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Behind the Magic curtain #1 May 14, 2010

Posted by cbrotherson in Commentary.
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Hello and welcome to the first in an accompanying series of brief features looking behind the scenes of Magic of Myths, issue by issue.

So here’s Behind the Magic curtain #1 – we hope it provides a little extra depth to the series so far. And if you’ve not read issue one, you can right now by clicking on this sentence before jumping into this commentary (which has spoilers from the start).


Raising the curtain

If there’s one thing which always presents an interesting yet tedious conundrum, it’s opening chapters of serials.

The trick of them is always establishing as much as you can about the series to hand, offering introduction to characters, tone, plot, theme and dilemma, without bowing down to big blocks of exposition, something trickier when there’s only five pages to do it in. Even with the techniques used to cram everything in, it’s a tightrope balancing act that I don’t think I’ve mastered quite yet.

So as a piece of writing, Magic of Myths #1 ‘Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be’ represents me taking tentative steps into fairly unexplored territory with both the story and format. I think, for most of the part, it works – exposition could have been a tad smoother, but I feel we get enough of an idea of what type of character Eve is, what she does, her situation and a relative sting in the tail of the story come its conclusion which suggests that Eve is fairly prone to making mistakes when she doesn’t quite know what she’s doing.

Eve learns the rules of her new ‘classroom’ the hard way

Shakespeare sister

I really wanted to use A Midsummer’s Night Dream as one of the literary references in the series as it’s one of my favourite plays by Shakespeare and fits the tone of MoM perfectly, as well as offering the perfect introduction to proceedings. Perception and reality is a big theme in that play, and as one of my most beloved themes to explore it was also ideal to delve into for the first issue, where things may not be what they seem in this issue or indeed the series. There are a lot of things which don’t immediately appear obvious or will change from their first appearances in the series, so it’s important to establish early so you don’t feel cheated later on.

Perception and reality is a running theme through the whole series…

A Midsummer’s Night Dream isn’t the only external story referenced in the issue, which holds true for the rest of the series – there are usually a few other stories given nods (both visual and verbal) throughout to maintain the theme of mythologies merging together, and also hint towards something else…

Touching the fourth wall

The panel borders were something I was also very keen on from the start, to help give the whole thing a storybook feel, which also hints towards the book/play/text the issue alludes to. I shameless cribbed this idea from the likes of Promethea and later, Fables, both influences on the series in one way or another, and think Sergio’s made it work wonderfully.

Fight fight fight

Always fun to create are fight scenes. Issue one boasts one of the main fight scenes for the whole miniseries as I wanted to put some action early in to give the story a dynamic centrepiece compared to the more emotionally driven trials that follow.

Juxtaposing hardships – what’s trickier, teaching students or fighting shrouds?

Making Eve a student of Aikido was something essential for the rest of the overall story, but also gives her a range of weapons to call upon thanks to her magical armour. Funnily enough, Sergio didn’t quite follow the script exactly for the fight scene but through a happy accident it still turned out nicely to create the sense of punch the scene needed, especially given the crackling Jack Kirby-like energy his artwork portrays. Trying to get that feel of movement in static images isn’t easy (especially when there’s all my dialogue threatening to cover the art up), but Sergio manages it with a deftness that seems far easier than the reality.

Mysteries

So many clues, so little time…

The temptation to pull a Lost and introduce a ton of mysterious questions that are miles off being answered floated around my head for a few minutes, but I shot that down fairly quickly for the sake of everyone’s sanity. Some of the main questions introduced here, such as who Eve is working for and why she’s here, are answered in the epilogue (the sixth issue which sits outside of Eve’s trials), with other questions established as the issues go on given hinted or implicit answers. Not everything is given a clear-cut answer by the time the miniseries ends (after all, if we end up continuing the story past these six issues we’ll need some intrigue left) but consider the six issues an ‘end of book one’, as it were, to be potentially continued at a later date.

Have you spotted anything in Magic of Myths not mentioned here which has caught your attention? Read issue one again, here and let us know what you’ve discovered…

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Comments»

1. If by Magic… #2 « Magic of Myths – a miniseries by Corey Brotherson and Sergio Calvet - June 1, 2010

[…] If it’s your first time here, then you may want to start with the first issue of Magic of Myths which can be read here: https://magicofmyths.wordpress.com/issue-1/. Once you’ve read it you can also get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the first issue here:  https://magicofmyths.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/behind-the-magic-curtain-1/ […]

2. If by Magic… #3 « Magic of Myths – a miniseries by Corey Brotherson and Sergio Calvet - July 1, 2010

[…] you can also take in the exclusive behind the scenes features on both the first and second issues, here (https://magicofmyths.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/behind-the-magic-curtain-1/) and here […]

3. Behind the Magic curtain #3 « Magic of Myths – a miniseries by Corey Brotherson and Sergio Calvet - August 23, 2010

[…] what was that about reality vs. perception […]


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