SIDEWISE Commentary Page 46 (Thursday, June 24th)

Welcome Back

As promised, here is the weekly commentary page.

It’s been a crazy week–again. Lots of cool projects on the horizon. One of them involves video game designer American McGee. Yes, as in American McGee’s Alice.

More information to come very soon. It’s exciting news, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

SIDEWISE Videos

Check out these amazing stage-by-stage videos created by SIDEWISE artist Igor Noronha.

SIDEWISE Page 46

Sidewise banner

Looks like Conrad and part of Tesla’s team are in a heap of trouble. Will Tesla arrive too late?

Stay tuned, Lords and Ladies. You do not want to miss the sensational final act of SIDEWISE Season 1.

Back to Work in 3, 2…

I need to get back to work, but I appreciate you stopping by. Please continue to spread the word about SIDEWISE as we prepare to pitch Season 2. We need your help to ensure that we get to continue the story.

Until next week…

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SIDEWISE Commentary Page 24 (Thursday, January 21st)

Greetings, Salutations and How Do You Do

Welcome to the weekly commentary update. I’m assuming you’ve already read Page 24, so let’s get to it, shall we?

Her Immortal Majesty

PAGE 24

This page further establishes the Queen’s relationship with Nikola Tesla. But, most importantly, it is also significant because Victoria’s Brain has given Minister Moriarty the authority to seek Adam out, thus endangering Lord Tesla. Moriarty obviously knows something the Queen doesn’t.

Or does he?

Keep reading, dear friends. The payoff is well worth the wait as I establish the characters and their world.

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

Thank you for reading. And, if you enjoy what you’ve read, please pass a link along to your friends and loved ones. After all, everyone loves Steampunk–right?

See you next week with a brand new SIDEWISE page and commentary!

SIDEWISE Commentary Page 23 (Thursday, January 14th)

Back on Track

Or should I say “Back in black?” Either way, I’ve finally caught up, so I will post a new commentary page on my blog every Thursday as pages are posted at Zuda.

Look! It's Lord Tesla himself!

PAGE 23

This is a great page (aren’t they all?). As you can tell by the dialogue, and that of the page before, there is more to this encounter with the Queen than meets the eye. There is obviously some history between Minister and Moriarty. If you’re a very good sleuth, you just may figure out.

Not that I’d confirm your speculations.

This is also an important page because it sets up what is to come for Lord Tesla. What is the Minister insinuating? What are his true intentions?

You’ll just have to keep reading to find out.

Au revoir, Elalleqa and Le’hitraot

I will make a serious attempt to post updates more often. With my current writing schedule, it’s going to be difficult, but it is my most sincere intention to post on my blog as frequently as possible.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week with another commentary post!

Sidewise Commentary Wrap-Up or Better Late Than Never

Yes, I fell behind, but I intend to get caught up and post a new SIDEWISE commentary page Thursday (TOMORROW!) when Page 23 goes live on Zuda’s site.

Thank you for bearing with me.

PAGE 11

Major Wilson is a fun character to write. Tempestuous, volitile and forthright, he always lets others know exactly what he thinks. Whether they want to hear it or not.

As we learn on this page, the Queen reluctantly decides that Tesla should be questioned because of the Tesla building’s close proximity to the incident. Why is she reluctant? Well, Panel 4 is a whopping hint.

PAGE 12

Minister Moriarty’s castle. This is a particularly important set-up, but I won’t say why. You’ll just have to keep reading.

Aw, come on. You’ll thank me later.

PAGE 13

Igor really nailed this page. As you can see, Minister Moriarty is involved in the occult. Given the fact that he has the ability to teleport, this calls his very being into question from the onset.

Oh, and the “DOOM!” sound-effect was artist Igor Noronha‘s idea. Brilliant, isn’t it?

PAGE 14

Adam’s quite bright–don’t you think? Of course, this exchange was essential to establish Adam as an intellectual. After all, he did help his parents create a time device.

Tesla’s not going to be able to pull a fast one on Adam Graham.

Or is he?

PAGE 15

“Intellectual pugilism.” What other webcomic uses such witty metaphors? Okay, you can probably name a few. Still, a wonderful exchange between Lord Tesla and Adam.

PAGE 16

Oh, my! This can’t be good!

Or can it?

(Yes, I’m full of rhetorical questions today.)

PAGE 17

This is another excellent page, and a wonderful glimpse of the other members of Tesla’s band of exo-suited soldiers: Fawkes, Raleigh and Boudica.

“For Food!” Is actually the MacPherson Clan’s war cry.

As you can see, Tesla is occupied and does not hear their transmission. This will be important later.

PAGE 18

Ah, Scotland. Land of my ancestors.

I’m told that roast boar doesn’t actually fall from the sky in Scotland, but wouldn’t that work miracles for tourism? “Come to Scotland, where roast boar falls from the sky!” I can picture a burly man with mutton chops, kilt and… okay, I’ll stop.

PAGE 19

Yes, these men are exiles from England. The reason for their expatriation will be explained as the story progresses. We know who deported the men, but we don’t know why.

