Pretty much, yeah. I'd re-written it so many times that I've pretty much had the scenes pegged to memory. Adding the dialogue later also enabled me to tighten it up and make it all a lot less wordy - the more word-balloon space I have, the more it clutters the art.
That makes complete sense. I can understand writing and rewriting all too well. Feel blessed that your are talented enough to draw the comic on your own, I'm still having trouble perfecting my script writing.
You're being kind on the originality thing - since this is basically one big raspberry to the whole killer-shark-movie genre. I still have quite a few cliches to mine on that score.
Seriously, I had a list a while ago I'd come up with of all the requisite elements of a killer-aquatic-creature film; I can't find the list now, though, but included elements like (POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD):
* Giant killer sea creature that could never, EVER, under ANY circumstances be mistaken for the real deal (Poseidon being a metal-plated, rivet-laden, camo-colored mechashark, as opposed to being intended to resemble a real one).
* Some sort of marine biologist character who aids our hero, usually with lengthy exposition (Mara).
* A scene in which some schmucks catch and/or kill a shark thinking they've captured and/or killed the "real" killer sea creature, and only our hero and the marine biologist know better (This one I haven't figured out yet - I had it in an earlier version of the story, but I'm not sure how or if it'll pan out here).
* Big expensive hotel/resort complex that happens to be having its grand opening when the giant killer sea creature shows up, and run by moneymongering pencil-pushers who refuse to close the resort until it's too late (Thunder Road).
* At least a few moments where the giant killer sea creature somehow manages to kill people who aren't even in the water (Poseidon's energy-blast).
* A scene in which the giant killer sea creature attacks some sort of low-flying aircraft (THIS one I DO have ideas for... ).
* A final death scene for the giant killer sea creature that could never, EVER happen in real life and is simply there to serve as one last taste of eye candy (This changed with every version of the story I did, but now I think I've got an idea that will work better to convey what I originally intended).
Sorry 'bout that. It is a great start, and I'm glad to see you've finally given the first issue an ending. But if I could be a little serious for a moment, I still feel that this comic is like every other comic I see being produced by most independents.
I am definitely not hateing on you, nor am I being cruel. It's just that when I go to the comic book store, there are usually two kinds of comics I see; Those that are "serious", and those that are comedic, and take a tongue-in-cheek method to the genre, or pop culture, as a whole. I suppose the same could be said for my comic, but I try to give it a fair balance of comedy and tragedy, a balance I don't see in most comics these days. Like I said, I'm not hateing on you, and I'm sorry if I've offended you.
But what kind of friend would I be if I DIDN'T offer some criticism? I know that nobody's perfect and all, but which would you rather have; a kiss-ass, or someone who's trying to help you reach your artistic potential?
Then again, my mug of beer is usually Universal Horror and stuff like Hellboy. Never really caught on to Jaws and the like. Still, what's your view on comics today? And besides, at least you've actually FINISHED your first comic, I'm still working on my story arc. So who cares what I think, right?
Me, finished? Hardly...I got at least two more issues to do just to wrap up the first arc.
As for the all-out comedic tone, that was a matter of personal preference; I don't tend to do a good job keeping up with "trends". And I took the tongue-in-cheek route for a few reasons.
It better suits the choice of subject matter. Shark movies after 1975 have a history of being painfully inept in their execution, and yet I'm a sucker for them because of that. And they always attempt to throw some gimmick into the mix to "freshen it up", which usually makes the resulting film even goofier instead of being legitimately scary. So the broad humor factor is already built into it, which for me helps because I'm not really all that good at writing jokes.
I've tried in past attempts to write this story to make it more serious, or at least balance the humor with equal measures of seriousness, and it just never felt right. For the next hero character I intend to introduce, it's the perfect approach, but for Jaws Chiptooth, I don't really have that option. I could never imbue the straight dramatic element in a way that would have effectively countered the humor, but then it is easier for me to see the ludicrous in any given situation than it is the realistic.
Chiptooth being a 'rojection' of aspects of myself makes him more of a relatable figure to me, at least, and telling the story through his perspective enables me to portray what's going around him with same level of cynicism and disbelief and wry observation that most people have just trying to imagine that such fantastic circumstances as what happens around him could actually occur. Try to get someone to picture what it'd be like if this story actually happened, and their first reaction is likely to be, "Pfft! Yeah, right!"...THAT'S what I'm trying to communicate in him. His attitude is pretty much the same as anyone's would be, only he's stuck in the middle of it.
I have found satire to be a very liberating approach to solving creative problems, whether it's drawing or writing, because you can really make fun of ANYTHING. Even if isn't contemporary, if you can find humor in a certain subject, that opens up all sorts of doors at to what you can do with it. As a result of that, a story that I have already attempted to see to fruition several times with no real success has just started flowing out in a way it never did before. Once I embraced the idea of treating it like a shark-movie spoof, THAT'S when it really started to take a definitive shape in terms of the characters involved, how they got to this point, what brings them together and the problem that they end up having to face.
Your criticism is absolutely valid; I can't argue with it, your points are honest and I agree with them. I'm just taking the only approach that I know will convey what I want out of the character and the story.
Actually, I completely understand. The comic I'm working on is in the same vein (somewhat). When it comes out, I'll explain a little more, but its written as a slice-of-life-horror-superhero tale. Think the Universal Monsters meets Hellboy meets college life meets superheroics. That's all I can give away at the moment.