Everyone has to specialize in something. Specializing, however, can lead to one’s work becoming stagnant.
Since I started writing Black Gold a year ago, my wheelhouse – and slowly growing portfolio – has been filled with action-adventure pieces. I’ve dabbled a little in science fiction, and a bit in fantasy, but everything I’ve written thus far can fall into the action-adventure box.
I have three very different stories I’ve been developing, but they’ve begun to start tasting the same. Although Black Gold and Just an Ordinary Guy are two very different flavors of A&A, writing has started to feel like substituting one flavor of ice cream for another. I’m still eating ice cream.
Dessert isn’t satisfying unless you’ve got options, so I’ve been working on expanding my writing palette.
Now, I – of course – couldn’t branch out just a little bit. It probably would have been easy to bust out a superhero story or some sort of space odyssey. Like picking up an ice cream sandwich instead of a cone. Instead, I’ve decided to do something wholly different – an apple pie. I’ve been developing a collection of children’s short stories.
Comics which target small children – as opposed to traditional comics that aim toward the 13 to 25 demographic – are substantially different, and much more difficult, than anything I’ve ever attempted. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m particularly long winded. If you’re writing a story about a frog, however, how long winded can you get? I’ve had to limit myself severely, lest I begin another novel.
So: a short story collection.
The first in the collection is titled Shark Attack. The story centers around a frog, who finds his nap interrupted by an unwarranted visitor in his pond. The first sketches are completed, and my hope is to build a collection large enough to constitute a trade collection. It’s a complete one-eighty from what I’m used to, but I’m finding those tooth achingly sweet stories fun to write.