of their own making. Or they toss it all away like Ransom and burn out rather than fade away. That’s conflict we have here, that’s what I think American culture is, ultimate freedom driving people mad, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, quite the opposite in fact.

Now the second part of the story, some paranoid people are actually being followed. Now I can’t hope to hide this, this entire scene was inspired by my favourite scene in Mulholland Drive, the hitman scene. I thought that scene was so funny, I couldn’t resist. I really love that film and I feel robbed that it wasn’t turned into a full TV show as it was intended, I would have really loved to have seen more from that bungling hitman. I can’t help feeling if Netflix existed in the 90’s Lynch would have been even more popular than he is and not this cult god we admonish him as now.

This scene where the henchmen are going through his apartment is a back story hint, the story of Bat Country just like Twin Peaks starts in the middle. The reader will have to work back as the story moves forward to understand why Ransom is on his journey and who he’s running from.

I got a lot of influence from Silent Hill 4 the room. That game really stuck with me for the voyeuristic nature, and its dreamlike interpretation of agoraphobia. Despite it bombing I found it really intriguing. Another influence is Oldboy, but that might be too spoilery ha-ha.

I was listening to the new Nick Cave album when I wrote this scene and for some reason I decided to put lyrics from Higgs Bosom Blues directly into the scene, don’t ask me why.

Ransom is on a journey, he’s trying to find the American dream and these two bumbling killers are following him.

He wakes from his dream for a minute then he’s back in it again harder than ever. The idea for this comic sort of came from the idea of the idea of the hero. What is a hero? To me a hero is a normal person who has no regard for themselves whatsoever, they’re not afraid of pain, they’re not afraid of humiliation or getting things horribly wrong. And that’s what Ransom tries to be.
I wanted the combat to be real and disgusting and brutal and just… messy and Florian really delivered with this scene. He really captured the brutality and the inelegance of an actual fight, no kung fu bullshit, no gimmicks, just blood and cuts and tooth and nails.

…and then it ends as abruptly as it started. I wanted the first issue to be a snapshot, a glimpse into this dream world, something that would make someone want to dig deeper and discover the underlying meaning. But shit, I’ve rambled enough.

Just go read it already ha-ha.
http://tapastic.com/series/Bat-Country

Breakdown of the first issue of Three Ring and some Reviews.

I wanted to blog about the first issue of Three Ring Samurai and Bat Country in more detail but I think I’ll tackle them separately and talk more broadly on how I feel about first issues because I find I feel quite strongly about them.

To me the first issue of a comic is like an introduction to an essay or a film or anything of that nature, it sets up the plot but it also has to stand almost on its own. I read so many indie comics who see the first issue as almost a hurdle to be jumped as swiftly and as neatly as possible to get to the ‘good bits’ but if you have ‘good bits’ why aren’t they in the first issue people will see?
You have to give people a reason to want to get to the ‘good bits’, I’m not going to read your entire graphic novel and then decide whether or not it was worth my time at the end. I’m going to see what the first issue is telling me and decide from that moment whether to keep reading or not.

So in my mind the first issue should almost encapsulate everything you want to say or achieve throughout the entire comic. It’s not the start of a story, it IS the whole story. I read quite a few comics that start at the beginning despite nothing really happening, and slowly building to that point.

A comic is not like a novel, you have to grab people’s attention as soon as possible or you’ll never have it. I’d structure it so it started at or after the inciting incident and work backwards, it’s a common device but that’s because it works and if you think you can’t make a common device work for you or you can’t make something like that fresh and exciting or scoff at cliché’s you really shouldn’t be a writer. Because that’s all we do, nothing is original, nothing is new, everything is a cliché, we’ve been on this planet for thousands of years as a species, we have to keep recycling and keep mixing things up to keep… LIFE interesting. It’s not what you write about, its how you write about it that makes what you do interesting.
Now my post apocalyptic diesel punk samurai clown epic, Three Ring Samurai, if I may be so modest has an oddly modest first issue in comparison from where the story goes. I see the premise, and the elevator pitch alone is incredibly flamboyant and done by anyone else it would too silly, too wacky and just wouldn’t work. I wanted to go for a more anime like feel, where there can be silliness and there can be wackiness but you always understand that there are real world consequences and life and death and it’ll be at its core a serious story because in my opinion those are the stories I like and want to tell.

