Camp Weedonwantcha – A Must Read Comic

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Camp Weedonwantcha by Katie Rice

I discovered this beautiful web comic yesterday and in short manner read all 183 strips, wishing there were thousands more.

Camp Weedonwantcha is:

“Camp Weedonwantcha is a place where kids get dropped off for the summer and are never picked up again. With no adults around, the unwanted trio of Malachi, Seventeen, and Brian can get into whatever dangerous and irresponsibly fun activities their hearts desire.”

Check out the About The Campers page.

The artwork is just so beautiful. The color palette adds to the nostalgic feel. The main characters have so much heart, and the surrounding cast add to the fun. And the premise, the idea of kids dropped of at a camp, seemingly forever, without adult supervision? Who among us didn’t want to live this at that age? There is an interesting wrinkle, also, as from time-to-time there are supplies air-dropped off at the camp, ala Hunger Games, as if some unknown entity is watching what is happening at the camp.

And just when you think you know what is going on, a new wrinkle is added to the mix (comic #87). I’m terrible at explaining things. You should just go check it out. You can read the most recent strip here or start at the beginning. Just check it out. You will not be disappointed.

I discovered yesterday after shotgunning all the comics that Katie Rice launched a Kickstarter to get a print run of Camp Weedonwantcha: Volume 1. It raised $20,000 in one day, already reaching its goal. I’ll be funding at the $35 level, however, because I really need this beautiful artwork and story in my hands.

And when the wind blows hard and the sky is black – Ducks fly together

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The daughter, looking towards the future

It was a heck of a weekend, this past weekend. Saturday morning I took the kids to “Try Hockey for Free” at the University. That’s where I took the above photo of my daughter, in full gear, seemingly looking towards the future, a look of determination on her face.  In reality, I had to get both kids in gear in like 10 minutes time on my own (my wife was working), and she just didn’t like how it felt and was giving me a hard time about it. The son, laid back as always, didn’t fight me a bit and I think having all that stuff on he felt like a ninja.

However, once I was able to get her onto the ice, and used to the ice, she actually did really well. At one point she was passing the puck with the head coach of the University’s men’s hockey team without knowing it. She looked a natural on the ice. The son did as well.

They’ve both been into Pokemon the past week or so, having just discovered it through a friend. They’ve been marathoning episodes of the old T.V. show on Netflix and playing the games as well. It’s funny how their likes and interests go from 0 to 100 mph in an instant.

It wasn’t all fun and games, though. We did some history learning too. I mean, we all watched Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure for the first time. And now my kids know about the time in 1988 when Abraham Lincoln want to the mall in San Dimas, California and how Billy the Kid threw a Nerf football with Socrates in Medieval England. The torch has been passed.

I was out sick yesterday with the son, however, and am now resting comfortably at work. He was able to go to school today and all is well.

Blue Foundation – Eyes On Fire

Blue Foundation – Eyes On Fire

It was -6 F this morning when I woke, and that was is the actual temperature on the thermometer, none of this “real feel” crap. It’s up to 8 degrees now, and it feels warm. Warm, meaning you can walk outside for a few moments without losing your will to survive or cutting open a smelly animal and crawling inside (Star Wars reference homey).

So, have a song. I dig it.

Early Mornings At The Grocery Store Are The Best

One of my favorite things in my life right now is 7:00 AM trips to the grocery store. It’s just so peaceful in there. People are stocking the shelves, crappy music from the 80s plays on the radio, and most importantly Newbs don’t get in my way. I highly recommend it.

Normally, I choose the self-checkout line when I go to the grocery store. For one, it’s just faster. More importantly I like packing my own stuff because I bag things better than they do. Meaning, I put more than one item in the plastic bags (I’d like to say I bring my own bags but I always for get. But don’t worry, I always reuse or recycle them). Do I really need each apple in its own plastic grocery bag (only a slight exaggeration)? Want to save the Earth? Educate the baggers that my groceries can share a home.

Sometimes I do go through the regular lines, especially early in the morning. I do this mostly because there is this nice old lady cashier that reminds me of my Grandma. It’s just a pleasant way to start the day.

So yeah, if you have to go to the grocery store go early in the morning or during, not before, a large snowstorm. It’s the best way to avoid those pesky interactions with fellow humans that are so annoying.

The Writer’s Life

There’s nothing like getting an idea for a novel while standing in line waiting to place your hoagie order then it’s immediately your turn to order. There’s a special type of worry that crops into your mind as you answer questions regarding toppings and dressings, or wait for questions regarding toppings and dressings, as you repeat your order over and over again in your mind, so scared you might forget it.

And once your order is complete, there you are typing the note into your phone, your order resting on whatever shelf you can find, be it household cleaning items or feminine hygiene products. No, you aren’t texting. You are capturing the muse.

I’m terrible at dreams. I’m constantly, in the middle of an awesome dream, reminding myself I am inside a dream and none of it is real. I hit a new level last night, however, in the middle of what should have been a nightmare. I dreamt I was having surgery and I was aware during the entire procedure, as they removed my bowels and such. And all I could think to myself was, “Hmm. That’s cool. I wonder why they didn’t put me under? This should be a nightmare”.

My mind is a weird, weird, place.

Reading, Riting, Rithmitec

Anybody get a twitch reading the title of this post? Good, mission accomplished.

Not too much going on around here. It’s still cold. The grass is still covered with white stuff.

