So begins our newest project on Impetuous Windmills, IW Presents. Sagramore and I have long talked about making a webcomic, and now it is here. The comic will become a main ongoing feature of the site, with new pages posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Along with that comes new changes to our content posting schedule: podcasts will continue to be posted on Monday, while on Wednesday and Friday we will now have regular blog/editorial posts by Sagramore and myself. (Sagramore is currently on vacation this week, so this post will have to serve in place of a podcast).
I suppose I should also explain a few things about the new comic, since it’s not going to be like a traditional webcomic: it will not continue on indefinitely as a single storyline, nor will it be single page joke comics that are largely unrelated to each other. Rather, think of it more as a vignette series. Each issue will be thirty pages long, and will be a self contained storyline. Each issue will be titled following the format of “IW Presents [Title]” (hence the over-arching name of the comic). We’re not pinning ourselves down to any particular genre or style for the comics, either. Any comic series can easily become stagnant and repetitious if constrained by the same characters and situations, and we mean to avoid that by changing it up every issue.
As for our inaugural issue, it probably deserves a little more introduction. “Ondine” began as a strange little fragment of a short story that I posted in two parts here on the site (part 1 is here, part 2 is here), but then never got around to finishing, as is often the case. But even though I couldn’t figure out how to continue the written story, I knew I wanted to explore the set-up and the potential of that idea, so I began to develop it into a comic treatment and outline. Alongside this new desire to turn the story into a comic, for some time I have bandied about the idea of drawing a comic that has no words at all, and to attempt to tell an entire story using only pictures and panels. One of the things that irritates me about modern western comics, and superhero comics especially, is how heavily they rely on words to tell their stories, when ostensibly comics are a visual medium. The over-abundance of the dreaded internal monologue box in superhero comics drives me up the wall, since it is obviously a cheap way to get around the fact that the writer and artist can’t be bothered to use nuanced dialogue and body language to express a character’s personality. So, since I am prone to overreact to things, I decided that my counter-argument to this pervasive practice in comics would be to produce a comic with no words at all. There is, of course, a very good chance that I will fail by way of my own inability to execute this scheme, but I would rather fail while trying something new than halfway succeed doing something by-the-numbers.
With these two ideas swimming in my mind, I decided that I would make “Ondine” a wordless comic; or rather, a Wordless Comic, as they shall now be known. As I sad above, this experiment will last for thirty pages, and I would beg you to stay with me for the whole of it. There will be no info-dumping pages, no exposition and character back-story. It is what it is: pictures and panels, and something more. At least for now you can read the original story fragments and get your bearings, but I would ask that you consider the comic on its own, and let me know if this actually works.