I think seriousness and sadness and humour work off each other well and in some instances deepen eachother. It’s like twin peaks, again; you have all this wackiness going on in the episode but by the end you have to remember that Laura is dead and that’s what the show is about, it’s a comedy surrounding a tragedy and only the end can truly define where the pointer lands.

So with the first issue I really wanted to undersell it and be as subtle as I possibly could so that I could contain the bombastic title and concept and really blue ball the reader, as well as giving them a little something that would make them want to read the next issue (which is still being drawn) and give them a feel for the tone of entire series.

I really had to restrain myself because the concept is so rich and so fucking explosive, it’s almost too tempting to take it and run and just burn yourself out. But I wanted a really plodding and structured approach. And I know I said I hated comics that took a long time to get going but I think this comic had enough momentum behind it in terms of interest with the unique subject matter to cut me a little slack if just for the first issue. To be a little mysterious, a little enigmatic even in a comic that is so tongue in cheek at its core as this.

So the first page, I read that and I hear Ron Perlman’s voice saying ‘War, war never changes’, and I just can’t resist, the zoom out on the post apocalyptic setting, I really wanted to give a feel of scope and loss with the idea that people were still clinging on to something which is Fallout at its heart.

We’re introduced to these two kids, like the wastelands answer to tin tin, two innocents bounding onto some dark strange discovery and this is how we’re introduced to our hero. I tried to use this to set the tone in terms of the fact the kids didn’t find it strange to find a dead body, the light normality of death being so prevalent in a harsh wasteland.

Pookie is almost like an alien or a baby or a fish wacked on the head and brought back to life. With the scenes of the shack, I almost wanted a sleepy feel, a sort of cool peace that fell on the wasteland at dusk in contrast to the chaos of the day.

I had a lot of fun with the kids, sneaking in exposition and building up to the character of Pookie by essentially mocking him in this cartoony anime sort of way. I want him to be this figure of fun, a silly character that can fall on his ass and make a fool of himself because he’s not afraid of being a fool because he knows when it comes down to it, he’ll have the last laugh.

The grandpa character is a sort of wily comic relief, someone to bounce weird jokes off the kids (fuck just noticed a spelling mistake haha). Someone who plays dumb to lull people into a false sense of security but secretly knows more than he lets on. And then we can have this hushed voices real talk between him and Pookie, nods and gestures of two people in tune in some way.

The dream sequences are something I plucked directly from the opening sequence of David Lynch’s Elephantman. I wanted something surreal but also very silly, and I really can’t get away with genuine serious surrealism. I’ve always been more drawn to comedy surrealism like Luis Bunuel and to some extent David Lynch, I find he takes his surrealism (besides possibly Eraserhead, that movie freaks a lot of people out but I found it quite silly and funny in a way) very lightly and with many pinches of salt.

I think if I remember correctly, the reason I made it elephants is mainly because I loved the way Ike (The artist) drew the elephant on the opening page and then I took the opening sequence from David Lynch’s Elephantman, which is a pretty fucking weird intro and ran with it. I’m pretty sure it’s an elephant rape scene, or that’s at least what he’s hinting at, I wouldn’t put that past him to be fair, he’s done weirder shit than that.

I shamelessly stole the Musashi joke from Champloo. I have no shame, it’s just too funny and I read the book of the five rings before I started writing this, so why the fuck not?

We’re introduced to Pookie in earnest, I always like characters with silly names, it almost makes it twice as amazing when they do something incredible, I almost wish I came up with it but I think that was all Ike as is the original concept.

Only 11 pages in do we get to the meat of the story. Pookie has been robbed and the natural imperative of gramps is just to let it go, some stuff isn’t worth your life and Pookie is injured, but Pookie is not like them. Someone takes something from him, he gets it back. He is almost an alien, dropped into a dog eat dog world with an inordinately large set of teeth. This is where I like to think I injected some of the Cain in Kung Fu elements I wanted to bring forward. A lone wanderer, from a strange culture, a warrior with incredible skill plucked out of a fantasy; an almost mockery to human potential, an anime character walking Deus Ex Machina.

