QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

This forum is founded on discussions about T Campbell's work (alone and with artist partners).

Moderators: TCampbell, Gisele

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby Captain LeBubbles » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:27 am

TCampbell wrote:However, realizing that I was mostly looking forward to bringing back old Penny and Aggie material, and to the general idea of an Asexual or Bisexual chapter, rather than any specific new characters or plots, ultimately convinced me the series had to go.


Did you already have the asexual character planned out, or were you hoping to burn that bridge when you got to it?
A wild LeBubbles appeared!
Hexr wrote:Also, while you are all awesome people, I would like to applaud Captain Awesome LeBubbles. Sir, you're awesome, sir!

My LJ My DevART My Tumblr
User avatar
Captain LeBubbles
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:35 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby TCampbell » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:24 pm

Lia S wrote:What were your plans with Dani, Anne-Elaine, Jules, Alex and Bob?


Mostly nonexistent.

(I'm surprised you didn't ask about Val.)

The same could have been said about Marie, Michael and Ronnie before it was time to write Chapter Two. I'd constructed the basic character sketch and I knew a little (not much) about each character beyond what was in their original self-description. Figured I'd plant those seeds and let them grow, as I'd done with various P&A characters. Sara, Michelle, Brandi, Katy-Ann, Fred and Daphne were scarcely more developed than that in their first appearances... Fred and Daphne, arguably, were less developed: all six of them existed at first merely to fill out a title character's social circle. But, well, sometimes it's all about the follow-up, and the fleshing-out process began on the P&A characters almost immediately after their intro.
User avatar
TCampbell
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3345
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:57 am

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby TCampbell » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:53 pm

thebitterfig wrote:
TCampbell wrote:...and the final planned appearance (not chronologically, but actually) of Penny and Aggie, who made plans to visit their respective best friends from high school on the same weekend.


:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: How can you tell is that and not deliver! Bad T! Just don't tell us about something like that.... It's like saying "your lottery ticket was completely destroyed, but don't worry, it only one $100,000 not the multi-millions."

*goes off to sulk.*


I went on record as promising some P&A cast guest appearances in Chapter Three, though I wasn't specific about who. I'll tell you what we had in mind (mostly me and Greg Eatroff), in case that makes you feel any better...

The "Penny... AND Aggie?" plot was a fairly shameless bit of screwball comedy, wherein Sara and Lisa are convinced Penny and Aggie will kill each other on sight (both have expressed severe bitterness about the other to their old friends), and resort to increasingly desperate tactics to keep each one from discovering the other's presence. What would've been most fun, from my perspective, is that college-freshman Penny and Aggie would be markedly different from any versions we've seen before.

Penny'd be pledging to a sorority and throwing herself into the role of airheaded party girl, because being "the life of the party" is what she always enjoys, and in college, as a frosh, she doesn't yet have the authority to control the party, so she plays the game as it's played. Like Sara before her, she's riding that first rush of sisterhood and not yet realizing she really doesn't belong with these people.

Aggie would be in her "angry punk rocker" phase, once more spoiling for a fight against the establishment, which now is emotionally tangled up with Penny to her, far more than she wants to admit. It's not difficult for Lisa and Sara to make note of comments about classists, lookists and "Republican'ts" that seem, shall we say, oddly specific, as if they were really directed at an individual. And she's acting out a bit, trying to provoke a response from anyone who brings up those associations.

The meeting Sara and Lisa strain and ultimately fail to prevent is not the nuclear meltdown they were expecting: instead, it's a thaw. A really, really awkward thaw, but despite Aggie's denials afterward, it's clear that the two of them will resume contact after this. And Sara and Lisa, for all that they got it wrong, were a small factor in favor of that detente.
User avatar
TCampbell
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3345
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:57 am

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby Lia S » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:43 pm

TCampbell wrote:(I'm surprised you didn't ask about Val.)


