That's A Wrap On Phoenix Comicon 2016

Kyle here. 

That was a heck of a thing. Our first real Con appearance as an entity, four panels in the books and all of them went off without a hitch. That was six months of work gone in just about four hours, and it was time well spent. 

So hello to old friends and new! We're so glad you found us and happy for those of you who've stayed around. For those who missed the panels or would like to see them again, we're looking through the videos now, and discovering we're more artists than techies. 

But in the meantime, if you'd like to show your support, there's a couple of ways you can help us out. First off, we are still running our fundraiser. We've created a shirt that you can purchase for $20 and a portion of the proceeds go back to us to help recoup our costs. It'll only be available until June 17th, so place orders now-ish!

https://teespring.com/legiblescrawl

Secondly, you can let the Con know how much you liked our panels. It's up to them whether we get to come back and do it all over again, so your kind words about us sent to them go a long way.

You can email joe.boudrie@phoenixcomicon.com , the head of Programming for Phoenix Comicon or matt.solberg@phoenixcomicon.com who is the Director of the entire convention. Their general account is oracle@phoenixcomicon.com 

And lastly, follow us on all the social media sites. We're a small group, so we're just getting our Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook stuff up and running, but we promise we won't spam your feeds. Thanks for your interest and I hope you'll stay around to see what we come up with next. 

There's No Way This Is Going To Work: The Secret History of our SuperWhoLock

It's been a year. And it's been quite a year. One year ago this week, our little group did our first thing together. It was the first Legible Scrawl event but Legible Scrawl wasn't even a thing yet. It was just a group of friends getting together to do something we hadn't really seen before. 

But let's go back.

A year ago I was working for Phoenix Comicon as a Moderator, the person who keeps the panels running right and on time. In that capacity, I had a chance to see lots of panels from varying perspectives. While many were fans getting together to celebrate, or bitch about, the things they loved, every once in a while you'd get something different. One of these styles of panels is where a fan dresses up as a character and then spends an hour answering questions as that character. Everybody is usually a good sport about this, but most of the panelist don't quite get how long an hour can be and how deafening the silence is. But there was something there, something pure in the fandom love and taking that thing you love and going on stage with it. I filed it away for later.

One of my jobs was helping to train Moderators for what to do when a panel goes off track. To do this, we set up scenarios where our veterans pretend to be made up celebrities who act in odd ways. In doing this, I got to see that many of my fellow Moderators were hugely talented and could think on their feet. And all that talent was going unused. I filed that away too.

I started thinking about making my own panel, but what would I do? How could I keep people entertained for an hour? I could write something, but prose doesn't come naturally to me. But screenwriting, that's a ballgame of a different color. But what? How about something you could never seen on the screen, a lost episode of a TV show. A unused script for Buffy or Battlestar Galactica? Maybe. But what would be interesting enough to get butts in seats?  

That's when I heard about SuperWhoLock. It's a odd little corner of the fandoms where people who loved all three shows imagined them all crossing over. I did some digging, but most of what I found were cleverly edited GIFs or fan art. I started to wonder what it would be like for real, if a studio decided to do this, how would they go about it? Instead of just riding into pure fan fiction, I decided to approach it as if I had be contracted by the studio. I would follow what I guessed the parameters would be: all the characters would have to emerge from the story intact and ready to do their next episode, etc. I set out to see what would happen.

And I discovered it was really freaking hard. Not the characters, I know them well enough to write them arguing without much issue, but figuring out a plot that would utilize all three fandoms without giving any one short shrift. A couple of problems cropped up immediately. The first is that the Doctor himself is a walking, talking Deus Ex Machina. What can't be solved by a time machine and magic wand, er, sonic screwdriver? Secondly, Sherlock. Oh dear sweet Sherlock, smartest guy in the room...until the Doctor walks in. But that's not the problem. The problem is that Sherlock can never, ever see anything supernatural or alien without having his whole world crash in around him. It fundamentally alters the character, specifically the latest version on the BBC. He's awesome, but must be kept contained. And how are you supposed to conceal information from a man who's super power is hyper attentiveness? Challenge!

