Search

Darkly Dreaming Demographic.

Where weird shit hits bizarre fans.

Tag

The American Dream

TOTCB – Chapter 5 ‘Stranger than kindness’

Bonjourno, mi amigos. Probably butchering that, how many languages was that? I dunno, fuck I’m so talented, all that multi-lingual stuff haha. Yes I’m joking, no I’m not that narcissistic, pretty close though.

Ok so what’s new?
Not much, just being doing the day job thing as of late, picked up an addiction to Gwent (Google it). May get fired for playing it at work, well that would solve that problem wouldn’t it haha.

I got some writing done after a snaffoo with some of my software. But it’s all hunky dory now and I’m away, and honestly, I’m having too much fucking fun writing this book, honestly, wtf? Why is it this fun to write this much nonsense. It’s like writing it is reading it for the first time because I have like the outline and the characters but I don’t really know how it’ll take shape other than that. I don’t know how the characters are going to interact, or what they’re going to say or how they’ll act, what they’ll do or how they’ll do it.
It’s all flowing out of me like a stream of consciousness, like I type it and there it is. Like it’s not even coming from me and its fun. I’m really enjoying how it’s taking shape, it’s like a puzzle slotting into place and the nature of the book itself is fun. It’s almost like a portmanteau movie with all these different characters, different worlds colliding.

Yeah so that’s it, just really enjoying it, can’t tell if that’s a good thing or a bad thing yet but fuck it, better than writing some miserable crap that makes me want to hang myself haha.

Remember if you want a free review copy of the first book, hit me up on twitter or facebook and if you’re on my mailing list you get a free ebook just for joining.

Peace out people.

Oh yeah also here’s a chapter of my last book that everyone seems to hate haha fucking nano, yes I am blaming you haha.

Stranger than kindness

~

On the plane Johnny seemed nervous and Peggy could tell, but she couldn’t think of any reason why he would be. To her this was the end, this was what she wanted, he was home.

She turned to him as the plane slowed to a crawl, putting her hand on his and she said “Are you ready to go home Johnny?”

Johnny didn’t react at first, as if hearing his own name was so foreign to him. He could hardly believe where he was, what he chose, there was no going back now.

He smiled and nodded.

They got off the plane and there reporters with cameras waiting for him asking him questions he didn’t answer. They just pushed past them into the arrivals lounge and they didn’t follow them.

She held his hand, he was shy and she suddenly felt a shard of ice hit her heart and she thought what it might be.

She turned to him and looked at him and he looked away.

“Johnny, are you afraid Momma’s not gonna love you anymore or something?”

He didn’t say anything, he mouthed something and furrowed his brow.

“You don’t need to worry, you’re home now. We’ve missed you, we’ve all missed you, but it’s going to be ok now, I promise”

She lead him out of the arrivals area and through passport control and to get their luggage. He didn’t have much but that one backpack and the clothes on his back.

What if there was something wrong with him? What if he’d never get better, what if the Johnny she knew was gone, never to return.

She shook off those feelings and lead him out to the parking lot.

Still he was nervous, he couldn’t stop moving. Bouncing around almost, going to the bathroom a lot and watching people and watching Peggy. He was always watching her for some reason. Trying to pick up cues from her. Like he’d forgotten how to be him and somehow watching her would help him remember who he was.

Who he was dependent on her expectation at this point.

Peggy’s husband Brandon with his camcorder. Their son Carl and daughter Sarah. Johnny and Peggy’s mother Angela had all loaded up in Carl’s Lincoln to go get Johnny and his sister.

They waited at the end of a long tiled windowless hallway. It was white with white rails along the side, slightly bluing tiles stuck on the walls. Brandon started filming as he saw people passing them by. Lots of people, young, old, fat, skinny, men and women but none of them were Peggy and Johnny.

More and more people passed, more people than seemed possible. With each passing it seemed less and less likely that they would come out. For a moment it seemed like a bad dream, they’d lost one child and sent another to find him only to lose that one too. The big bad world just swallowed them up. With each passing stranger their hearts sank.

Until finally Peggy emerged carrying her one duffel bag, she looked warn out but happy. Her hair was a messy, probably from sleeping on it. She wore a t-shirt and jeans, her face looked content like she’d just been around the world and seen all seven wonders in one shot. She saw her family waiting their huddled together. Anxious, excited, a little fear there, fear of the unknown.

They were the only ones left, the last off the plane.

~

The One Who Came Back – Chapter 3 ‘A Little Trip to Heaven’

Herro der.

