KISS 4K Webcomic: Creator's Blog

October 2007: Shaka/The Demon
Adam Black at 5:09PM, Sept. 30, 2007
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posts: 139
joined: 11-12-2006
I'll be honest with you: some of these stories have been easier to write than others.

Casanova pretty much wrote himself. I mean, he and The Starchild are more or less the same person. The only problem I had there was fitting so much story into so few pages. Which is why I'm planning more Casanova stories for 2008.

Yoshiie/Chikara wasn't too difficult, either. Thankfully, Japanese folklore is overflowing with talking animals. All I had to do was get them talking to Chikara. Throw in a spooky-looking bad guy and some crazy spider women, and hey! You're done!

Constantine was a little harder. He and the Celestial really don't have much in common. So I decided to tell the story from the point of view of the bad guy, which actually made it easier to tell. You'll see how that turns out next month.

But Shaka and The Demon…hoo boy. This has been the hardest story to write so far, for a number of reasons.

First off, the real-life Shaka was quite a despot, and a bit of an asshole as well. When his mother died, he killed 7000 men in his grief. He'd randomly kill cows so that the calves would know what it felt like to lose a mother. He forced all his subjects to do without planting crops or drinking milk for an entire year. If any woman got pregnant in that year, he felt that she wasn't mourning properly and would put her and her husband to death. That's just the stuff he did in the last year of his life.

And he's supposed to be the good guy.

Second, there are a lot of expectations here. Everyone who's reading the strip this month may or may not know what he or she wants, but they know one thing: it's The Freakin' Demon, fer chrissakes, and it better be awesome. The thousands of you reading this webcomic all have your own notions of how this month should go, and as much as I'd like to, there's no way I could possibly make everyone 100% happy here.

Finally (and most importantly), Gene's watching, for obvious reasons. Yeah, no pressure there, right? ;)

I've rewritten this thing about seven times in the past few months; four times this weekend alone. Fortunately, I have 13 pages to work with, not including the cover. That's the most pages I've had in a month since this webcomic started. So, that's nice.

What I've finally decided on is this: I'm writing this story to impress two people: myself and Gene Simmons. If I look at it any other way, there's no way I'd get this done.

In short, this month may or may not be what you're expecting, story-wise. But I hope you stick around and watch it unfold. Because I kinda like this one.

A note on artwork:

Two of my favorite artists are John Buscema and Will Eisner, and I'm going to do my damndest this month to make this comic look like Will inking over Johnny's pencils. As I have about 2% of the talent of either of these men, I will fail. But that won't stop me from trying.

So, if you've never heard of either of these artists, you may not enjoy the art this month. You may, like someone mentioned in another subthread here, find it “klunky”. Especially if you're a fan of that anime/manga stuff, which seems to comprise about 99.7% of all comics on Drunk Duck. If so, good for you. I don't like that stuff myself. Looks goofy to my eyes, to the point where I honestly can't draw it. I've tried. My hand refuses to do it. :)

Second, keep in mind that the Zulu in the early 1800s didn't wear a lot of clothes. So you're going to be seeing a lot of nudity. Breasts. Penises. Butts. From 6 year-olds to adults, you're gonna be seeing a lot of naked people this month. I'm not going to strategically cover anyone's naughty bits, either. Sometimes, when nudity shows up in a comic, the artist will subtly cover the nipple or groin or whatever. This is fine when you only have a few panels of it, but when the whole comic is full of naked people, it seems both stupid and distracting, and I'm not going to do that to you.

Besides, I wasn't raised to be afraid of nudity. Breasts and gonads and such are just body parts, like arms and legs. That's what I was taught as a child, and that's how I'm going to treat the nudity you're going to see here.

If any of these things bother or offend you, feel free to skip October altogether. Stop by next month for Constantine Part 2, which I should've titled “Plans Within Plans”. Unfortunately, there's no Kiss song by that name.

You did notice that I'm naming every month after a Kiss tune, right? Of course you did.

That's enough rambling. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and/or complaints below. I'd love to hear from you, no matter what you have to say.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
The Fallen Angel at 3:05AM, Oct. 1, 2007
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posts: 50
joined: 7-19-2007
I think the cover already looks great. I agree with your stand on the nudity. And I have no problem with it what so ever (but hey, I'm from Europe and we don't have any harsh restrictions here). As long as it's functional it's good. I've read comics where they include it just for the sake of it, but it doesn't add anything to the story.

Story-wise, I think I'll be pleasantly surprised. I like lots of different stylesso I don't shy away from anything new. But if you screw up, I'll also let you know ;)

I really hope you'll impress Gene Simmons and make him realise you are the true talent in this project, and not those guys doing the print comic (as mentioned before, the artists I like, but I'd prefer they pick one style and stick with it and they definitely need to replace the writer).

I think this be a great month, followed by two other great months concluding the Constantine story and the Shaka story.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
harryq at 3:48AM, Oct. 1, 2007
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posts: 22
joined: 6-24-2007
I'm extremely familiar with Buscema and Eisner; two of my all time favorites I'm thrilled at what you are going to attempt, because it's much the same way I operate. I believe you will succeed and exceed your own expectations, because the result will be Buscema, Eisner and yourself added to the mix! I agree with you in that it's all about the trying and testing your own limits. Now, go nail it, bad boy!!!
Pugnuggle Tales; zen farce in a bucket!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
harryq at 3:23AM, Oct. 5, 2007
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posts: 22
joined: 6-24-2007
You're looking good, Adam, I keep checking in!
Pugnuggle Tales; zen farce in a bucket!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
harryq at 6:24PM, Oct. 12, 2007
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posts: 22
joined: 6-24-2007
I'm enjoying your work on the Shaka story a lot. Good solid performance all the way around! Way to go, Adam.
Pugnuggle Tales; zen farce in a bucket!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
Adam Black at 9:32PM, Oct. 14, 2007
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posts: 139
joined: 11-12-2006
Thanks, Harry! Glad you dig it.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM

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