Abandoned Projects: Auxaton

Time to talk about another abandoned project…

Today’s feature is unique in that, unlike the other abandoned projects I’ve blogged about so far, I want to pursue this one! At some point…

Today’s feature doesn’t really have a working title, so I’m going to name it after the main character of the story:¬†Auxaton.

Auxaton_web

Auxaton is a Mountain Ridge elf and a priest. His matriarchal society worships the Goddess Ahyahweh, whom Auxaton devotes his life to.

Things were fine for a while until a band of humans came in, attacked his town, and kidnapped a great many of the people there. Even though Auxaton was trained for combat, he was overwhelmed by the band of humans and taken captive.

As the humans lead them away, Auxaton discovers that they intend to sell the elves into slavery, and in particular they intend to sell him as a breeder slave. This goes against his vow of celibacy, so he escapes the slavers with a handful of his comrades and they make their way back to their town.

However, the town is ruined. When his companions leave him, Auxaton receives a vision from the Goddess Ahyahweh to go into the world and rescue the rest of the Mountain Ridge elves, so they may rebuild and renew. And so he goes out into the world to fulfill his mission.

I’m still totally hooked to this idea, and over time I’ve developed a couple more characters for this story, illustrated here:

AuxatonandMargot

Burnt

Goddess_color (3)

I’m eager and excited to do this, but this project has been shelved for close to two years.

Why?

Work Drama.

At the time I created this idea, I was a caricature artist in an amusement park (I would list where, but for legality’s sake, I won’t). Except by then, I didn’t like the job at all for reasons besides the art-making, so I tried working in a different department. It didn’t help.

What made it worse? It became slow season and our hours were cut to where all of us worked weekends-only.

By then, I was stressing and freaking out that I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills or have an apartment. I called up my family to talk about it and we decided that it was best that I leave the job and go back home.

So I did.

I shelved this story idea until I could get to a point where I could script it out, develop it more, and then pursue it.

This story is still a seed. It hasn’t been scripted, except for a three-page writing exercise to set the tone for it. Also, there aren’t that many characters to populate it yet.

When will it be developed?

I don’t know.

I gotta finish a few more things first.

But once I do…

Abandoned Projects: Vlog

This is a fairly more recent abandoned project.

It’s my vlog.

VlogScreenCap

I stated my reasons for starting one in a previous blog post. But in that post, I forgot to mention that I was inspired by other vloggers, like the Vlogbrothers and Wheezy Waiter.

I posted three videos on my YouTube channel, and then stopped.

Why?

Well, one of the biggest reasons is I got bored of the vlogs I was making. I made a whole bunch as a sort of buffer in the event that I got sick or (as happened more often than not) family came to Arizona to visit and I would take a short vacation.

The problem was, the episodes I recorded for that buffer bored me. And if they bored me, I knew they would bore you.

The other reason I abandoned the vlog was that, while video editing and talking into a camera is fun and a useful skill to put on a resume, it’s not something I want to pursue long-term. I want to make comics, darnit! Vlogging just sort of gets in the way of that.

To be honest, vlogging was one of the first projects I kept on the chopping block, instead of trying to actively remove it.

Would I make videos in the future? Probably. And if I do, they’re either going to be art tutorials or time-lapse videos rather than vlogs, so I can show off my work process and still have my videos be art-related.

Or, I could possibly make Rubber Duck: The Reckoning. Indie film is not off the table for me.

(If you don’t know why I want to make a Rubber Duck: The Reckoning movie, you should be reading Validation. It’ll all be explained.)

Abandoned Projects: Julia

This is the start of a recurring feature I’m going to call “Abandoned Projects.”

These projects are all stories I shelved for one reason or another: whether the reasons be it was too cliche, I didn’t have the artistic expertise, I got older and lost interest, it didn’t have an end in sight, or any other reason.

Why am I sharing them? Because

  1. I can, and
  2. I want to know if you’re interested in seeing these ideas actually become stories.

The first abandoned project I want to bring up is actually one of my oldest. I started scripting this back in high school and actually convinced the art teacher (somehow) that I should do this as an assignment for an actual grade. It was a project I legit wanted to make at the time, and I wanted to send it to Yen Press when they started doing annual talent searches.

It’s called¬†Julia, and it was my retelling of The Little Mermaid.

Julia_pg_4

Julia was the youngest of seven sisters, and it was a right of passage among them that they go to the surface and see the world above.

Some saw dogs, others saw ships, the second youngest found a way to climb an iceberg and wave to passing ships, causing one of them to wreck, that kind of thing.

Julia’s first sight above the water is fireworks firing off from a ship. It’s the prince’s birthday, and she goes to investigate. And she falls in love with him at first fight.

Unfortunately, one of the fireworks catches the mast on fire and the prince falls overboard. As Julia goes to save the prince, the fire spreads even worse, eventually catching more gunpowder and causing the ship to burst. The survivors all swim to shore, which is where Julia drops him off (careful to not get spotted herself).

When she goes back to her sisters to tell about what she saw, they get angry at her – they have a rule that states that they don’t get directly involved in the affairs of humans, and Julia violated that rule by saving the poor boy from drowning.

Eventually there’s a falling out with her sisters, she sells her voice to a sea witch (who’s design is based more on an eel than a fish), she gets legs, and she gets to shore.

Unfortunately, the Prince doesn’t know who she is, and she is hired as an entertainer to dance for him in the great hall. Eventually she befriends one of the servants in the castle and slowly starts to develop a crush on him.

Her sisters find her and try to convince her to abandon the prince and come back to the sea. She refuses, even as her feelings intensify for both the prince and the servant boy.

The question is, who does she choose?

Well, I knew how it would end (which is a good sign for a project), but I shelved the project for a few reasons.

The first is that at the time, I didn’t have the artistic skill to pull this off. To be frank, my art at the time SUCKED. Also, I wanted to illustrate this in watercolors, but when I did a test page in the style, it was muddy and gross. At the time I didn’t know how to get my hands on Photoshop, so it was the traditional route or not at all.

The second reason I left it was because it was WAY TOO CLICHE. It was reading like a Shoujo Beat manga (which aren’t bad, but that wasn’t what I really wanted with the work at the time). Besides, the whole, “Who does she chose? The elegant, handsome prince, or the lowly servant boy with a heart of gold?” thing had been done to death. The only way I was going to make it unique was in the dynamic between the sisters.

Which, now that I think about it, the dynamic between the sisters was one of the best parts of that story.

The third reason? I missed the deadline to have pages finished and submitted to the Yen Press Talent Search at the time.

The fourth reason? The work was too long for the talent search anyway.

I MIGHT pick this up again in the future. What do you think?