Reason to scrap a project even when it's good

in OnChainArt2 years ago (edited)

I am thinking...that there is a correlation between highly creatives types and lifestyles that are a garbage fire (drugs, sex, random stupid and/or dangerous hobbies/habits) that is different than the obvious. The standard way of looking at it is that "genius is just a notch away from madness" and that the same wiring in the brain that makes one super creative also makes one lean towards these other things.

That may or may not be true, but it also could be that having all that other (arguably more fun) stuff to do is what prods you to just finish a project so you can go do it...instead of trying to create some flawless masterpiece forever.

There are things that are more fun than, for example, making a comic book...booze, women (the wrong women), random questionable projects/dangerous errands. As you get some wisdom under your belt though you begin to stop and say...maybe welding motor mounts to a lawnmower so you can transport a car engine to a garage on the other side of town...isn't a fantastic idea.

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even if it does, in the end...technically...work out.

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Yet, perhaps the option of having something unwise but fun waiting for you is, to a creative mind, legitimate motivation to get something finished. Like a perpetual motion machine feeding itself. "let's finish this fcker so I can go do that fun thing" becomes "That ...was fun but I almost died...I'm going go and sit safely behind a deck and draw" ...repeat...repeat... ? Because there has to be something else waiting for you or there's no mental urgency to stop at "good enough".

One weekend after the next of almost getting sent to the emergency room is not a great lifestyle yet...

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Let's jump to a project I'd been working on off and on for way too long. Part of the reason it was "off and on" is that on the surface it wasn't that original. The story and characters were, but the premise wasn't anything that new. I didn't/don't want to do things that are going to immediately be thought of as "oh...so it's like this other thing".

Arsenic Lullaby is many things, dark, funny, weird...morally bankrupt often times.
Of all of the things it is, one that I put much concern into is-it not being like anything else out there. Being original. Not being just a parody specifically or a derivative of something. Parodies are fine, if that's what you want to do. But, that isn't what I do or want to do. It's the difference between Weird Al and Frank Zappa...they are both good, but one exists as his own entity and the other relies on the work of others, or the culture at large. Personally I prefer the former over the later.

With 6000 years of humanity telling stories for mass consumption, that is only so possible, but I have that forefront in my mind with everything I do.

Which means, aside from not going ahead with some ideas to begin with, sometimes you have to scrap something that's already be started. I've probably garbage canned several hundred pages over the course of this series, because I was in the middle of something and then poof something too similar comes out. That happens, there are a lot of creative minds out there working. People's knee jerk reaction is to assume it's plagiarism, but a lot of the time it is just...lots of creative minds putting out work, and they swerve into the same idea.

To a general audience, it doesn't matter. If the comic gets published two months after they saw the same thing on a movie...it just looks like I copied the movie, despite having been working on it for over a year before the movie was even green lit. So you weep, junk the idea and move on.

Actually, I'll often look at it as evidence of failure. As in, if those dopes could come up with it, this wasn't good enough anyway. Time to do something better ( or worse, depending on the tone of the story)

Which brings us to this week. And a painful decision to be made. I had shown sneak peaks here and there of a new character/storyline "The Later Years of Harrod Howard.

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I just showed some progress pics and didn't say much about it because...there was no way to sum it up quickly without it sounding like something that's already been done. The guy hunts monsters, is the quick explanation. But it is actually way weirder, way more convoluted and it's main character has a ton of comedic potential. There are twists and turns of personality and cast and the plots go down roads that are really sad and funny.

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BUT...if you had to break it down to one sentence "he hunts monsters"...that sounds like something we've all seen a hundred times. and if you say "he hunts monsters but it is a comedy" that sounds like a parody of something we've all seen a hundred times. I was almost just not going to bother with it on those grounds, but the character and story is just so damn good. Like could rival the A.L. fan favorite Voodoo Joe, level of good.

But then...I watched "Werewolf by night" the latest MCU/Disney release. I watched it because a friend of mine was a big fan of that comic and I wanted to be able to laugh as they ruined a character he likes for once.

It was karma perhaps that I watched an opening scene that had damn near every...single...element of the opening scene for the Harrod Howard story. If it was one or two, that'd maybe be less of a reason to scrap the idea. But follow along because it starts bad and gets more bad to the point I think I have to scrap this story.

There were the visuals...an old mansion, a guy walks in and takes a long look around seeing weird monsters as trophies. I knew...I knew I was treading on ground that had been gone over with this hunting monster thing, and that maybe/probably a monster had been turned into a trophy on a wall before None of any of that is that inventive on either of our parts, but it served a much larger purpose for the Harrod Howard story.

Both of us having a trophy room of monsters...maybe...I could power though that, it's probably been done in some variation a bunch of times for all I know,. It's not such an ingenious idea that no one else would think too much of it. Like Magnum P.I. and James Rockford both had cools cars (t.v. detective shows), it's just paraphernalia. Like the base of a soup. What bothers me is this had the same tone, decorated as though it was in the same era and a lot of the same stuff, a giant bat, something with two heads, fish monster, weird ape-ish thing with horns.

