By Adam

Last week, I talked about the differences between writing comics using either a plot or a script. For most of Exit Theory, I used the plot method-I could devote a small amount of time to each story section and still pump out a whole bunch of shit as fast as possible. That’s the benefit of writing a plot. Unfortunately, one of the first things lost when using this method is control. Take a look at this:

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My artist was the amazing, irascible, frequently-drunk, two-fisted Mike Beachy. He’s a talented sumbitch, but prone to letting himself go a little crazy when there’s no one around to reel him in. There’s no better example of this than the strip above: he essentially captured the entire thrust of what I was trying to say, but instead of letting the words do the talking, he chose to tell the story visually. Everything is there, but the sheer amount of action on the page is staggering. Good thing the fucker is talented; for the most part, things flow pretty smoothly. But the asshole couldn’t spell his way out of a wet paper bag, and as a result we both look kind of stupid. Knowing the both of us, that was unavoidable, but still. Capitalize “banana”, motherfucker.

Just… There are so, so many details in this comic that were meticulously placed in order to facilitate stories that would appear (and will, by God) later on in the series. The first two panels do a decent job establishing the locale-a small, dusty down-that would later become the star of the series as I had envisioned it. During this point in time, I was fascinated by death; I was convinced that my own death was fast approaching, so I was curious as to how it would play it. This was the logical extension of that idea.

Is it kind of awkward to have your main character be yourself? I don’t know; I always decided that I needed to write to my strengths, and who do you know better, you know? Fictional me is a little more dense (and seems to enjoy bananas much more than reality-me), but I’ll forgive him anything as long as I could see that death rattle panel again. It would eventually go on to be the first (and only; fucking A, this is a lot of parenthetical statements) Exit Theory t-shirt. I always thought it was funny that because a banana was squashed during my death, I decided to shuffle off of the mortal coil instead of haunt the world. That’s pretty fucking autobiographical.

Holy shit, what’s going on in those last two panels?

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Of course, any real rumination on death invariably leads to thoughts upon the afterlife and faith. Ask R.J.; ask anyone who really knows me: I don’t buy into the traditional theories about God. The Christian Church is the most successful business structure in the world because it sells an intangible product-motherfucker, I’m going to save this topic for when I’m back to writing about things that piss me off. Regardless, while I don’t believe in any “prescribed” religion, I do have faith, and I expect that any god or God worth his salt will at least sit down with someone upon their death and answer a few questions. Obviously, my inspiration for God in this was the Christian/Catholic interpretation, as evidenced by the use of the stained-glass windows surrounding the action. Notice them sitting on the park bench and getting ready to have a sit-down. We’ll cover that next week.

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