And who is this mysterious “Mr. Conrad?” Hmm.

PAGE 20

“Shoot their weapons?! Why in the world…”

You’ll find out shortly.

PAGE 21

I love the reaction of the Knight of Hanover. Of course, our mate Major Wilson is the only one insulted by the Minister’s sleight. The others want to stay as far away from him as possible. And for good reason!

PAGE 22

Was that fire…?!

Again, questioning the being of Minister Moriarty. Is he human–or something else?

Read on, my friends. Read on.

You Make the Steampunk World Go ‘Round

Thank you for reading and supporting SIDEWISE. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate each and every one of you who has taken the time to read, comment, or pass along a link to the webcomic. If we keep this up, we will definitely see a Season 2. The power’s in your hands.

See you tomorrow with another update!

SIDEWISE Commentary, Part 2

As promised, I will continue my ongoing SIDEWISE commentary. I will do my best to get caught up so I need only write commentary for page 15 (which will be posted here Thursday).

PAGES 6 & 7

Pages 6 and 7 are the in-your-face action pages. It was almost entirely artist Igor Norohna’s idea. You see, I was extremely busy when we began working on SIDEWISE, so I simply suggested “Hey, let’s have some action on these pages.” The end result is what you see: a stylized battle scene with the Queen’s robot army that showcases the abilities of their exo-suits. I simply went back and added dialogue after the pages were complete.

Well done, Igor. Take a bow.

PAGE 8

Page 8 was our last chance to hook readers and make ’em hungry for more. It was also my intent to question the nature of reality. “And that’s exactly what it was.” In light of Adam’s previous statement, perhaps there’s more to this assertion than meets the eye?

Did you think Wells’ “Come with me if you wish to live” was a nod to the Terminator films? It was. A tongue-in-cheek reference to one of the greatest action flicks of all-times. Why not?

PAGE 9

This is one of my favorite pages. Igor really captured my vision of a “Teslafied” Buckingham Palace. The Tesla coil powered force field is especially important in the future, but I won’t give it away. Keep reading.

Page 9 is also particularly important because it introduces the Knights of Hanover: Dr. Fain, Sir Campion, Lord Tritton and Major Wilson. In case you didn’t notice, the Knights are manifestly strange.

More on that later.

PAGE 10

Introducing the monstrosity that was once Queen Victoria! I really wanted to impress readers with the strangeness of the Queen. Igor really nailed it.

This is also the first mention of Minister Moriarty. Is he the Moriarty from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Regardless, he is a major player in the story and–as we find out later–a bitter rival of Lord Tesla. Why? You’ll just have to continue reading to find out.

Th-Th-That’s All, Folks

I need to get back to work, but I’ll post commentary on the remaining pages in the next couple days. I would say tomorrow, but I’d hate to become so busy that I lie to you (again).

Please take a moment to check out Parts 1 and 2 of my interview with Rocket Llama. The conclusion of the interview should be posted this week. Be sure to check my tweets for a link as soon as I get it.

Thank you for your patience. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to read my little blog.

Sidewise Launch Date: 8 October 2009!

The Final Countdown

We now have a launch date for SIDEWISE on Zuda Comics, and that date is Thursday, October 8th! Please be sure to bookmark the SIDEWISE page and add it to your favorites. Trust me: you are not going to want to miss the launch of this exciting story!

Sidewise Teaser Image by Igor Noronha

All-Ages Does Not Equal Kids Only

I’m really going to need your help spreading the word. I like to think of SIDEWISE as the little all-ages webcomic that could, and if you are familiar with Zuda’s ongoing content then you are keenly aware that SIDEWISE is the first all-ages project to win the monthly competition. I think this is indicative of the current sentiment regarding all-ages stories: They’re only for kids.

I’m not sure when there was a paradigm shift in comic books, but when I was growing up, parents didn’t think twice about sharing their comics with their children. After all, you would never find inappropriate language, innuendo, partial nudity or ultra-violence in a comic book. It just wasn’t necessary to tell a good, entertaining story. Our comics were super cool and we loved them–oblivious of the fact that they were all-ages comics. We read them because the stories captured our imaginations and we lived a super-powered life vicariously through characters who could fly, leap buildings in a single bound and run faster than a locomotive.

Kid-Friendly = Kiss of Death

“Kid-Friendly” is a stupid phrase. My 13-year-old told me so. He doesn’t want to read a kid-friendly book, he wants to read what I’m reading. So I create stories like SIDEWISE, Edgar Allan Poo and Kid Houdini. My sons–like all kids out there–don’t want you to dumb down the story, and they certainly don’t want to read a book that says “kid-friendly” on the cover. Book series like Harry Potter, Twilight and Pendragon have proven that you don’t need to speak down to young readers and young adults. Believe it or not, they can handle thick novels and the comic books you read. They just don’t need all the aforementioned non-story-essential “adult” elements. So why can’t all-ages be smart, engaging, action-packed and accessible to all readers and still be cool?