I think I pulled it off. I managed to make a mystery-supernatural-alien story where each of the characters thought they saved the world and the others were idiots. So I had the script, now to get people on board. I talked to my friends, colleagues and a couple of nearly perfect strangers. All of them went nuts for the idea. We did a reading, I cast it (genderblind, best performance won!) and then got it approved by the powers what be, the hidden lords and ladies of Phoenix Comicon. 

We went up and it was magnificent. The script was a bit longish (I'm a terrible editor of my own work) but the audience was enthusiastic, willing to jump in with a scream or a boo! when I asked them for it. I never got the full count, but it was over 200 people, who didn't know us at all, they just showed up to see something different. You can watch it for yourself on our YouTube page or under the Projects/SuperWhoLock tab and decide for yourself.

It worked. Now I wanted more. 

I sat down to write it again, but this time the gloves were off. Last time I had played by the rules, but now there was no need. I'd seen what worked and that the audience would come, now it was time to get wilder. In fact, the story got so big that it ended up having to be split into two halves. And the Con was gracious enough to give us two slots on subsequent days, but in the same time and same room. 

For these, I wanted more characters, deeper into the supporting casts of each show, and the nature of the threat they were facing meant I didn't have to dig into just those three universes. On a writerly note, when I did SuperWhoLock 1, known as Trouble In Triplicate, I had modeled my story off of Russell T Davies style. His writing of the 10th Doctor was straight forward, an adventure tale, always rushing to the next amazing thing. For this next version, I wanted to use the 11th Doctor, and that meant modeling off of Steven Moffat. His stories, while just as trilling, were a bit odder, lots of strange pieces jutting together, wibbly wobbly timey wimey was his phrase after all. Sometimes the end was at the beginning and lots of times, things were just never explained. I knew what was going on, but there's no reason I had to tell everyone in the audience. 

Plus while the 10th Doctor was known for suffering ("I'm so sorry...") and having to live with the results of terrible events, the 11th Doctor did not give up so easily and would gladly put the universe at risk (or appear to) to save his friends. And I had a couple of injustices I felt needed to be addressed, and who better than with a time traveling do gooder? 

My cast is a murderer's row of talent. I'll spend another post talking about their many amazing virtues, but I know this is getting long-ish and I don't want to give them short shrift. Plus I can't give away who they are playing without tipping my hand. I'll do a spoiler special if there's a demand for it.

Will it work? I'm feeling good about it. The read thrus were full of fun and joy and cackling at nerdy in-jokes. If we can bottle that and share it with the audience, they are going to love it. 

As for the future, who knows? I've got things I'd like to do, characters I'm desperate to get in a room together, but I think the SuperWhoLock thing might be done. I feel like having to keep our friends in 221B in the loop is not good for them or the story. But SuperWho____ , that just might work. Fill in the blank with favorite fandoms and who knows what kind of magic you might come up with...

OUR FIRST MERCH!

We've launched a campaign to raise some money and get you a cool shirt!

https://teespring.com/legiblescrawl

The shirt has our company name plus our motto: doing things for stuff. They'll only print the shirt if we get more than 7 sold before June 16, so now is the time. We're super excited about this and hope you are too. 

WHY NOT MAKE IT AN EVENT?

We've created Events on Facebook to help you better organize your time and not miss our spectacular debut at Phoenix Comicon 2016. More info can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/LegibleScrawl/events

 

I CREATED A FILE CALLED ALT.SW: The Uncensored Origin of Star Wars - Take Two

Kyle here.

I'll get into the secret origins of the SuperWhoLock project at a later date, but the end result is that it was a lot of fun for writer, performers and audience members alike. So I started wondering if I could do more. SWL (as we abbreviate it in our correspondences) was a television show, could I do the same thing for a movie? Could I get people to be excited about sitting watching actors read out a movie, the majority of the action playing in their heads and not on a screen? I knew I could write something at least competent, and that the actors would be able to strut their stuff, but would that be enough? And more importantly, what would draw an audience in? 

That's when I read an odd article. This was in the lead up to Star Wars: Episode 7. Disney had bought Lucasfilm and the rumors were flying around about every single piece of Star Wars, from movies to television shows, casting to merchandising. The one that caught my interest was about the Prequels. The gist of it was this: Disney was considering redoing all of the prequels. The fans didn't like them, the merchandise from those movies never sells, why not redo them in the Disney way and have a consistent tone through all of the films? I think the story was the dreams of a well meaning fanboy, but I started to wonder...yeah, what if...