The main purpose of this issue is that Pookie was essentially destroyed, his life, his past. He was killed, reborn and everything he knew stripped away from him. So now he has to find himself, he has to decide who he is in this new world, without the world he’d come to know. The first thing he’s drawn to is his sword and violence because that’s all he’d known all his life.

In a lot of ways this is a coming of age story, someone thrown out of their old life like Kung Fu and thrust into a strange new world, forced to make sense of who he has to become to survive.

This whole issue is essentially about Pookie’s rebirth (fuck that’s pretentious), he’s trying to establish who he really is, because for so long he was one thing (no spoilers); it was his whole world, his identity and in one moment it’s taken from him and now he has to re-establish his identity and who he is as a character. As a writer it was and is a tricky character to write for because he’s almost forming himself with every page, piecing himself together like Doctor Manhattan.

I’m oddly proud of the sword, a sword with a handle like one of those cheesy laughing boxes Jack Nicholson joker has at the end of Batman. He always gets the last laugh even if he dies. I sort of wanted to mock the idea of swords in general.

A katana is as clichéd as you can get these days, so saturated in popular culture. I wanted to make his sword out to be some ridiculous piece of joke shop crap, a silly show piece, a gimmick for laughs, a sword that laughs for a man that doesn’t need to.

It’s also sort of homage to my early knife collection. I bought this crappy machete from Doncaster market when I was like 13 I think. It had a dragon or lions head handle with glowing led’s for eyes that lit up when you pressed a button, jesus what the fuck was I thinking?

The combat I wanted to keep as theatrical as possible, death is a show, it had to be fairly flash but also brutally inefficient. He’s a monster, a vicious killer, who expects applause for his butchery, someone shaped by the brutality of the vicious curiosity of a bloodthirsty crowd egging him on to further heights of gut-wrenching violence. To him violence and killing is a parlour trick, it’s almost a joke, like hitting someone in the face with a custard pie.

That’s how I wanted to capture this element of silliness in this very grotesque and ultra-violent package. I really wanted to hone that feeling of 80’s action movie ultra-violence, like Robocop. Someone is torn apart in this ridiculously over the top death sequence but it’s wrapped up in this really silly camp vibe that makes it all the more sinister and weird.

Ok maybe the ending with the cheesy ‘see ya around kid’ was a little too much but I couldn’t resist. I wanted to end it in a way that made it uncertain where he was going, he was just going somewhere, anywhere to forge a new Pookie, one that followed his own rules and didn’t need no stinkin’ circus.

Well how did I do? haha. Fuck I waffled on like a man possessed, if you read this far through I commend you.

All in all not a lot happens but I think it’s a tight and tidy package, I’ve got a handful of positive reviews for it under my belt already and I feel confident it was a solid first issue. but it gives enough, succinctly I think, to grab the attention for another issue or two.

Reviewses!

http://comicsgrinder.com/2015/08/26/webcomic-review-three-ring-samurai/

http://www.comiccrusaders.com/webcomic-wednesday-review-three-ring-samurai/

Well I hope you like it anyway, I’ve rambled enough for a lifetime, as always you can check it out for free at; http://tapastic.com/series/Three-Ring-Samurai

Thanks for reading, peace out.

Blue Velvet

It sounds more and more pretentious every time I say it but one of my biggest influences when I write right now and in the creative process in general is David Lynch.

Which is odd to say it’s pretentious because Lynch’s work, I find remarkably unpretentious, so distinctly odd without necessarily trying to be, just unrestrainedly uncommon and intriguing. Every one of his films and Twin Peaks is almost like someone took the idea of film making or a tv show and handed it to an Alien and he made his own interpretation that was like what had come before but so drastically but indescribably different. Something you just couldn’t put your finger on but it was rolling around in your brain itching in the corners of your eyes and just couldn’t get it.

I’m not a lifelong fan, I had seen the Elephantman and Dune but I think I was too young to have been caught up in Twin Peaks at the time of its release and those two movies are probably the worst ones to watch in retrospect. Both films are constrained by one being true and the other being based on a sci-fi novel.

So he slipped through the cracks, while I was quite happy with my Tarantino’s and my Scorcese’s and whomever else grazed my adolescent movie palate.

