An everyday story of leftwing folk

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Policy Police: Anniversary Waltz

It’s been two years since I sent out the first Policy Police episode. Of course time doesn’t operate in quite the same way in the Policy Police universe. But I thought our heroes ought to celebrate, too. So I decided that though two years has passed for us, one year has passed for them.

You may have noticed some stylistic changes to the comic this month. I’ve decided that I’ve paid my dues with Paint, so I’ve graduated myself to Manga Studio Debut.

Manga Studio works really well with the tablet and “fakes” pen work brilliantly. It really is a joy to use. I’ve had to rework the basic drawings (again), but I think the new look is worth it. Also using layers gives me a lot more scope with things like beer cans and (I anticipate) sunglasses. And backgrounds. The list is endless.

The Manga Studio package can seem a bit daunting at first but the excellent tutorials at Mario Live have helped me get to grips with it quite quickly.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The seductiveness of bureaucracy...

I was talking to my partially-sighted colleague over lunch today, and she said that she found that she was liking the Kid less lately. I’m quite pleased about this, cuz it’s intentional. What I’m trying to do here is show how the world of the Agency can be seductive. How if you’ve been pretty powerless in your life, the bureaucracy offers so many opportunities to be powerful. Most obviously through whatever position you might occupy, but also through expertise, or through being a bottleneck, or through leveraging your powerful friends. But of course, it comes at a cost. A cost of losing at least a part of yourself. This is the Kid’s dilemma. Can she continue to work within the Agency and keep her self intact along the way? And it also gets us to realise that Faren and Zee were kids too once, and think about how they got to be the cynics/monsters/whatever they’ve become.

Friday, 12 November 2010

What's happening with Policy Police over the festive season?

I've been producing a bunch of one- or two-episode stories lately and not really progressing with the longer story I had planned. I've got the first episode written and ready to draw, and I kinda know where everything is going, but it remains very much in kit form.

I think this is because the "future" is still forming for me. When I look around my world it's still like the early part of an arm-wrestling contest, where the parties "take the strain" and size each other up. So, in general I'm feeling more comfortable with a shorter time horizon right now.

Anyway. This is my plan.

A single one-off episode around the end of the month. It'll be the last one before Christmas and falls at an auspicious time for all kinds of other things too. So it'll have an air of celebration about it. And something a bit different. But I'll leave that to be a surprise.

Then another one-off in early January. This will be a sequel to an old favourite. I wrote it a couple of days ago and I'm still chuckling, so it should act as some welcome New Year cheer.

Then I'll get down to the long story. Maybe

Friday, 5 November 2010

Policy Police: Pretty vacant, part 2.

One of my colleagues used the word “slapstick” to describe the first part of this one. I think that’s right. Kind of carries on in the same vein, too. As I think I said last month, it was inspired by the humour that is born out of the dispiriting task of closing your own organisation.

Pretty vacant(NB: as the comic-book version combines parts 1 and 2, this link goes to the same place as part 1)

 I’m conscious that the current situation is pulling me towards some quite dark places in this saga. But there’s lots of humour about the place. Can’t help but be inspired by a general atmosphere of silliness around the office.

I like the idea in this story of the ones that “got away”, maybe being a bit like those wonderful Russian agents who were expelled from the US a little while back. Carrying the Soviet Union in their hearts.

Which reminds me of another story...  On the banks of what now is Lake Nasser (it was, before the valley was flooded, on a crag, overlooking the Nile) is the ruin of the fortress Kasr Ibrim. It was one of the furthest outposts of the Ottoman empire. Several hundred years ago a garrison of Bosnians was stationed there to guard the empire against whatever threat sub-Saharan Africa might pose. They were sent, and duly forgotten about. As is the way with empires. As the years passed, they must’ve realised something was up, because they took up with local Nubian girls and started families. To this day, there are red-headed Nubians in southern Egypt who think they’re a cut above the others…