I gave blood today. It’s always good to bleed, I think. It means you still have blood inside of you to give, which I consider a plus. I developed a nose-bleed right before I donated, so I was just giving the stuff away today.

I have, though a writing critique group partner, hooked up with a fellow writer who is also working on a dystopian story like I am. But her story is really good, yo. I’m just hoping some of that good writing will wear off on me. At the least, just thinking about my story will help me.

And knowing is half the battle!

Drawrings

A picture is worth a thousand words. And it is worth even more when you are feeling lazy/don’t know what to write about.

We’re big fans of Adventure Time in my house and there was a day a month or so ago when we had played too much Minecraft and needed to do something else and so we did some drawing. The first one is by my 5 year old. I only helped him a little bit. He did the coloring completely on his own.
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This is the one I did. I’m a terrible artist, but I guess this one isn’t so terrible.Finn_Me

Happy Monday everybody. I hope you are somewhere warm. It was -9 Fahrenheit at my house this morning.

Steet Angel – A Rad Comic

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Source: Street Angel by Jim Rugg

Yesterday I tripped upon this pretty sweet comic by Jim Rugg hosted on boing boing that I had to share, because cool stuff needs to be shared.

Street Angel, as described by wikipedia:

The story takes place in Wilkesborough, the worst ghetto in Angel City. The title character is 12-year-old Jesse Sanchez (13-year-old after a bout of time travel), “a dangerous martial artist… and the world’s greatest homelessskateboarder.” She handles ninjas, pirates and hunger with skill, aplomb, and help from her friends. The comic is a satire on superhero comics as well as the Golden Age era with its ridiculous dialog, unexplained characters, and flashy effects.

That pretty much wraps it up. I will add that the strip is just a lot of fun.

You can read all of the strips of Street Angel here.

Writing Advice Continued: From Claudine

Claudine wrote this in the comments of yesterday’s post on Show Dont’ Tell and you write such a thoughtful, kick-ass comment, I want to put in on the front of the blog for all to see (I will, of course ask before I do so, don’t be shy to comment). Thank you so much, Claudine. There is so much good here.

Edit: Claudine tells me this is the source. Good advice, this.

I completely agree… sometimes ago I got this “memo” which I do use as well when writing a novel:
1: Does your screenplay use the 3 Act structure? 99% of successful films over the last 100 years have used it. Are there exceptions to the rule? Of course. But for now, use the 3 Act structure. Here’s an overview: Focus on the exploits of your main character, as well as defining the three main acts. Act 1 typically sets the unique circumstances that propel the story and character’s agenda. Act 2 is split into two smaller acts (a, and b). 2a brings momentum to the challenges your main character faces, as the various plots are woven. 2b typically brings a surprise conflict or challenge that must be overcome. This is the “twist” that may put your character’s agenda at risk, and complicate it to a point of being compelling and entertaining to watch. The darkest time for your character is at the end of Act 2. Act 3 brings resolution to your plot and character’s agenda. Themes of redemption, revenge, confirmation of love, victory, or acceptance are all common themes.

2: Are you SHOWING instead of TELLING? TELLING would be “Michael and Sarah are having fun with a lot of people at the house party.” SHOWING would be “A steady stream of people push by Michael as he makes his way through a darkly lit hallway carrying two beers. He spots a dancing Sarah from across the crowded living room.” Dialog must be natural and organic. Obvious dialog is boring. “Hello, Sarah. Wow, you sure do dance well. Isn’t this a fun party?” Don’t write obvious dialog.

3: Are you revealing people and story elements strategically in your scenes? Don’t show everything immediately. An example of what not to do is this – “5 tough guys are sitting around a poker table. A mound of chips is sitting in the middle of the table.” Instead, it should be like this – “Nervous eyes glance to the left. We see another guy meet the glance and look down. He’s holding 5 cards. A third guy pushes chips toward the huge pile at the center of the table.” Do you recognize the difference?

4: Are you maintaining your audience’s attention at every moment? You must. Keep them in a constant state of anticipation. If you follow the previous 3 suggestions, you’re on your way to holding the attention of your audience.

5: Are you starting your scenes at the beginning? Don’t. Come into a scene that is already underway. This technique engages the audience immediately – the audience feels they are ‘catching up’ and as a result, pay closer attention to what is going on, because clearly there was something going on previously.

6: Are your scenes too long? Keep your scenes short. You can have 1 to 3 set pieces (longer scenes) in your script, but keep the other scenes short.

7: Have you had your script read out loud? It doesn’t count if you read it out loud to yourself. Have a private or public reading. You will be surprised how helpful it is to hear your script read out loud. Don’t know any actors? Maybe a local theater troupe would be willing to help out. In fact, they would more than likely jump at the chance! If you decide to have a public reading, good for you. You never know who may be in your audience (i.e. potential investors, etc).

8: Have you sent your screenplay to friends and colleagues? They will give you feedback that you can benefit from right now. Be patient and be open to input. Now is the time to adjust and rewrite – before production starts.

9: Is your script a page turner? It must grab the reader from half way through the first page – or sooner!

Take my advice and follow these suggestions now so you stack the cards in your favor. Remember, your script is the foundation to your movie. Would you build a skyscraper on a bog? Of course not. Can you make a great movie from a weak script? I have heard too many filmmakers say “Oh, it will be great! I’ll work out all the kinks on the set.” That approach never works. Never.

I don’t remember who wrote it, but it’s very helpful.