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A few quick bits of news
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Hello and welcome (or welcome back). It's been a busy few weeks since our last newsletter went out and thanks to my friends promoting my newletter, there are a lot more of you here all of a sudden. 

Our world is becoming darker and more surreal literally every day, so I'll try to keep this a light diversion, starting with some good news. Here's a few bits of sunshine for you...

Kelly Sue DeConnick's pilot at NBC just got greenlit, which you can read about right here: 

http://deadline.com/2017/02/redliners-drama-nbc-pilot-charlaine-harris-1201904618/

At the same time that was getting announced, word got out that one of Warren Ellis's many project is a show for Netflix based on Castlevania: 

http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/02/08/netflix-announces-castlevania-animated-series

And finally some details seems to have leaked out about one of the secret projects that I've alluded to for a while, which got a lot of coverage yesterday. Here is a sampling: 

http://screenrant.com/ed-brubaker-nicolas-winding-refn-amazon-tv-series/

http://www.avclub.com/article/nicolas-winding-refn-and-ed-brubaker-team-inevitab-249973

http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/amazon-nicolas-winding-refn-1201980642/

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2017/02/09/nicolas-winding-refn-returns-to-amazon-for-crime-series

Special shout out to Screenrant. I don't know you, but that headline made me laugh pretty hard. 

So yes, that's what I've been working on that's kept me so busy the past several months. It's a TV series that Nicolas Winding Refn and I co-created and are co-writing every episode of, and he's directing the entire thing. And yes, it is a crime series. Other than that, I am sworn to secrecy. 

I will let you know about further details as they're released, but I'm guessing they will be very spare. 
A QUICK PREVIEW
Issue 6 comes out soon, but Sean is already almost done drawing issue 7 of KILL OR BE KILLED, which I think might be my favorite one so far. The entire issue is told from Kira's POV, and it's a lot different than what's come before. Here's a small uncolored sample of the first three pages, which I'm very happy with... 
Hopefully that's all readable. 

Issue 6 is out soon, so I'll probably preview this issue again before it comes out, in color. 
 


Someone forwarded me a very flattering article the other day, that I thought I'd share: 

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/02/before-you-watch-riverdale-read-the-best-non-archi.html

I'm always happy to see LAST OF THE INNOCENT getting attention, so thanks, Riverdale. Although I wish Paste had used the current cover, because it's my favorite of the Criminal covers...
QUESTION TIME
I'm buried in work right now, more than ever, really, so I'm going to just do one question this time. The usual rules apply -- If your question was chosen, email me at: criminalcomic@gmail.com  and put WINNER in your subject line, and you'll get a prize. 

Okay, so this time out we have a question from Nathan Cabanis...

As a writing exercise, I recently started a script closely adhering to the "Save the Cat" beat sheet formula. I've long thought that and other such formulas were largely bullshit, but the results have been pleasantly surprising so far. Since you write across a variety of media, what are your thoughts on such formulas? Are they the backbone of successful storytelling, or the province of hacks?

I'm sure a good writer could use just about any structure they choose to tell their story, honestly. To me, the danger is always getting stuck thinking that X event has to happen NOW because some formula said it did. Sometimes those formulas and structure outlines are helpful and work, though. Just like Campbell's Hero Myth chart somehow fits so many stories throughout history. 

I'd be more interested in a writing exercise that tried to do the opposite of what Save the Cat or any of those books say to do, in some ways. I haven't actually read Save the Cat, though, and I have a few friends that really enjoyed it, and said it was more of an analysis of why certain things work or don't work under the whole structure-that-works formula stuff. 

So, really, it's up to you what you want to take from writing books. A lot of them are written by writers who can't get their own stuff made, but who still have great insight into storytelling somehow anyway. A lot of them are terrible and full of bullshit. With all writing advice and rules, take the ones you like and ignore the rest. 

For me, writing is about characters, discovering characters and following them as they discover who they are for themselves. As long as you keep it interesting, just about any structure is fine. Just try to make sure you don't end up with something generic by following a pattern. Bring something of yourself to it. There's a reason we love Shane Black, even though his movies plots aren't dramatically different than most action films. He cares, he's entertaining you and himself. He's playing within the structure, using it. 

Does that help at all? I feel like maybe that didn't help. 

Okay, that's it for this time out. See you in a few weeks or so, assuming we are all still here (I'm going on that assumption). 

Send in questions to criminalcomic@gmail.com  and keep them interesting.

Stay safe and be kind. 
Copyright © 2017 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved.


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