Christian Comic Arts Society

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I'm one of those people who can't draw from memory or just something from my head and I need help from someone who can. I keep coming up with stories and according to my family they would be better as comic books. The story I'm trying to write right now is a cross between stargate, Arthur and his knights, and animorphs. I know it's a lot but I take pieces of shows I liked and tried to give them a Christian spin.
You know how Arthur became king, by pulling the sword "Excalibur" from the stone. In some variations it was Merlin's test, most actually. What if Merlin had similar tests for each of Arthur's knights to take part in a crusade to defend earth from an alien race like the nephelim, called the Chaldoreen. Equipping each knight with a special power that would've been considered magic. Travel to other worlds through a threshold was common practice, traveling to the other six planets blessed with life. In the original crusade Arthur and his knights perished at the hand of the Chaldoreen commander Mordrid. Earth's threshold was destroyed by Merlin when they failed. The battle was far from over so Merlin began making more suits of armor, stronger than the first 12. He was only able to make 4 suits before his "time to sleep" closed in. Once again he setup tests for the future knights to prove themselves worthy.

On the other six worlds the legend of king Arthur was historical fact while it passed into myth on earth. So in the year 2246 a castle similar to Camelot is discovered by the space defense forces battle ship "Dakota" on the barren moon orbiting the planet trecus.
Even more perplexing than the castle is the fact that the small area it occupies is identical to earth in gravity and atmosphere.
Dr. Kevin foresite and his daughter Terra, along with his team of archeologists are sent from earth to translate the strange texts inscribed on the castle walls in hopes of discovering who built the castle on the moon, why, and what power maintains a perfect earth like environment around the castle. This is where the story begins.

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Hi Emily! I looked at your profile page, and you draw better than I do. So I can't help on the artistic front. If you don't mind some thoughts from a fellow aspiring writer, I'd like to chat a bit.

Your set up looks like it's got possibilities:) I assume that the 'powers' that Merlin imbues the armor with aren't actually 'magic'? What are they? Merlin is not usually portrayed as a Christian character, so I am just curious.

I totally applaud your willingness to share a lot of your story with the CCAS community. One of the biggest mistakes I used to make was to try to entice artists with vague hints or incomprehensible fragments of free writing. Writing is hard work, but we know drawing is as well, and before an artist can commit, he/she has to be fairly sure that they believe in the story.

Just thinking from that point of view, I would ask about your story:

1) What is God's involvement, direct or indirect, in the story?

2) How does this story Glorify God?

3) Can you give a brief synopsis of the main plot? You've done a wonderful job of presenting the set-up, what will the bulk of the series involve, in terms of characters and the scale of the action?

and a final bit of advice, you draw well, include your sketches and concept drawings with your material, don't be shy. I will butt out now, I hope you find a great artist to match your writings!

Gerry

Hi Gerry, I wrote a response on your page.  I don't know if you got it, it's been a while since I did anything with this site.

 

I wanted to crate a world that features the characters similar to the ones I really enjoyed as a kid; characters like the power rangers and so on.  The major offense I took was the part where they added the part where such took so many billions of years to happen.  I really enjoyed the power mark comics: you have the bad guy and the battle on the side and fixing the everyday problems in their group having Bible shows/stories, lessons from the book of virtue.

 

I want it to be like veggie tales or 3,2,1 penguins where its got the story and the message portrayed in the story is very subtle but proclaimed at the end.  I guess, people don't like being preached at, especially by a comic or a cartoon.  If the message is more a background flavor there's less chance of people being offended.

 

1) I want it to be like the stories from the Bible.  In some of them God is directly involved and others He's in the background quietly, subtly directing the events unfolding, like in the story of Ester.  God's name was never mentioned but you could tell He was at work.

 

2)By making the stories relatable, taking everyday problems and showing that God cares even about the everyday worries I think brings hope to the people facing that particular problem.  Also referring to specific event or at least hinting at them will encourage people to read their Bibles to get the full story.

 

3)I just came up with the story about a week ago so I'm not exactly sure how it all goes yet.  The main flavor is that we are stuck a war between the forces of good and evil, but God doesn't abandon us.  He sends his angels(Merlin) to help us physically and His Spirit to give us Hope.

 

As for pictures, I don't have any.  I may do some later, all I have are words and story in my head.

 

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Emily.

