Original Release Date: December 11, 2012
Let's use this page as an opportunity to talk about the Chaos Effect. It, like most of my ideas in Mike and the Ninja, had a lot of potential, but as usual, I underdelivered on the execution, aside from a few major instances.
It's basically this: Mike has this gene. It causes things all around him to go wrong. I can't tell you how many times I've had a day where everything goes wrong. Technology breaks at work. The cat suddenly has fleas. The power goes out at home. You sprain your ankle. Your carryout order is wrong. And so on. All in the same day! This kind of day is what inspired the idea of the Chaos Gene, and subsequently the Chaos Effect. Mike has these kinds of days all the time--in fact, it was one of these days that put him on the path to meeting Stu and getting started on this big adventure. So I thought to myself, what if it was a part of him? What if he has this gene that creates this aura of chaos around him, causing things to go wrong in his life like this all the time? It seemed like an interesting idea, so I used it as the basis for Volume Three, which I wanted to make sure was Mike's story more so than anybody else's.
Once The Six harnesses Mike's gene and uses the Chaos Drive to amplify it, I wanted everything to start going wrong around everybody. I wanted weapons snapping off in ninja's hands, inexplicable weather popping up, getting locked out of rooms or computer programs inexplicably, aircraft falling out of the sky, explosions everywhere...just lots and lots of stuff going wrong. Unfortunately, I only worked in a few instances of the Chaos Effect. And they work, and hopefully increase the level of tension, but I did not take the time to get as many crazy things into the story as I should have. Much like the ballroom scene in Volume One that I buried for not having enough people or activity in it, this climax of Volume Three just doesn't have enough chaos. Weird things happen a few times, but instead of them being major happenings in a sea of minor, but tangible inconveniences, they feel more like wedged-in reminders that say, "Hey, don't forget that the Chaos Effect is happening." That's not what I wanted. The Chaos Effect was supposed to feel like this apocalyptic event, but I didn't manage to build it up to that level.
Big news on Six Legs, No Heart. Interior inking was finished last night! There's still a lot of work to do, including interior post-production and the cover, but the brunt of the workload is officially behind us! I'm planning to get as much work done over the next two weeks as possible to maximize lead time before Cape Comic Con 2017. Wish me luck!
I also only have 50 more Mike and the Ninja commentaries to write. I've been keeping ahead by at least a month since I started working on them, and while my buffer is growing somewhat smaller, I should finish Six Legs, No Heart in time to start writing commentaries again before they run out.
I'm amazed at how busy I've been with creative stuff! Now the only thing I need to get better at is telling you guys about it! One step I'm taking in that direction is improving my social media use and strategy. I recently converted the Mike and the Ninja Facebook page to a Big Skink Tales Facebook page, so it can encompass all of my projects instead of just Mike and the Ninja. Or, if you're more into Instagram, I also started a Big Skink Tales Instagram page, and that's honestly the best way you'll be able to get updates and teasers on works in progress, and looks at my process and art equipment.
That's all for now! As always, take care of yourselves, and thanks for reading!