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sigh...

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It's well tread ground the hunting monster idea, and there are only so many cryptids out there or variations of them. So...I was probably doomed from the start as far as the backgrounds/set. It all the whim of the ziegiest to some degree.

They then showed a hunter who was a fat-ish old-ish white guy with a beard.

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I ...was...until this week a little concerned that Harrod would seem like a derivative of Teddy Roosevelt, but that wouldn't be damning and within a page or two people we see that this guy is hell and gone from being Teddy Roosevelt.

As I watched...even some of the shots/point of the shots are the same...like the old bearded monster hunter and the thinner younger guy looking up at a trophy. There's just a whole lot of the same parts being used.

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It was starting to get ridiculous, actually...

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That's not even any specific cryptic, it's just a weird looking thing I drew for background...that there is was on the t.v. the same weird looking thing for background.

The show went on and while it was nothing like what I was going to do...like I said, it has all the same parts. Some parts very specific...to the point where anyone who watched this show and then read my book would immediately think I wrote the whole thing after seeing it. It's not close enough to be a parody, and not far enough to seem completely original. and there is simply nothing to be done about it.

and that BLOWS. The entire rest of the Harrod story and the future stories are down a completely different road, and no one would see much at all in common with Werewolf by Night and Harrod Howard. But to get to that I pretty much need my opening scene. It sets up who he is, the world he's living in and it's good.

Really good. But...life is not fair and that doesn't matter.

When you look at a show/comic like The Tick...it is a parody but it had done such a great job of building it's own world that you really don't much think about it as a parody, or being a derivative...you just think about how funny it was. This Harrod Howard story maybe could live under those conditions, but the first chapter at this point wold be like I walked onto the set of this show...rearranged some props redacted the dialog, added new dialog and said "okay...who wants to make some overtime money? we're shooting in 5..4..3..2.."

The first two jokes in the Harrod Story set up the entire character. It's like catching lightning in a bottle. and I can't tell those jokes without an opening scene that has so many moving parts from the Werewolf by Night show that it'll smell like a rip off.

It's painful to have to scrap a great story, the other suckage is that...I've been putting a f*ck ton of work and thought into it. Metering and crafting every aspect like a symphony...redoing, rethinking perfecting panels and pages. I have three folders of variation and alterations and attempts.

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I'm going to just think this over, maybe rearranging the structure of the story could swerve this scene away from it being the same template. I dunni.

Had I just finished the fucker a long time ago, it would be out already and people seeing both would assume Disney ripped it off. The LESSON could be, that having a little chaos waiting for you as motivation to finish things fast, maybe once in a awhile, isn't an entirely bad thing...you know...within reason?

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OH...Werewolf by Night...it was pretty decent. Plus my friend is going to be mortified by what they did with the characters Jack Russel and Man-Thing hahaha

As always, homebase is here

https://www.arseniclullabies.com

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NFT work here-

https://nftshowroom.com/arseniclullaby/gallery

https://makersplace.com/arseniclullaby/

Here are the other places to find me...my use of them is fluid, inconstant, susceptible to the whims and shifts of the paradigm

Torum-https://www.torum.com/u/arseniclullaby
Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/arsenic_lullaby_official/
twitter- https://twitter.com/arsenic_lullaby

bitchute- https://www.bitchute.com/channel/arsenic_lullaby/
youtube- https://www.youtube.com/user/arseniclullabycomics

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Hey, @splinterlands is talking about doing comics, you should reach out to them!

really!? Thanks for the heads up!!!

heya! could you point me in the direction of where they talked about this? don't see it here or on discord ( but it was probably right in front of my face and I missed it) thanks for any help!

I don't know...to me it doesn't sound like a good enough reason to scrap a project you've already put a lot of work into. I mean the fact of the matter is that you didn't rip anything off and it sounds like the similarities are only superficial. But then I'm not really the creative type...

that's the fact...but perception is the problem, someone sees it and saw this...their assumption will be it's a rip off. I'll let it sit for awhile.

That sucks. It does seem that certain ideas coincide sometimes, but then there are so many creative projects going on. In this case there seem to be a lot of similarities even though it's just coincidence. Being original is hard.

I hope you can find fresh inspiration and don't keep running into this problem.

I've not seen that show yet, but will take a look.

thanks! Like I said, I knew this was not virgin territory and could run into this problem on this specific story. I'll just start on a different thing I've had in mind, and think it over after a month or so. This happens from time to time (shrug)

I got around to watching Werewolf by Night last night. They did a fairly good job of getting the vintage movie vibe, but it seems that was partly to get a less restrictive rating as blood is less scary in black and white, but having the bloodstone show in red was neat. I don't know the characters, so I came to it fresh. It looked like something that needs to be continued. Marvel are just producing so much stuff these days. I can't keep up. Still got to have a look at She Hulk.