Ok so getting off my ass, really making good use of my time recently my personal life falling apart aside.
Keeping pretty tight to my new 2k word goal, spitting reviews out of my ass like confetti and getting lots of proof reading done and I got a few more people on my mailing list by offering them free shit that’s not out yet haha.
It’s coming out soon, calm your tits. Just getting it edited, we’ve already been through the quote and I have the cash. I even have an artist lined up to do the cover, which isn’t cheap considering this is a novella I’m giving away for free. I just want to make sure the product I’m giving out is the best possibly quality, but that takes time.
I will probably be selling it on amazon in hard copy as well just because why not when I’ve put so much time and effort and money into it. So you can pick that up if you feel like it just to support me but you don’t have to do obviously, you’re getting your free digital copy as soon as possible.
Been working on my latest novella just to prepare for when I wade into my next big novel project. It’s just a kind of wet silly horror novela, should be fun. I’ll be posting it on inkitt when I start proofreading it and I’ll probably be giving away ebook copies of that too when it’s edited.
But enough of my rambling updates. I just want to welcome the new people who joined my mailing and following my blog, thanks a lot for the support if you’re reading this, if you’re not I fucked your mother haha.

Ok so here’s the next proofread chapter of my nano novel which I’m really impressed with, I think this is the most professional thing I’ve done.

Here’s an excerpt from chapter 3 ‘A little trip to heaven’

If you want to read the full chapter head on over to inkitt by clicking on the hyperlink so you can get it in a mobile format and all that good stuff.

Anyway thanks again for reading this garbage haha.
Cheers!


“Some more pictures-“The tv was on, a home movie was playing. On the screen was a young girl’s room. White walls covered in pictures and cabinets lined with stuffed animals. “This is Peggy’s room, her bed, she even gots tv in her, aint she lucky?” A little boy’s voice said as the camera panned clumsily around the room.

“What if he doesn’t remember me?” Peggy said as she sat on their maroon couch next to her husband Brandon in their darkened living room.

“Well you’ll never know if you don’t go there and your mother sure as hell can’t make that trip, it has to be you.” He sighed and put his arm around “I wanna go with you but I’ve got work, you know that.”

“The birthday girl.” The boy on the tape said. The camera swayed into a canted angle on a young woman smiling, sitting at a table with her family. “Aint she beautiful?” Sounds of indistinct conversation could be heard as the the camera swept through the room looking around the kitchen and dining room. “And here is her brother, Johnny.” The camera jerked around as the boy aimed the lens at his own face. Giving the camera a semi-toothless grin and a direct view into his nostrils.

Peggy fidgeted in her seat on the plane. Taking long breathes and playing with saint christopher hanging around her neck.

She got the earliest flight she could, terrified but also eager. She’d never left texas before nevermind the country. Her heart raced and as soon as she sat down in her seat she swallowed and seemed to forget. All the hurrying and packing and walking on strained tight calves as she rushed to her flight. The hairs on the back of her neck. She felt like she was carried along by a sense of immediacy she couldn’t explain. She had to see him and touch him and kiss him and know he was ok or…

She couldn’t sleep, not on the flight and not the two days before it. Her heart wouldn’t let her, it beat and beat and it wouldn’t stop until she knew it was real and it wasn’t a dream.

The plane was crowded. She didn’t remember picking her seat, it was an aisle seat in coach. She couldn’t focus on anything, couldn’t keep her eyes on one thing or another. No faces were clear, she felt like she was in a doctor’s waiting room. Something about not moving but still moving set her teeth on edge and it made her want to walk the whole way to spain. She took a mirror out of her purse and poked at one of her eyes.

Peggy was a fairly pretty texas flower with shoulder length dirty blonde hair. Maybe just a little too much eye make up to cover up the lack of sleep. Hey eyebrows were so thin they looked drawn on. She had a strong Nordic looking face and jawline she softened with flowing bangs and a dimple in her chin. She looked tired though and she knew it. She was just past thirty and the lack of sleep did nothing for the sagging under her eyes. Her mouth was slightly downturned with a touch of natural lipstick

She couldn’t see out the windows. Everyone around her was either asleep, eating or watching a movie. Three things that didn’t cross her mind. She couldn’t shake the feeling she was in a box. She barely noticed the plane taxiing for take off. Only the tight feeling as her heart sunk into her seat as the plane took off.

It was a night flight so as soon as they got going they turned off most of the lights.

She laid her head back and closed her eyes and tried to sleep.

It didn’t work.

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

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