META: Adventures in Comprehension-- Why I did it...

cabbagewielder at cabbagewielder at
Sat Mar 10 18:14:15 PST 2007

  Yes-- I had Saxon post the last issue you guys saw without Tom's
approval.  I know he hated the issue.   There are a lot of reasons.

  I sent Tom several attachments containing about four issues of ABC.
The first of which was posted.   Tom did give me comments on the
isssue.  Not many-- but a few.   He had some concerns.  Some rather
legitimate concerns.   He didn't like the issue and just didn't bother
reading the other issues.   Which is a shame because I consider the
Grim Seeder issue the best of the series.

  I think I changed maybe three things because of Tom's notes.   Not
much more.   Why?   Because if Tom had bothered to read the issue
directly after he would have found several (but not all) of his major
concerns addressed.  I couldn't address them in Wrath.

  Most of you probably weren't aware that within Adventures Beyond
Comprehension I had set up, at least with myself, some rather strict
ground rules.

  1) Only one narrator per story.  (There was one issue where this was
violated.   It was a special case where there were technically two
connected stories in one issue.   I had considered seperating them at
first but the issues would be very very very short.)  I tried writing
the scenes from Carolyn's point of view.  It came off cheesy.  So I
cut it before I even showed it anyone.  They were mildly tweaked and
included at the end of the next issue.

  2) Almost every issue has the narrator going to places within
themselves that make them (as characters) uncomfortable.   Rick's
inferiority complex and over evolved sense of guilt, Dalton's ongoing
personal war between the self centered twit he wants people to think
he is and the genuinely compassionate human being he really is, even
one or two shot characters like Doctor Colm always reach a non comfort
  3) No happily ever after.   There can be comedy.   Make them
laugh.    The harder you make them laugh the meaner you can be to the
character later.   Case in point-- crazy and goofy stuff happened to
Dalton all the time.   I had an issue which revealed some of the
details of Dalton's background (actually part of an issue told by
Doctor Crompton) that involves Dalton around the age of ten or eleven
years old, government agents, every psychotropic drug known to man and
electro shock therapy.  Again-- I cut material.  The mysterious Mister
Jonas saying something like: "We'd try water boarding him again-- but
he kept asking for more."

 The other reason has to do with something Tom had said on every
single Electra story I have ever written.  Don't focus on the
differences.  Show how much a like they are.   Show them more like

 So I had been doing that.   For awhile and I mean at least as far
back as FW VI a tendancey to show the thematic bridge between Carolyn
and Electra as a one way road.   Electra was learning to be 'good' but
no matter what Carolyn was always the good girl.   Oh sure--  Road to
Killfile Wars dusted her up just a tad.

Tom claims that the issue is opposite of how I was trying to portray
Carolyn since I started writing her.   Which is total crap.  A Day in
the Light have her somewhat discriminatory against the disabled.   A
Night in the Darkness had her unwilling to treat Simon McGillis who
was on death row.

My viewpoint on Carolyn and Electra has always been that you can't
really forgive someone until you've walked int their shoes.  The
reason why the past attempts at reconciliation between those two
characters is that while Electra has learned much about 'good' and
'morality' since leaving Teenfactor, Carolyn never even made an
attempt to understand Electra.   Not even once.   And when she did--
that's when things were going to finally reach the direction Tom had
wanted me to go in all along.

Thirdly-- I wanted to finish up the traitor arc.  Which Tom LET me
include several issues prior.  He complains when I leave loose ends
and he complains when I actually <gasp> try to finish a story.   It
reminds me of the year my cousin asked for a bike for Christmas.
Oh-- he got the bike.  His parents just wouldn't let him ride it.

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