caticonslite_bm_altThe Fate of Middle Earth

by Jonny on 19/12/2012

Tis the season to adventure with dwarfs to the Lonely Mountain!

The Christmas season was a little bit merrier for me this year with Bilbo on hand, but before you start thinking this is a movie review, here’s a spoiler alert: this is not a post about The Hobbit.

This is a post about elves.

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 caticonslite_bm_altLiterary Inception

by Jonny on 6/12/2012

[Some thoughts on storytelling]

I shut the back cover of ‘The Dragon’s Tooth’ and stared up at the ceiling. I had just spent 483 pages with these characters, and now it was time to say goodbye. Already I missed them. I was feeling something familiar – something I call “The Harry Potter feeling.”

I need to get the next book. Not because of a cliffhanger or unresolved plot – I just need to re-enter this world.

Turning that last page was like being locked out of Hogwarts. It was like having Aslan send me back to earth through a door in the air. Can I just stay in Narnia, please? It feels like home here.

Of course, Harry Potter had seven books to get me hooked – N. D. Wilson had captured my imagination in less than one. Why did I already miss Ashtown so much?

The answer finally came to me. My eyes narrowed and I growled out:

My friends and family know that every conversation I’m involved in will inexorably turn to either Star Wars, LOST, or Inception. If any statement or topic of conversation reminds me of the Christopher Nolan film, I lower my head, narrow my eyes, and say dramatically:

The dream worlds constructed in the movie are populated by stand-ins that are really projections of the dreamer’s subconscious. I’m pretty sure that’s what happens when I read a good book.

I’m pretty sure N. D. Wilson didn’t write “The Dragon’s Tooth.”

Wilson only wrote the words. I took his description of Ashtown and built it piece by piece with my imagination.

I took his description of events and interpreted the impact of those events.

And I took his description of Cyrus Smith and filled in the gaps. I played the role of Cyrus, and Antigone, and everyone else, including the villains. The book came alive for me because I was helping build the world that was written on those pages.

Transported to another world. Like John Carter, my body lies on earth, while my spirit travels to new worlds. It occurs to me that Ashtown isn’t the only land I’ve visited… in my day I’ve been quite the adventurer.

I’ve trekked Treasure Island and sailed to the Green Hollows and journeyed to the Lonely Mountain.

I’ve been to Baker Street and braved the ghost cicles and hunted the Snark.

I’ve been Navin Hayes and Wedge Antilles and… Cyrus Smith.

Storytelling is teamwork: you write the story, I’ll populate it. Together, we can build something true.

This is important to me, because in 2013 I’m going to draw a book. I have a story, a cast of characters, and a deadline. But after reading “The Dragon’s Tooth,” I’ve decided what I want more than anything else is…

I’m going to be paying attention to how I write and draw my comic – how the characters are portrayed, how the pieces of the story are revealed, how the panels lead your eye through the page. Because I’m just the storyteller, and I can only take you so far.

I want to make a book that you can live in.

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 caticonslite_bm_altLili and Leon and Luna

by Jonny on 26/11/2012




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 caticonslite_bm_altGuest Post: Let It Go

by Jonny on 23/11/2012

I have a guest post up at Sarah’s blog, Life In Transition! Be sure to check it out. The assigned topic was, “How has your life changed over the last five years?”

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 caticonslite_bm_altRoll On, Robot

by Jonny on 14/11/2012

Hey everyone – I drew a robot!

That’s just the kind of guy I am!

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 caticonslite_bm_altLOST Island

by Jonny on 12/11/2012

There’s a land at Universal’s Islands of Adventure that most people don’t know about. The reason for this is that you can’t get there by buying a ticket — you have to be a candidate!

[Click for larger size]

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 caticonslite_bm_altTravel Toiletries

by Jonny on 26/10/2012

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 caticonslite_bm_altThe Walt of it All

by Jonny on 16/10/2012

“I think people are justifiably frustrated about the Walt of it all” – Damon Lindelof

Rewatching LOST has given me an opportunity to revisit some of the great themes and ideas that weave their way through the six seasons. I’ve decided to post my thoughts on one of those themes because I wrote them down because I was procrastinating doing real work.

Here’s the danger, though: first off, for those who haven’t seen LOST, spoiler alert!! Secondly, my notes here are going to partially touch on one of those aspects of the show that left a lot of people frustrated, but that I actually liked.

I’m eager to hear your take on the dramatic arc I’m about to discuss, so by all means leave comments below! But if you disagree, phrase them in an “I don’t feel the same way” kinda way, not in a “I hated how the show ended so I’ma rant about it” kinda way, if you take my meaning.

Are we on the same page? Good.

Let’s talk about Michael and Walt.

If you’ve ever watched LOST with me, you know that I’m not a big fan of Michael. And why IS that, Mike?

Shut it, Michael!

I know, Michael, but –

Fair enough, but here’s the –

Yeesh.

The fact that Michael takes Walt away from the island – and from the SHOW – is exactly why, despite my annoyance, I believe their story is one of the

SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP!!

Let’s start by thinking in broad narrative terms:

Some characters on LOST decided they wanted to stay on the island. Others fought to get off the island, but in the end found the price was to high for them to pay (they had to protect or find their friends; they made it off but were forced in various ways to return, etc). I’ve always seen Michael as the one character who had the single-minded determination to achieve his end at any cost.

The end: get his boy off that island.

The cost: his soul.

That’s right, Michael is the Faustian legend of LOST.

Jack is the story of a man of science who found his faith, and Locke is a cautionary tale about having blind faith, but Michael is the classic story of a man who sold his soul to achieve his goal, only to realize how empty the reward and unexpected the result such a bargain dealt him.

Michael’s flashbacks show him unable to provide for his son but desperately trying to maintain custody; in the end, he realized that what he thought was best for his son – being with his father – maybe wasn’t best for his son after all.

The island story is a repeat of that, except this time he doesn’t reconsider. He’s made his mind up what’s best for his son, and instead of rethinking it, he allows it to become an obsession that leads him to make bad choices.

There are those who say Walt’s story should have been resolved by the end of the show. While they’re right from a Walt-is-awesome standpoint, I think the very reason that Walt didn’t play a part in the central mythology is what makes the Walt-and-Michael storyline work for me. It seems to me that Walt SHOULD have played a part in the mythology all along, but the fact that he didn’t simply reinforces that Michael forcibly took him out of it. The fact the we miss the Walt of it all drives home the point: Michael screwed Walt’s storyline up by buying Walt passage out of the story; the fact that we are left unresolved is exactly the point.

That is what I get out of the Walt-and-Michael story in LOST: In the end, Michael’s success in getting Walt off the Island was, for all intents and purposes, meaningless: Michael paid for his betrayal and the Island had its way, but Walt sat it all out on the sidelines. If Walt came back to the show and played a grand part in the mythology, it merely would have proven Michael’s attempt futile. The fact that he didn’t makes Michael’s attempt successful, and that, to me at least, is what makes it so powerful that Michael’s victory was so hollow.

That’s kind of a sad way to end the post, so let’s end things with a HURLEY DANCE!!

Thoughts?

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 caticonslite_bm_altTechnology Hates Me #2

by Jonny on 15/10/2012

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 caticonslite_bm_altTechnology Hates Me

by Jonny on 13/10/2012

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