Hello Emily,

I did get your responses, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I love your idea of Merlin as an Angelic Being sent by God to assist humanity. You are much younger than I am I take it, based on your fave television shows, but I know what you mean. Saturday morning cartoon heroines and heroes are often very inspiring because they also hold dear many values of Western Culture which is founded on Christianity. But they have lost sight of the one who gave us those morals to live by, it's true, and I think it's great that you are inspired to bring God back into focus through your stories.

I never read Powermark, I love the cover art but I never got around to ordering it. I really should, it's been on my mind from time to time, and you seem impressed by it.

I like your thoughts about how you want to tell the story a lot. It's certainly true a lot of Christian comic creators are against 'preachy' 'hit them over the head with the Bible club' approaches to comics. I like that you are thinking about how you are going to communicate your stories as well as what and who the stories involve.

re: #1 You have a good view of the Bible. I myself often forget there were long periods where God did not directly speak through prophets, and that the average Jew never saw a Burning Bush or a miracle in his whole life. Varying the amount God intervenes in your story sounds very realistic to me.

 

re: #2 You know, I became a Christian mostly through Christian radio. Often I learned the rule without knowing how to apply them to everyday life. For example, 'Thou shalt not kill', Jesus goes on to explain if you hate your brother you are committing murder in your heart. I understood that, but did not know what to do with my anger... Communicating Christian behavior in real life style situations is something a lot of Christians and non-Christians need I think. Do you like 'Adventures in Odyssey'? What do you think of their approach to similar situations?

 

re:#3 Wow, if you've only been working with this story for a week, I am very impressed with the concepts, and look forward to you sharing more about it in coming days! Whatever you do, as long as God is calling you to do this, don't give up! It was years before God partnered me with an artist for my own story ideas. But I will pray tonight you don't have to wait quite so long, ha ha! My skills are very limited, but let me know if I can help with anything!

Be well, and God bless you and yours!

Gerry Lee

Thank you Gerry, I really appreciate it. I guess I'm going to start looking for another graphic tablet so I can work on the art. My old Wacom tablet went on the fritz so I need to get a new one. It's so much easier to send sketches if their already on the computer.

I really enjoy the adventures in odessey, the radio broad casts as well as the movies.

Yes praying that God would send an artist with better skills than I possess would be most appreciated.

Thank you and God bless.
Emily.
For me it's not hard to come up with story plots. Most of the time it starts off as a picture or a suggestion. For me, these things are a window into another world and the more I look through the window the more I see. Unconsciously, my brain creates more of the story, characters, and setting. It's like watching a movie or a new show, the glimps I got in my head was like the preview.
It's been like that since I was 13. More than likely prompted by the fact that I was always excluded in school and the last one anyone wanted to talk to. So I came up with imaginary friends and a world to share; full of adventure and danger and victory.

Emily.

Hi Emily, I praise God tonight for your gift of imagination! Believe it or not, you can lose that gift. When I was young I used to make up weekly stories for role playing games. My friends praised my ability to make interesting characters and situations to play in, and it was good times. Today, after dark times, I can no longer create that sort of thing at all. I have squandered my gifts and buried my talents, and if there is anything left of them, it's God's kindness and generosity, not my natural ability showing. Take care of and nurture your imagination and creativity! Keep filling your mind with Good things, and refreshing it with what is beautiful!

May the Lord make your creativity an never failing fountain for His Glory:)

Gerry

Thank you Gerry, I really appreciate it.  Sometimes I find it's easier to be creative if I keep an idea to myself for a while, letting it grow from a vague picture to a billboard.  Also if I'm having difficulty with a story I go back to what inspired the thought, reliving that moment when it first hit me, then putting the question "What if?" to it.  I mean if you've established the characters and you know them as if they were actually alive, put a problem a hurdle in their path.  How would they react.  Some people shut themselves in a room by themselves for a little bit and act out the scene making it come alive, hearing each character's side of it.  That's what I do. 

I come from a family of 6 kids and I have to hear people's voices, or I start going a little "loopy" if you know what I mean.  I don't like being alone. 

Television and video games, for me, have a tendency to suppress and kind of creativity.  It provides the noise and distraction I wanted, but it was counter productive.  I don't know maybe it's just me.  My youngest brother is very into his computer games and he seems to disagree with me.

I'm sorry to hear about your friend whose got the problems with his hands, it sounds like something a friend of ours had only with his feet, nerve pains.  We were in the medicinal mushroom growing business at the time and there was always left over grindings.  I believe we gave him a mixture of the Cordyceps, turkey tail, and shiitake.  You can look these up on Pegasus Pharmaceuticals.com if you care to look into it.  

