I’m up tonight, writing. I’m getting somewhere which is good.

I’m writing a horror comic, masquerading slightly as an action/hero story. I get ideas and they creep me out but I write them down and hope they have impact and creep other people out. I’m generally not a creepy guy but this is what comes out of me. I guess… that makes me creepy. I often think about one of the blurbs I remember from Stephen King’s book On Writing where, when asked why he writes such horrific stories, he doesn’t answer and asks instead, “What makes you think I have a choice?”

Art by Dennis Carlsson

So yeah, I’ve accepted that. I have weird, violent ideas. This is what I’m trying to do. My villain, The Blood Shade, is particularly awful and makes me look at my inner voices askance. I write horror. I want it to have impact. I want it to be something you’ve never encountered before. Another thing that bothers me… have I read and/or consumed enough horror (novels, comics, movies, etc.) to be sure I’m not just churning out rehashes of stuff that other people have already done? Horror comics go so far back, no way I could read them all. Just saw an Alien documentary called Memory (great show, btw) where the writers admit they borrowed concepts and ideas from old horror comics.

What if I am ripping someone off? What if everything has been done? What if what I think is horror is old hat/boring/uninteresting to the masses? I think that’s the worst possible outcome:

Zauer’s horror: yeah, whatevs.

It’s insanely difficult to be original. I try, but sometimes I think at best you can only offer up old things in new ways. If you’ve read a certain book on screenplays, it will tell you that Alien is a retelling of the ancient story of the Minotaur. If you pull back and look at it, yes you can see it. You can’t say Alien is a ripoff so… what can you say? It’s a scifi rehash of an old Greek story? No, it’s more than that. Haha, is this all ridiculous or is this something that plagues most other writers in their respective genres?

At times, I’ll even allow myself a bit of hubris and wonder… what if I get ripped off? What if one of my concepts is snatched up and put into a movie that becomes as iconic as Alien? Silly when I consider it now. Rumblings of an amateur maybe? I should stop worrying and keep writing. Topper is hungrier for a script than the Blood Shade is for pain and arterial eruption.

Well, Spectress & Sabnion, Issue #5 is well underway. It opens bloody. It’s a blend of myth, horror, action, and the supernatural. I hope you like it.