Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Last Mechanical Monster

So I've started a new webcomic. It's called The Last Mechanical Monster, it's about a very old man and his giant robot, and you can find it over here. There are currently 18 pages up, with another 140 or so to come at a rate of two per week (Tuesday and Friday). I expect it'll keep me occupied through mid-2015.

The Last Mechanical Monster has been percolating in my brain for years. The premise always tickled me but it took me a long time to figure out what to do with it. This is the project that I penciled 110 complete pages of in 2011-2012 when I decided the story wasn't working and I needed to start fresh with a whole new approach. I literally turned those 110 sheets over and began drawing new pages on their backs. No sense wasting good paper.

A real catalyst for reworking The Last Mechanical Monster was my experience last year doing The Adventures of Old Time-Traveling Brian, a series of dopey little comics I posted here and then self-published as a limited-edition zine. I had so much fun doing that, while at the same time I was having so little fun slogging through my 110-plus pages of pencils, that I figured I must be doing something wrong. So I started over.

The webcomic is a work in progress. One key reason for releasing The Last Mechanical Monster as a webcomic is to get readers’ feedback. When I did Mom’s Cancer, readers told me what worked and what didn’t. Crowd-sourced editing. We talked and argued, and it turned out you were always right. Please feel free to share your thoughts via the comments on each page.

It's also mostly black and white. I plan to color it eventually; my palettes and swatches are all picked out. But right now coloring would take so much of my limited time that it'd prevent me from doing the webcomic at all. I think the black-and-white art still stands on its own, and I'll add color when it provides necessary clarity or meaning.

The Last Mechanical Monster is an experiment--or actually a few different experiments. I'm trying some stuff just to see what happens. I hope you'll check it out. If you like it please come back regularly, link to it, tell your friends. If you don't like it, keep it to yourself and maybe my next project will be more to your taste.

If you're not familiar with webcomics, they're typically posted in reverse chronological order with the most recent installment on the home page, so you can bookmark it and always see the latest without additional clicks. Links below each page and along the right margin should make it easy to navigate (let me know if they don't). I recommend clicking the link in the header that reads "Starts HERE."

Here you go. Let's see what happens.



Jim O'Kane said...

Just to let you know how dumb I was commenting on your story, I never looked for additional entries when reading the most recent strip you had linked on Facebook. And here I was thinking you were starting up the story in media res with the bus driver bribery. I thought I was being all kinds of clever recognizing the Fleischer robots in the wallpaper, but then I learned you had painstakingly built a storyboard earlier in the novel from screencaps of the Paramount cartoon. Okay, I'm finally up to speed. My only suggestion is: KEEP GOING!

Brian Fies said...

Glad you eventually caught up, Jim! Sorry I wasn't as mysteriously arty as you first thought.