People get sick so easily these days because mushrooms and other fungus have been eliminated from their diet, and portabello mushrooms don't count as medicinal mushrooms.  People were designed to consume products from three different sources:plants, animals, and fungus.  These form a triangle and a complete cycle.  The plant consumes the fungus, the animal consumes the plant, and the animals' waste becomes food for the fungus and it starts all over.

Thanks again for writing to me and I hope your friend gets better soon.

God bless, Gerry.

Hi Emily,

Thank you for sharing your story, thoughts, and insights with us all:) Thank you for caring about Larry Blake, he is the artist I met up with after years. Poor guy, it must've been maddening to have such pain in his drawing hand! But my understanding is that the kind of operation he is having is routinely done and has a great success rate, -and- we have a God who loves Larry very much! I'm hopeful:)

If you ever want to chat about Christian comics and such, feel free to PM me here.

May God bless you, your family, and make your dreams of glorifying Him through your comics all come true!

Gerry

What do you think of this for an intro:

Many have heard the legends of King Arthur and his knights and the wise wizard Merlin.  However, the whole story has not been told.  I, Merlin, called each of them to take their place in the battle against the Chaldoreen after testing them, proving themselves worthy of their gifts.  I endowed their armor with power, what was called "magic" to fight the Chaldoreen's demon hordes.  The battle was fought long and hard across the seven worlds the King blessed with life.

When it seemed the battle was won Arthur and his knights journeyed home back to Earth, but the battle was not  over for them.  The Chaldoreen Commander, Mordrid, set an ambush and cut them down with his legions that he had hidden from them.  On the world known as Silarus Prime Arthur, my dear friend fell, so close to the gate that would have sent him home.  It was with a heavy heart that I destroyed the Earth's gate, denying Mordrid's armies from taking the earth.

Now it is the year 2264 man has once more learned how to build the portal between worlds and the dark forces make every effort to take the gate on Salarus Prime.  Our angelic warriors feel the enemy press harder in their advance but to no avail.  The men of Arthur's resting place feel their advance as well and they are not so strong, the enemy crushes them on all sides.

By the King's blessing I have spent the better part of past millennia making more armor stronger than than the first 12, unfortunately there are only 4.  Tests equal to those which I tested Arthur and the others.  Three armor bearers have been proved worthy, the fourth has yet to come.  The Spirit tells me it will be soon and my heart rejoices.  The final test shall peak man's curiosity, it shall be as a mystery.  It shall be...

"Camelot!" 
At this point Merlin's narration ends and the story begins. 
I was thinking it would start off with a picture of the traditional tale of Arthur pulling the sword from the stone, then his knights and transition to battle with Chaldoreen and Arthur's last battle. When Merlin reveals the year have a space craft flying around with earth in the background.

Melin's last sentence is finished by Terra one of the main characters whose excited about seeing the ruins of a castle that have been described as 'Camelot' mostly because of the one room still whole where sits the Round Table.

What do you think? The intro probably needs work but I'd like your opinion.
Emily.

Hello Emily,

It's a very good opening. I would though, suggest you re-phrase the line 'I endowed their armor with power, what was called 'magic' to fight the Chaldoreen's demon hordes' to reflect the spiritual, rather than Satanic origin of this mysterious power. I think 'magic' is a word that raises flags in the minds of many Christians, so while your Merlin is a servant of God, they might trip a little on the word until they find out the truth about Merlin's powers.

Other than that one point, I think you do a very good job of presenting the background of your story in a clear and concise way:)

By the way, I was reading another thread and one of the veteran Comic creators advised someone not to post their ideas openly on the boards. I thought about that for awhile, and while I think that you do need to get your information to your prospective artists, and other authors for their input, it might be safer to communicate them by personal messages.

I have usually posted my own story ideas openly. I feel that once it's up on the web, the ownership is mine, and I do not fear (perhaps naively) that any Christians would steal my ideas. And if they do, the Bible said it is better to forgive a brother or sister in Christ than to take them to court over it. But please think this matter over Emily, and decide how openly you feel comfortable sharing your stories, I would hate to steer you wrong.

Gerry

 

Thank you. I'll keep it in mind.
Emily.
Thank you for your kind comments on my drawings.
The ones I saw of yours were pretty good too.
Emily.

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