The Seven Impossible Tasks

INTRO

This comic idea started twelve years ago when I felt the itch to make my own comic.  I didn’t really know what I wanted to do so I just started drawing.  I drew a girl a boy and a little dog.  I stared at them a while and started coming up with their relationship to each other.  Little by little things began to change a bit, but I still didn’t know what the story was.  I then just decided, to start writing dialogue.  I wrote for a while but it didn’t go anywhere, so I started over and over and over.  Eventually something started to form.  Then I  went back and started writing along the lines that started forming.  I had hit something and it started to work for me.  I went back to the beginning and plugged in what was working and the comic was born. It was titled: The Seven Impossible Tasks.

I meant this comic to be drawn simply.  In my big head style.  That way I would be able to get it done.  I drew the pages rough so that later I would be able to put a sheet of paper over the roughs and start drawing things better.  I just wanted to get the pages laid out first.  Thing is, as I drew the roughs, I was also experimenting with the look of the characters. Since the pages where roughs, I didn’t feel the need for the characters to look consistent through out.  I was trying to find the style I was going to use in the end.

After I finished the first 22 pages of story, I passed out copies of my roughs to friends and family to get their opinions about whether they thought it was a fun compelling read.  Most of the feedback was positive.  The only thing people said was that it needed an establishing shot at the beginning.  Then, one day, I showed the pages to Richie Chavez (art Director of Dreamwork’s Prince of Egypt movie) . He took one look at the pages and without reading them told me the panel layout was boring.  He thought they needed to be more dynamic. That I need to use the comic medium to it’s best advantage.  This made me rethink all my pages.  He was right. My mistake was to try to fix what I had already done. On hindsight I should have just finished the pages as they were and laid out out the next part of the story in a much better way.

The thing is, by the time Richie had given me his critique, I had already started established the character designs, the background designs and I had started finishing up the pages.  Not only that, but around that time, I had started reading some books on writing.  This had made me rethink some of the structure, or lack there of, of my story.  I started having second thoughts as to how I ought to present the story.  I rewrote the first two pages and compressed them into one. I rewrote the ending to be more compelling and I just generally thought about the comic’s story a lot.  Little by little, the comic started to become a burden and it began to lose it’s fun.

There came a point, after reading a lot of books on story and story structure, that I contemplated rewriting it all from scratch.  Part of the reason for this was that I didn’t really have a solid, locked down idea for the direction the story was going to go.  I had the jist of  where it was going to go, what the arch of the character’s would be but that was all.  It also didn’t help that I was planning to write a long “epic” story. In the end, after a year (or maybe even two) of working on it, I just got burned out.

Looking back on it after all this time, I find that it wasn’t horrible.  It could have been better, yes, but it’s readable. Some dialogue is a bit redundant but I think, if I had stuck to it, I might have been able to get better at writing and I might have been able to do something with this.

So here, for the first time ever, I present to you my failed attempt at my first comic.  None of it has any finished art (except for two of the “deleted scenes”), all of it is rough and the character’s designs change from page to page. Oh, and the character Paul, is suppose to have a Spanish accent so the way things are spelled in his word balloons are weird. Just thought I’d give you a heads up.

Let me know hat you think. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE:

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…and that’s IT.  That’s all I wrote.  There isn’t anymore.  It took, off and on, about three years to do this much.  Mostly because I was trying to redesign the comic and recompose the pages.  As well as trying to adjust this first part of the story so that it really grabbed you.  This only caused me to burn out on it and I ended up abandoning the comic in the end.  Should I have?  I really didn’t want to redraw 22 pages again after all that time.

Biggest problem I had with the comic? I took it waaaaay to seriously.

DELETED SCENES

Below are the “deleted scenes”.  I’ve posted up the original first page, along with the cleaned up dialogue.

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The page below is the final art version of the page above:

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The page below is the original page 2 that I cut completely after drawing the new page one.  I thought this page was bit redundant and it didn’t really move the story along.

The page below is the original page 2 that I cut completely after drawing the new page one.  I thought this page was bit redundant and it didn’t really move the story along.

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The page below is a partially finished version of the page above:

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As you can see in the page above, I still hadn’t made up my mind as to the proportions of the characters that I wanted to have.

Looking back, I’m pretty sure I’ve improved enough now to be able to do an overall better job if I was to try it again.
Below I have included the original ending to comic I had written.  It’s actually a really bad ending, now that I look at it again.  I’m VERY glad I changed it.  The comic that followed that ending was actually going to begin with the three main characters sitting around a table, drinking tea as the Golem explained what was going on.  Very dull with a lot of exposition.  The new ending I ended up going with, in contrast, was going to lead the characters, in the next comic, right to the “meat” of the story and was going to push the character to make some difficult choices right off the bat.  That was going to be far more interesting:

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See what I mean? Really bad ending. It’s also very unclear if Angie is sick and has something wrong with her, which was NOT my intent.

Well, anyway, what do you think?  Did you like it? Didn’t like it?  Are you disappointed  that there isn’t anymore?  Was it not that good to begin with?  Would you have payed money for it had I finished it?

I’m really curious.  If you really liked it please tell me. If you didn’t like it, please tell me that too.  It won’t hurt my feelings or anything.  I’m MUCH more critical about this story than I think you will ever be.  You may just confirm my suspicions by telling me what you didn’t like.  If you DID like it, please tell me why as well.  Especially since there are things I think are really working in the story.  In any case, depending on the reaction, I may or may not continue the story.  I mean, if no one likes it enough for me to continue, it’s not like I was going to anyway, but if suddenly, I get thousands of people wanting more…

For now, I’ve got tons of other ideas to attempt.

3 thoughts on “The Seven Impossible Tasks

  1. S. Carothers says:

    Hi, I found your blog last year and have just recently started really following it. I don’t even know if you still look at comments on this, but if you do I just want to say that I think that this comic has a lot of potential and I hope that you might continue it in the future.
    That’s all and have an awesome day!
    – S

    • Luis says:

      Thank you S, you made my day. I’m still not sure I’ll ever continue this comic BUT, you might be glad to hear that the characters are going to be appearing in a new comic series I’ll be starting soon. Once I finish my Illustrated Film, I’ll start working on a webcomic that will star Paul, Angie and Emily.

  2. S. Carothers says:

    You’re very welcome.
    That’s Great! Have fun and good luck!
    – S

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