Monday, 6 January 2014

Morbid Detection and Why I Write - A Blog Entry

Photo By Assassynation

Blog Entry By Patrick Scattergood

I've always been a big fan of comic books, ever since I was young.  It all started when my late Dad came home from the market one day with some back issues of The Punisher, Superman, Batman and Spider-Man that he'd found mega cheap.  I remember going through those comic books again and again until they were practically falling apart.

Ever since then, my favorites have come and gone, my tastes have change but the one constant is that I love reading comic books and graphic novels.  I'm also a ferocious reader of novels and non-fiction books too and sometimes the two bleed in to one another.

Because of the variety of the things I read, I find that the way I write can vary from day to day.  One day I might want to write something with a horror slant, another day I will want to write something with a more comedic slant.  That can also tie in with how my moods are.

Talking of my moods, they affect my writing massively.  There are quite literally days where I have to force myself to write.  I know people say to not do so but because I battle quite severe depression, I can sometimes fall in to a slump.  Sometimes it would last for an hour, sometimes even for a couple of days.  The way I combat this is by writing.  The lower my moods are, the darker the stories become but that helps because I find it to be a form of catharsis.  That's how I came up with the projects that I am working on right now.  I have a story called 'Imagining Rain Clouds' that tells the sad tale of a man so crushed by grief that he starts imagine that inanimate objects begin to talk to him.  Another is called 'Spook', which is my take on the haunted house genre.

However the title I am working on the most at the moment is a comic book series called 'Morbid Detection' and is one that I am quite proud of.  The series deals with a couple of themes.  One is a supernatural one in which a prophecy warns of a time when demons and nightmare creatures will manage to bleed in to our world and take it over, making humans their slaves.  Their world runs parallel to ours and slowly but surely they manage to get their creatures, disguised obviously, in to our world. 

Another theme of the series is how the main character, a detective by the name of David Fredricks, deals with starting to see the demons for who they really are but only in glances at first.  Is he going insane after losing  someone close to him in a case he is working on when the series begins or do they really exist?  At the same time, this part of the story deals with his grief and anger as well.  That's juxtaposed with the calm nature of his partner named Jensen.

At the heart of their relationship is a sense of protection and trust.  As you will see during the series, not everyone is so accepting of their relationship but time and time again, they are there to help and protect the other.

Well, that's about the gist of it without giving too much away.  I suppose in a way I'm writing a series like that because for years, due to fighting depression, I have had many dark thoughts and even nightmares.  Putting them down on paper is deeply personal for me and, to steal a cliche, a bit of a journey as well.  I have found that the more I write, the more confidence appears inside of me and a lot of that is down to the support and advice of my friends and family during my writing times.

I could sit here and thank absolutely every but then this would be a list and not a blog entry.  However, there are a couple of people that really need the thanks for both helping myself become more confident and with my writing as well.

Firstly, and obviously most importantly, my wife Ashley.  She has been amazingly patient with me in the time we have spent together.  She's had to put up with a lot from me.  My moods, my temper going up and down and even bringing in my now four year old son in to a then fledgling relationship.  She has also been massively supportive of my creative writing and it's because of her that I have had the confidence to actually send my samples and pitches to people to consider.  It all stemmed from her advice of having my own blog to review the things I liked and my fiction writing has grown from that.  I used to write short stories all the time but real life got in the way and I stopped writing.   That's a real shame because maybe if I hadn't have stopped, I'd have more stuff published out there.  At the same time though, if that part of my life had changed then would I still be me now?

Secondly, I have met and become friends with some amazing writers and artists since I started my blog and each and every one of them has been incredibly generous with their advice and their time.  I can't obviously list them all but I owe some major thanks to these incredibly patient and extremely talented people.

Victor Wright from Geeky Kid Comics and Gary Crutchley have both been truly fantastic thanks to taking their time to give me pointers when I started to write my own script for the first time.  It has been truly invaluable to get such great advice from a writer and artist that not only am I a fan of but one that I am lucky to call friends.

Another artist that has been an absolute diamond in terms of encouragement has been the insanely talented Lee Taylor.  If you haven't seen his art then I urge you to do so.  It's been great to find someone so talented and with such a great mind for visual story telling that doesn't mind me bugging the hell out of him to ask my, sometimes admittedly, silly questions.

There are so many more that I wish I could name here for you  but this blog entry  has already become massively longer than I imagined it would be.  So for those out there still reading this I thought I would put a little list of people that you should be checking out because a) they have been brilliant at helping myself, a complete newcomer, get the confidence to try to break in to the comic book world but also b) are massively talented so please go check them out.

Victor Wright (Geeky Kid Comics) - both a comic book writer and a very talented novelist, is definitely one worth checking out if you like crime, horror or anything supernatural.  The man seems just at home in any genre so go check him out.

Gary Crutchley (Accent UK) - a man whose start art really inspires how I like to look at my panel placing in my own comic.  If you get a chance then check out the series WesterNoir that he does the art for.  Written by Dave West, the three issues out so far are absolutely fantastic.

Lee Taylor (Collateral: Dear John) - is an insanely talented artist and one of the most unique illustrators that I've seen for a long time.  The title 'Collateral: Dear John' that he draws in conjunction some subtle and intelligent writing by Matt Nicholls, make it one of the best things I've read in a long time.

Also readers, if you get a chance then check out a series called 'The Almighties', written by Sam Johnson.  It's insanely funny, exciting and has some great art that reminds me of how well the comic book art of the mid to late 90's would absolutely burst off the page.

Well, you know what guys and girls?  My theory is that if none of my stories or my comics ever get published then it doesn't matter.  You know why?  Because it has been and will continue to  be a blast writing them so to any aspiring authors out there I wish you good luck and hope your literally dreams come true.

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