Until I saw a film that really struck an odd note with me that sticks with me even now and no it wasn’t actually by David Lynch *plot twist* it was by Jennifer Lynch, his talented daughter. The movie was called Surveillance, a really haunting off kilter thriller, I love even to this day. But what really stuck with me was the sound track.

The music was haunting and jarring and really something else, I couldn’t help tracking down the soundtrack and finding my favourite song from the film which was called ‘Speed Roadster’ written and performed by… David Lynch.
Who was this alternative/electro/country sounding singer I’d never heard of but couldn’t get enough of; oh what he’s the director’s father? And he’s a writer/director (/among other things, painter/actor) as well? Wow.

Then rather ashamedly I started to put together the dots and I had heard a lot of talk about I think True Detective and how it was ‘like twin peaks’ which in some respects is true. It does capture that haunting sorrow of the unavoidable nature of life and the boundless horror of the unknown (a little Lovecraftian in that respect too, despite it being based on the Yellow King mythos). I may be rewriting my own history here, I can’t be sure, so instead of watching True Detective I watched Twin Peaks (And then eventually True detective) and I was captivated, a little bored/confused at times but I had to keep watching.

There was just something about it, something that made me want to laugh but also cry bitterly and it held me in this state between sorrow and a drunk sort of happiness and each emotion seemed to feed off the other and deepen, the depths of the humour dug larger holes for the sorrow to hide and when the credits rolled over Laura’s face you remembered why you were here.

Frankly I was amazed that such a compelling show could be written about one murder, I can hardly concentrate long enough through an episode of csi or the walking dead where the cast drops like flies.

It was amazing that one fictional person’s life could touch so many people in so many different ways and although she wasn’t technically a character, Laura was the show.

So I initially got into David Lynch not even knowing he made films or tv shows, I just thought he was a weird old guy that made cool music. I loved introducing my brother to Lynch because we watched all his films together and I can’t remember if we watched the Twin Peaks movie Fire walk with me first or not but he hadn’t seen the show before watching. There’s this bit where some weird shit happens and my brother turns to me expecting me to know what the fuck it means because I watched the show and I was like; ‘Dude, I don’t fucking know’ and it was pretty funny.
I was told it didn’t matter if you watched the movie or the show first but I’m glad I watched the show first because it completely depicts Laura’s murder, something I think should never have been done.

In the classic Poe style mystery, the greatest mysteries are the ones that go unsolved.

But producers and ratings and money and bing bang boom, they ruined the whole mystery and then the show limped on after until it eventually keeled over with the help of Billy Zane??

Season 2 in my opinion is a complete clusterfuck, I hold out hope for the reboot, but I intend to keep my expectations as low as possible and coddle myself in the warm embrace of my favourite Lynch films, Blue Velvet being one.

The thing that separates Lynch from any other of my influences is that I not only learnt a lot about story telling from him but also about the creative process in general. I think it’s in a Tom Waits song (Of which the name escapes me) where he says David Lynch told him that he had to sit in a comfy chair and close his eyes and wait for the big one to come along.

Although he may have been alluding to his transcendental meditation woo of which I am not subscribed (I can sit in a chair with my eyes closed without paying like ten quid a month to some swami or whatever) as a fan of Lovecraft this struck a chord with me.

There’s a part of me that is deeply sceptical of woo, all things woo but there’s another part that believes that stories are located in a river in a different dimension and when we close our eyes and concentrate we can catch the odd big fish.
All stories are essentially the same in structure but the core principals of the story come from somewhere else, they’re pieced together from dreams and movies and conversations and some ultra-terrestrial other or just plain pulled out of your ass.

But sometimes I can’t help feeling that I’m not creating stories, I’m just uncovering something that was already there or giving life to something long dead and that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, despite it most likely being bullshit it gives me a nice Lovecraft boner, like I’m in my own story and some ungodly horror is going to burst into the room and tentacle rape me.. what was that noise? On the stairs, it can’t be…*gasp* my eyes, my ey..*indiscernible screaming*.

Check out more strips at Jeffrey Dahmer and Greg the comic strip
And my Lynchian mystery comic here Bat Country

Walk the Earth like Pookie in Three Ring Samurai.

Forgive me in advance for the rambling nature of this blog, I really don’t have a plan, I just have two words ‘Kung fu’.

