Pictonaut Short Story Challenge: ‘Crone Calls’…

When the hurlyburly’s done (actually never done. The hurly burly is never done) I get down to the gettin’ down and have a crack at writing a short story set to a specific image someone else selected. Every month the pre-eminent-and-most-excellent John Steele sets the Pictonaut challenge and picks an image to inspire some wordmongering. I like this impetus, take up the objective every time and urge other people to have a go if they getchance. It’s good for you (scientific tests and additional testomonies pending).

Behold: this month’s Pictonaut – the 25th consecutive monthly Pictonaut whoop whoop! –  comes in the crinkled shape of this babooshka…

Crone…

I like her. How do you adapt her into a piece of short fiction? Looking at her I got a feeling of witchcraft. I like witchcraft. I studied medieval witchcraft a bit at university. Witches and witchy practice excite me. Admittedly, the photograph is of an old woman at the Yemeni anti-government protests of 2011 and we’re being pretty cruel calling her a “crone”. Crones don’t necessarily have anything to do with magic so I hope that this doesn’t offend the subject of this photograph. I thus, devote this tale, to the people of Yemen and offer my arms (my upper-body limbs, not my AK-47s) in friendship.  I also offer my friendship to the witch community. And with that, let’s get back to the Crone story at hand…

I’m always up for historical supernatural shenanigans but an idea came to made that didn’t follow that line. Sticking with this stubborn idea, I tried to develop it a number of ways but ended up logging it as a monologue. What follows is that monologue and it’s titled ‘Crone Calls’. I hope you enjoy it or find something stimulating in it. While you read that I’m going to get back to working up some different magicks and handling all this hurlyburly…

WITCHCRAFT!

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Come Together to Create Comics Magick…

THWACK! KER-SPLAT! PA-ZOW!

Those were comic book sound effects. I like comic book sound effects. I like writing ’em though, to be honest, I don’t write ’em that often because the comic scenarios I script up tend not to call for them. I should write ’em more often. KRAKOOM! Oh, that felt pretty good…

SWISH-WHIP! Yes, comics and comics energy is on my mind right now as I gather my materials and plans for the Thought Bubble convention in November. I’m currently working on getting stuff ready in time to showcase at the event. What I’d also like to do, if possible, is turnaround some of these short comic scripts I’ve written into actual fully drawn pieces for print and release.

I love writing comic scripts and have a fair few of different tone, styles and genre lying around. (I may start just posting a few up for all to see as an open exhibition/invite.) Scripting up these stories gives you the biggest thrill but then the inevitable comedown arrives when you finish them and find yourself asking, “So, will anybody ever actually draw this?” I want to make that answer: “Yes they will and yes they have done and yes go write more!” Writing! Drawing! Comics! These things make us happy! Pa-zow!

I’m always open to collaboration and am keen to share them with artists who can draw better than myself in hope that we can turn my manuscripts into manifest graphic works. This, then, is basically a rallying call blogpost shout out to scream into the void “Hey! Who wants to play with me? Any of you ultra-gifted art-mages wanna make comics magick with me?

Thought Bubble is two months away so if anybody is up for the challenge of arting up very, very short comic one-shots, give me a shout. It might potentially be a lot of fun – the kind of fun that you have to punctuate with exuberant sound effects like “BUZZZUUUMPFF!” OR “PHWAAWUUUUSH!” Then we show comics to people and hopefully people enjoy comics and then we all feed off each other’s creative energies and then it radiates, transmogrifies and then, oh my Drokk, we’re all alight and aglow as our hearts burn with the beautiful pure fire of the original essential spirit of the Universe that we’ve tapped into and it grows and ascends and surges white-hot and resplendent and beats beatifically and then we all simultaneously explode…

FFFFFFFFFFFFFWWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAABOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!

(Yes. It could be that awesome…)

Fight! Fight! Fight! RoboCop vs Timecop…

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! RoboCop vs Timecop

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
RoboCop vs Timecop

I like time travel, I like sci-fi action movies and I like writing fantastical martial arts violence. All these things came together and ended up taking form in another fan fiction escapade I wrote for Andrew Blair‘s sublime and ridiculous blog of pop cultural carnage.

This week’s fresh edition of Fight! Fight! Fight! is RoboCop vs Timecop (a.k.a. Peter Weller’s Officer Alex J. Murphy vs Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Max Walker). It has time travel. It has action. It has subversive undercurrents critiquing capitalist culture. It has deep and profound points about the way that life can change in a single moment of shocking violence.

Life. Death. Destiny. Deep and disturbing…

And if that time travel trip is too distressing and violent for your tastes you can fly on over to Den of Geek and read my most recent Friday column which is all about the romance of time travel.

Oh, time travel! It’s fantastic! It’s beautiful! It touches me on many levels, bruises me all over and brings tears to my eyes!

Well, yes it does, yes it has and yes it will. Feel free to read and join me and have fun with these things I find fascinating…