Saturday, March 15, 2008

What -- and Who -- Is Spanner?

character design of Shira Thomas from 2001
(and those balls in her hands are electricity generated by her gloves)

Spanner is the story of a small group of misfits — hackers, taggers, gays, punks, ravers, goths, etc. — forced to fight for their lives against the United State, a government determined to eliminate all nonconformity. And "Spanner" is the handle of their leader, Shira Thomas, a mischievous young tagger, ravepunk, and parkour devotee determined to keep her freedom at all costs -- even if it means the total destruction of the United State and even society itself. Her handle is a pun: it means 1) monkeywrench 2) one who bridges the gap.

I started work on what would become Spanner back in 1992, when I joined a Japanese animation club and hung out with the small group of aspiring manga artists who drew instead of watching the anime. I drew a series of (what are now crude) character designs between 1992 and 1994. But due to a 5-year bout of excruciating artist's block, the story and its characters didn't really begin taking shape until 1999. I amassed a huge number of story notes and character sketches in a series of what are now 14 "Project Notebooks".

Lately, I've been mostly writing a series of prequels in the form of novels, starting with the Dictel trilogy that begins with Bad Company, my winning entry in last year's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I recently finished the first draft, and I'm currently in the middle of editing it for this year's National Novel Editing Month (NaNoEdMo). The Dictel trilogy will be the subject of my next post.

Then I found out that NaNoWriMo's sister contest, Script Frenzy ("Screnzy" for short), now accepts comics scripts as entries. At once I realized that my chance to make Spanner a reality had come at last. So now I've begun planning for 100 pages or more of script, and I'm about to begin drawing a new series of character designs better than any I've ever drawn before. I know I finally have a chance to get Spanner drawn and published at last.

Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Geez, it seems as though Spanner's been everywhere on the Script Frenzy boards. I found the project blog via the corresponding thread, and decided to wander on over. As a manga, this looks like something I'd definitely want to read. I hope you'll put up the script after the end of April!