For those not familiar with it, Kung Fu is a tv show with David Carradine playing a half Chinese half American boy raised in a shaolin temple after both his parents are killed by a tyrannical Emperor.
The story is based around his travels to seek out his family in America after his master is killed he must flee china wanted for killing the emperors son in an act of hot on the spot vengeance for the unwarranted killing.

He travels America looking for his family, evading the snare of the emperor and getting into scrapes and adventures, meeting interesting people along the way. With each new adventure a piece of his teachings is called upon to assist him and make sense of a world he’s only just coming face to face with.
Secluded all his life Caine is as a child with the fighting skills of a shaolin priest, through a series of flashback his past is brought to light to help him overcome and decide on certain courses of action to aid him in his adventures.

~

I initially watched the show out of the blue, maybe as some form of research for 3 Ring, I know I definitely shamelessly ripped a lot off for the issue plan, I borrowed a lot of ideas and I in an upcoming arc and I decided to completely parody the montage of Caine’s training in the shaolin temple and make it Pookie’s ridiculous clown training, I just couldn’t resist.

I really, really loved the style; the way the story was structured in the first season was perfect, calling on back-story applying it to current plot. It worked really well because you learned more about him every episode in a way that felt very consistent. And every episode you learnt a valuable and somewhat touching lesson.

It padded the main plot nicely as we learned about Caine throughout his various adventures and then kept us interested in the search for his brother and the threat of the Emperor on his heels and for a guy that had never done kung fu before kung fu David Carradine isn’t half bad as an actor or a fighter coming from someone who knows kung fu. He wasn’t amazing and he did use a stunt double in season one I believe but ditched that for his own stunts in later seasons.

Long story short I loved the show and I wanted the same feel for 3 Ring Samurai, I wanted every arc to be a self contained movie, something that engaged people and had action and drama and suspense and just enough thread of main plot to keep people reading but not enough to overwhelm them.

Sadly the second two seasons of Kung fu really fell short for me and I must admit I almost breathed a sigh of relief, I’m not proud to admit I take pleasure in the downfall of other but I think a lot of people feel shadenfreud a lot more than they’d like to admit. I was relieved to see the show fall because to live up to that, for it to continue at that level of quality would have rendered my endeavours to emulate it seem futile.

I don’t blame the show for this, I blame the times and the idea that writing staff are disposable, they chose to change the writers for season two and with the nature of television in the seventies I feel like they had to make it more consumable for people to watch as re-runs.

Tv wasn’t like how it is now with netflix and the internet, you couldn’t choose to watch a tv show whenever you wanted, and watch them in order, you watched them when they were on, in the order they were on and if you missed an episode you had to watch it in a rerun. You couldn’t just buy the boxset on dvd.
So each episode had to be standalone and almost interchangeable in terms of the timeline of the story so someone could watch any episode in any order and still keep up and enjoy the show.
This change of writers and restructuring of the show is a noticeable decline in cogent plot and although I watched each season through it didn’t measure up in any shape or form to season one.

I don’t know why but my mind keeps drawing back to Twin Peaks and the dire mistake of revealing the mystery around the death of Laura Palmer half way between season two which without a doubt killed the show. Lynch himself said he never wanted to reveal the mystery and I and Edgar Allen Poe would have agreed that the greatest mystery is one that goes unsolved. It was the fault of the producers of the show that forced him to reveal the mystery and then have the show limp on to the end without much a hook to keep the show going.
It’s almost amazing to even think that an entire tv show could be framed around one murder or one person’s life like Kung Fu. But it can because people themselves can be unsolvable mysteries.
And every time the credits rolled over Laura Palmer’s picture I would feel a pang of sorrow for the mystery of her life and even more so for the tawdry reveal of that perfect mystery and then the shop bought replacement mystery awkwardly wedged in its place.

I think if Kung Fu were re-made today it would be an incredibly feat but also a really rewarding one, (Note to self, call Keanu Reeves ;)). This is the golden age of television where the possibilities for stories and budgets and scope and acting talent are virtually limitless and at a time where there is so much pressure on the structure of films and now games it’s really necessary.

So please forgive the faux fanboy ranting, I just wanted to give some perspective to the narrative structure and style of 3 Ring, think Kung Fu meets Fallout 4 haha.

Peace out people.

We can’t stop here!

