Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Comic Made from Disciplines of Absence

Despite me currently being lost in the thesis-writing dimension, the Guam Bus Comic Book Making Team, also known as Pump Fake Nation is still hard at work.

In response to the feedback we got at the Alternative Press Expo (APE) last month, we will compiling the issues that we have for Battle For Kamchatka into a graphic novel and seek to publish it later on. This is exciting for me because I will be able to work freely on the comic in the next few months, and therefore hopefully get some great stories going before I have to worry about trying to sell the stupid thing.

To keep track of our progress you can head over the website that i che'lu-hu Si Jack is putting together.

By the way, for those that don't know, Pump Fake Nation is me and my brothers creative company, with Jack at the helm. My imprint which Battle for Kamchatka is produced by is Panopticomix.

For those of you who have asked what exactly Battle for Kamchatka is supposed to be, I wrote up a brief piece explaining it below:

How did Kamchatka get created, and why is it such a confusing world, for both its characters as well as its readers?

Basically I wanted to create a comic, a world where I could have as much freedom as possible in creating characters, situations, plots, stories, dialogues. Often times when we create comics, you pick a genre and tweak it. Or pick a period, a locale, a specific hook or gimmick and bend it, give it a little bit of unexpected edge.

You can have fun playing with history, with time, with the imaginations we have of these themes. How about machine guns in Victorian England? What would Spidey’s powers look like in 1602? What if Samurai danced to Hip Hop beats?

I wanted more freedom though, a world where I could collapse times, eras, cultures together and have the world show the marks of those translations, transitions and transformations.

What would allow me to do that? What type of theme would allow for this type of amalgamation?

I began to comb through all the themes and disciplines of absence I could find. Ghostly matters, philosophy, subjugated knowledges, surrealism, counter-factual histories, the deleted scenes on DVD’s, rumors and public lore, books no one seems to know anything about.

This lead me to a series of very related questions which provided the basis for Kamchatka. What are all the ways that things become lost? Forgotten? Cast aside? Replaced through grief? Transformed through melancholia? Remembered if only to be forgotten? Remembered to have never existed? Stuck? Kidnapped? Expelled? Excessive? Fallen? Failed? Suppressed? Repressed? Comatose? Omitted? Edited out?

An endless list of scenarios followed each of these possible moments of loss. What would happen if everyone forgot your name? What would happen if everyone assumed you were already dead? What happens the rest of someone’s multiple personalities when they are not dominant?

Furthermore, since these questions led me so often into the realm of fiction, or texts, of imaginary constructs, the things man produces, which give him life, and only through which man himself can be produced.

This world of fantasy, of imagination is not its own, but never entirely either under the control of man either. It has its own life, energy, drive, existence, insistence. What happens, when it escapes its station, betrays its location?

What happens when the desire of a text overwhelms its once limits? When a character in a story refuses to remain lost? To leave their love unrequited? Demands an alternative to the path written for them?

Kamchatka is the answer to these questions.

The world constituted from all these scenarios, these errant possibilities, these moments that were in some way deemed not to be, yet continue to exist somewhere.

Battle For Kamchatka is the story of when those lost and forgotten, in a world full of traces of all other places, try to find their way back to wherever they came from.

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