I dug into my archives and found a document I had written. It was the Star Wars prequel I had imagined from what Obi Wan tells Luke about the times before. I'd gathered all discussions and mentions of the Clone Wars, the fall of Anakin Skywalker, plus my own fevered dreams of how that epic duel on the edge of an erupting volcano had gone down. It wasn't in opposition to the Prequels, it was what my 12 year old self had dreamed of when I heard the stories. 

But could I do this? Should I do this? Who the hell am I to redo what the creator of the franchise had done? The answers were, in reverse order, nobody, absolutely not and hell yes. Would this be firmly in the realm of Fan Fiction? Sure, but who the hell cares? No one else was going to do this. And more importantly, if someone else did this, I'd be first in line to check it out. So I committed to it, I was going to write Star Wars Episode One the way I hoped it would be. But I knew I couldn't do it alone. I needed another voice, just so it wasn't all in my  head, someone who loved Star Wars like I did, was as disappointed by the prequels as I was, and most importantly, had story structure in his blood.

Enter Ryan Dalton, published author and all around awesome dude. I pitched him the idea right as his book was about to launch and he was  preparing for his tour. We would develop the story together and then I'd go off and write the screenplay. His response? "I've been waiting my whole life for someone to ask me to do this." then "Why the hell did you have to ask me this NOW?" But we made it work, collaborating on the story document, throwing character names back and forth, dreaming about how this would play into Episodes 2 and 3. Then I took the notes, went into my cave and two months later emerged with a workable draft. 

I know this is getting a bit lengthy, but let me just say writing Star Wars is way harder than it looks. (One of the hardest parts was not letting the voices of the Clone Wars animated series slip into the words when Obi Wan and Anakin are together.) We pitched it to the assorted members of Legible Scrawl and they went nuts. All of them were clamoring to get into it. Let me say, as a writer, that's what you want to hear when you've finished a piece. 

The first reading was great, the actors were all spot on but there was a problem. Well, problems. The script was too long, no way would we be able to do it in two hours. And there was too much me. Not me as the writer, but me as the narrator. In writing a Star Wars script, you need epic locations, thrilling sword fights, exciting space battles. But in a script read through, that means I as the narrator am talking A LOT while the cast sits patiently waiting. It was the unforgivable sin in this case: it was dull. 

Revisions must be made. Instead of a straight read through of the script, what if it was an audio adventure? We move the descriptions to dialogue, throw in the classic Star Wars sound effects, get the actors on their feet and make it more like a radio play. This added a whole new level of difficulty, but when it worked, the whole thing just came alive. 

Will it work for the audience though? You'll have to tell us. The story will be presented in two parts, ACT ONE on Friday at 6:00 pm in North 228AB and ACT TWO on Saturday at 6:00 pm in North 228AB. If we've done our job, it'll hit you right in the fandom. And if we really soar, we hope this will be your new Head Canon. For the price of admission to Phoenix Comicon, we think it'll be worth your time. 

Our Oh So Pretty Faces

Hello out there to all of you in that World Wide Web. I wanted to take a couple of paragraphs here to talk about the events we are putting together for Phoenix Comicon 2016.

First up is SuperWhoLock. Last year at PHXCC, a group of us got together to perform an original script. What would happen if the characters from SUPERNATURAL, DOCTOR WHO and SHERLOCK met and had an adventure together? It went off smashingly, so we decided to do it again!

(Missed it last year? If only there was some way you could relive the magic, via YouTube...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFolX_5E-T4)

This year, we're getting bigger and bolder. We're doing not one, but two sequels: THE DOCTOR MUST DIE! and TIME IS A MANIAC! You won't need to know anything about last year's adventure, or even know every character to have a good time.

You can find out more about them here:

http://www.phoenixcomicon.com/programming/panel/4195

and also here:

http://www.phoenixcomicon.com/programming/panel/4602

or check the navigation at the top of the webpage for Projects, SuperWhoLock

We'll be creating Facebook Events to help spread the word, but mark your calendars for June 3rd and 4th at 4:30. You'll need a PHXCC membership to get in, but after that, it's free!

Next time, we'll talk about our newest, most ambitious project, something about Wars in the Stars...

And might I say, that thing you are doing with your hair these days, it's really working for you.