Bat Country is back hombres and hombrettes!

Yeah you have no idea what that is, well fuck it if I’m not gonna be happy about it.

Bat Country is the culmination of my fevered imagination trying to make sense of a world that doesn’t even try to make sense. This world is so strange and full of contradictions and bullshit that we just let wash over us like steamy farts from landwhale in the mobility scooter in the front of the queue at McDonalds.

Bat Country tries to tie all those loose ends together and make a whole lot of spaghetti. I originally started it before I knew about this whole ‘social justice movement’. When I wanted to write comics about social issues and dun dun dun ‘change the world’… with comics ffs.

Needless to say I was and probably still am a complete retard. Trying to force your opinions on others in the form of prose or a visual medium like comics is just really polite brainwashing and after I saw all this cultural Marxism go down around me in terms of comics and games and… err shirts. I realised that comics and any medium in general should never try to make people think like you, they should just make people think, full stop.

Bat Country is at its heart a story of a misfit, someone who doesn’t fit in, even in his own head, someone so completely alien to this world, it keeps trying to spit him out. Ransom is a normal guy who sees something he shouldn’t have seen and after a long period of time he realises the world just isn’t a good fit for him so he locks himself away for a number of years with the help of a shadowy backer with the mind and the money to keep him quiet and hidden for the rest of his natural life.
But in the mean time Ransom starts to build his own plan, to escape the cage of his own design and go out of this world with a big bang and really bad indigestion.

He plans to go on an adventure, walk the earth, travelling a long stretch of nothing populated by obscure eating contests until at the end reaching spiritual and gastric awakening, opening the third stomach or whatever.

But there are people trying to stop him, troubles he gets embroiled in, other people’s stories crossing with him and mixing up the spaghetti even more.

Dreams and fantasy mixing in real time, 4th wall flimsier than crate paper and ultra-violent eroticism tickling the corner of your eyes… maybe??

I was just standing in a coffee shop one day and I realised how fucking out of place I was just standing there… trying to be a person, what the fuck was thinking? I could barely talk, I just wanted to use the toilet but I had to buy something, so I bought some coffee type thing, it came in a little cup and they asked if I wanted milk and sugar and for some fucking reason I said ‘no’ and changing my mind seemed like the hardest thing in the world. Like I was Hitler and someone asked me if I wanted to kill the Jews or give them all sweets and I said ‘Kill them’ then changed my mind but they already started so it seemed rude to change your mind so you just had to ride it out.

It just made me think about what a comic book character like that would be like, someone just unequipped for life, so much so that life itself is just trying to eat them and just by existing they’re barrelling forth to their own misunderstanding of a self-destruction event.

At the time I was reading noir, I think the Maltese Falcon and that was cool, I’d been a big Raymond Chandler fan when I was younger and this wasn’t as good as that but it was cool and I thought, ‘shit I should write something like this’. Then surreptitiously I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas right after and I realised a freak like me could never write something that cool and I should just stick to being the weirdo lizard bootlicker that creates cool by mistake as a by-product of just being fucked in the head.

The reckless abandon and freedom of madness is what I wanted after reading Fear, and coincidentally I had been barrelling down a Lynchian path with Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart and I knew I had to capture what I loved about that and pass it over.

There was something so haunting and cheesy I couldn’t not rip it off.

So I started to write a story that was about stuff but really wasn’t about anything, it was almost a sarcastic salute to the human race, beautiful and flawed and all huddled on a little ball of dirt hurtling through space sniffing each other’s farts in little metal boxes in the sky on long haul flights from Cleveland or wherever.
Calling people out on being a virus with shoes but also marvelling at their ingenuity and cruelty and tenacity, I wanted to change the world and that was dumb, I know that now, all you can really do is make someone say ‘Wtf’ and that’s enough, a smile, a nod, a little chortle and you’ve done your job, you haven’t changed the world but you did something, something invisible but very real.

Now if only they’d give me some fucking money haha.

Oh yeah fuck, I almost forgot the whole point of this fucking blog, the next chapter of Bat Country is coming soon, new pages released on a weekly basis and you can read the whole first issue free on tapastic, until I can be bothered to move it somewhere less shitty and hipstery haha

http://tapastic.com/series/Bat-Country

Peace.

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