Sidewise = Cool

My goal for SIDEWISE is simple: to create a smart, engaging, action-packed historical fiction story that will appeal to readers of all ages… and still be cool. And if you believe a story needs adult language, ultra-violence, innuendo and partial nudity to be cool, I feel sorry for you. You’re going to miss a heckuva story. A heckuva cool story.

Sidewise, Interagents and More

Sidewise Update

The script for SIDEWISE Season 1 is complete and has been turned in to my editor at Zuda Comics. Artist Igor Noronha has completed the art for the next ten pages and we’re moving on. Our hope is to launch Season 1 in the next couple months, but that decision lies with our wonderful editor and the Zuda staff (feel free to beg them for SIDEWISE!), but I wouldn’t encourage you to badger them for a quick launch.

*Ahem*

Right, then. How about a few teaser panels?

Sidewise Teaser Image 1
Sidewise Teaser Image 2
Sidewise Teaser Image 4
Sidewise Teaser Image 3

I cannot begin to tell you how pleased I am with this story! I’m dying to share the new pages with you, and I’ll be sure to announce the launch date as soon as I have it.

Remember The Interagents

We are currently putting together the material for an Interagents trade paperback. This trade collects the first story arc (issues 1-3) and will feature a foreword by a New York Times Bestselling Author and a back-up story by 2000AD artist P.J. Holden.

Interagents Teaser by P.J. Holden

Trust me: You do not want to miss the trade collection! The back-up story is a must-read for all Interagents fans!

What’s Coming Up

Sadly, I cannot discuss other projects I am currently working on. You can rest assured, dear reader, that you will be the first to know as soon as I’m allowed to spill the beans.

SIDEWISE Wins June Zuda Competition

WE DID IT! WE DID IT!

I would like to thank each and every one of you who voted for SIDEWISE and helped spread the word! As far as I’m concerned, this is a win shared by you as well, so congratulations for an amazing, tenacious job this month. It was incredible to watch the staggering number of views and know that many of you convinced your friends, family and acquaintances to vote for a comic strip they probably had no idea existed–and never would had you not shown them. I honestly cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate your dedication, enthusiasm and pertinacity.

But I’ll try.

In The Beginning…

When I was first approached by Igor Noronha about submitting a comic to Zuda, I was writing American McGee’s Grimm for IDW and working on a couple other projects. Despite being incredibly busy, I readily agreed because I considered Igor to be a good friend and I’d been so outspoken about the future of comic books. It was time to put my money where my mouth was.

SteampunX–er, SIDEWISE

Committed to writing a submission for Zuda, I had no clue which idea in my magic box (okay… it’s an “In Development” folder in My Documents) would best suit Igor’s animated artistic style. Scrolling through hundreds of document icons, I opened a folder titled “SteampunX.” The document was little more than a page of ideas in bullet format and a short synopsis that I wrote the day after my 13-year-old asked me what Steampunk was, so I got to work developing and refining the document so I could share it with Igor.

Igor loved it and SIDEWISE was born.

Get to the Point, Already!

What started out as a commitment to one friend has culminated in a stunning commitment by many friends.

So to you, my friends, I say a heartfelt thank you. We got where we are because of you and, as such, are dedicated to creating a story that will be worthy of your support and commitment.

The best is yet to come!

Sidewise on Zudacomics.com

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Lords and Ladies, I am proud to announce that my webcomic (along with artist Igor Noronha) SIDEWISE is in first place in Zudacomics.com’s monthly competition! If you haven’t already read our entry, you can do so HERE.

I’m billing SIDEWISE as “Sublime Steampunk for the 22nd Century.”

SIDEWISE promo image by Igor Noronha
SIDEWISE promo image by Igor Noronha

Whot’s This?!

Special thanks to my mates Steve Ekstrom for the wonderful interview on NEWSARAMA and Gus Higuera for his masterful interview for ComicNews.Info. I have a couple more interviews I’m completing, so I will make links available as they are posted.

I Need Your Help

I’ve had several friends and fans say that they have not voted because they believe we will most assuredly win. My response has been “Ah, don’t underestimate the power of the internet.” This competition is as much (if not more so) about generating votes as it is about creating a winning entry. So please, if you have not yet voted, please head over to zudacomics.com, read SIDEWISE, vote for us, add it to your favorites and rate it. And–if you’re so inclined–please send me an e-mail at dwightmacpherson at gmail.com if you would be so kind to post a SIDEWISE banner to your site. Trust me: It all helps.

Happy Grimm Day!

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of IDW’s American McGee’s Grimm #2 at your local comic shop today. It’s Grimm vs. romance comics in this newest installment and you do not want to miss it!

American McGee's Grimm #2 Cover by Grant Bond
American McGee's Grimm #2 Cover by Grant Bond

I’m History

Thank you for reading my newest blog entry. I know I haven’t updated as often as I’d have liked to, but please be patient with me. I intend to talk more about SIDEWISE in the coming days. That alone should be worth the wait.