At first I just wanted to ask about Dani, because her odd introduction made me expect she would be interacting with another character in some significant way. I thought I remembered Valerie asking about Val, so I didn’t re-ask about that one.
Artemisia: if we cannot sympathize or understand then all we claim to be as human beings is just marsh gas
Valerie: Lia knows how to turn that frown upside-down. :D
User avatar
Lia S
 
Posts: 1363
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:53 am

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby Alice Macher » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:18 pm

In "Six Septembers Later," Susan mentions that Daphne finally reconnected, as friends, with Sara in college. Were there plans to show anything of that in QUILTBAG?
"Life doesn't wait forever." --Lisa Winklemeyer
User avatar
Alice Macher
 
Posts: 4719
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:57 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby sun tzu » Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:03 pm

TCampbell wrote:
thebitterfig wrote:
TCampbell wrote:...and the final planned appearance (not chronologically, but actually) of Penny and Aggie, who made plans to visit their respective best friends from high school on the same weekend.


:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: How can you tell is that and not deliver! Bad T! Just don't tell us about something like that.... It's like saying "your lottery ticket was completely destroyed, but don't worry, it only one $100,000 not the multi-millions."

*goes off to sulk.*


I went on record as promising some P&A cast guest appearances in Chapter Three, though I wasn't specific about who. I'll tell you what we had in mind (mostly me and Greg Eatroff), in case that makes you feel any better...

The "Penny... AND Aggie?" plot was a fairly shameless bit of screwball comedy, wherein Sara and Lisa are convinced Penny and Aggie will kill each other on sight (both have expressed severe bitterness about the other to their old friends), and resort to increasingly desperate tactics to keep each one from discovering the other's presence. What would've been most fun, from my perspective, is that college-freshman Penny and Aggie would be markedly different from any versions we've seen before.

Penny'd be pledging to a sorority and throwing herself into the role of airheaded party girl, because being "the life of the party" is what she always enjoys, and in college, as a frosh, she doesn't yet have the authority to control the party, so she plays the game as it's played. Like Sara before her, she's riding that first rush of sisterhood and not yet realizing she really doesn't belong with these people.

Aggie would be in her "angry punk rocker" phase, once more spoiling for a fight against the establishment, which now is emotionally tangled up with Penny to her, far more than she wants to admit. It's not difficult for Lisa and Sara to make note of comments about classists, lookists and "Republican'ts" that seem, shall we say, oddly specific, as if they were really directed at an individual. And she's acting out a bit, trying to provoke a response from anyone who brings up those associations.

The meeting Sara and Lisa strain and ultimately fail to prevent is not the nuclear meltdown they were expecting: instead, it's a thaw. A really, really awkward thaw, but despite Aggie's denials afterward, it's clear that the two of them will resume contact after this. And Sara and Lisa, for all that they got it wrong, were a small factor in favor of that detente.


...Huh. It sounds like their breakup was way, way, way less amicable than August and Six Septembers Later led me to believe. :shock:
User avatar
sun tzu
 
Posts: 2032
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:16 pm

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby Mr. Brightside » Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:09 pm

Alice Macher wrote:In "Six Septembers Later," Susan mentions that Daphne finally reconnected, as friends, with Sara in college. Were there plans to show anything of that in QUILTBAG?


I suspect Leah's fashion sense is involved in the answer to this question.
(There has never been a signature.)
Mr. Brightside
 
Posts: 2026
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:44 am

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby Valerie » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:26 pm

Lia S wrote:
TCampbell wrote:(I'm surprised you didn't ask about Val.)


At first I just wanted to ask about Dani, because her odd introduction made me expect she would be interacting with another character in some significant way. I thought I remembered Valerie asking about Val, so I didn’t re-ask about that one.


BUT IF THERE IS MORE ABOUT VAL YOU CAN TOTALLY TELL ME. US. ME.
Lia S wrote:Valerie is right.

As usual.


TCampbell wrote:Val has a harem, but it's chiefly structured online at the moment.
User avatar
Valerie
 
Posts: 4003
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:18 pm

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby TCampbell » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:25 pm

sun tzu wrote:
TCampbell wrote:
thebitterfig wrote:
TCampbell wrote:...and the final planned appearance (not chronologically, but actually) of Penny and Aggie, who made plans to visit their respective best friends from high school on the same weekend.


:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: How can you tell is that and not deliver! Bad T! Just don't tell us about something like that.... It's like saying "your lottery ticket was completely destroyed, but don't worry, it only one $100,000 not the multi-millions."

*goes off to sulk.*


I went on record as promising some P&A cast guest appearances in Chapter Three, though I wasn't specific about who. I'll tell you what we had in mind (mostly me and Greg Eatroff), in case that makes you feel any better...

The "Penny... AND Aggie?" plot was a fairly shameless bit of screwball comedy, wherein Sara and Lisa are convinced Penny and Aggie will kill each other on sight (both have expressed severe bitterness about the other to their old friends), and resort to increasingly desperate tactics to keep each one from discovering the other's presence. What would've been most fun, from my perspective, is that college-freshman Penny and Aggie would be markedly different from any versions we've seen before.

Penny'd be pledging to a sorority and throwing herself into the role of airheaded party girl, because being "the life of the party" is what she always enjoys, and in college, as a frosh, she doesn't yet have the authority to control the party, so she plays the game as it's played. Like Sara before her, she's riding that first rush of sisterhood and not yet realizing she really doesn't belong with these people.

Aggie would be in her "angry punk rocker" phase, once more spoiling for a fight against the establishment, which now is emotionally tangled up with Penny to her, far more than she wants to admit. It's not difficult for Lisa and Sara to make note of comments about classists, lookists and "Republican'ts" that seem, shall we say, oddly specific, as if they were really directed at an individual. And she's acting out a bit, trying to provoke a response from anyone who brings up those associations.

The meeting Sara and Lisa strain and ultimately fail to prevent is not the nuclear meltdown they were expecting: instead, it's a thaw. A really, really awkward thaw, but despite Aggie's denials afterward, it's clear that the two of them will resume contact after this. And Sara and Lisa, for all that they got it wrong, were a small factor in favor of that detente.


...Huh. It sounds like their breakup was way, way, way less amicable than August and Six Septembers Later led me to believe. :shock:


To my mind, that kind of depends on what you count as the beginning and end of the breakup. I've had breakups which were amicable in the sense that we loved each other and wished each other well as we parted ways, but I went through an angry period afterward, once the person in question was out of my life. And that period didn't last forever: in time I was able to look back more on the good times, be grateful it lasted as long it did, and recognize that my ex did her best to do right by me. I just needed an outlet for my pain for a while, and my heart wouldn't let me take it out directly on someone I loved, but it had no problem simplifying my memories for a while until the self-righteous frustration abated.

Penny and Aggie spent a long time masking their increasingly complicated feelings about each other under the guise of mutual antipathy, and they were still doing it even in most of "The Last Summer of Youth" (including "Six Septembers Later") because it was their comfort zone. It seems right to me that after it was really "over" between them, after they no longer saw each other at school, they'd increase the self-deception, and go through a period of telling their old and new friends, "yeah, that summer was just one huge mistake." And the denial might've lasted a long time, it might've lasted forever, if they hadn't had a reason to see each other face-to-face and bring the full emotional picture flooding back.
User avatar
TCampbell
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3345
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:57 am

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby Alice Macher » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:36 pm

Should we take it from Sara's reaction in this strip, that although Penny and Aggie had been in friendly (if long-distance) contact with each other since burying the hatchet at Millard Filmore, their keeping in touch was a complete surprise to Sara?
Last edited by Alice Macher on Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Life doesn't wait forever." --Lisa Winklemeyer
User avatar
Alice Macher
 
Posts: 4719
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:57 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby TCampbell » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:49 pm

Mr. Brightside wrote:
Alice Macher wrote:In "Six Septembers Later," Susan mentions that Daphne finally reconnected, as friends, with Sara in college. Were there plans to show anything of that in QUILTBAG?


I suspect Leah's fashion sense is involved in the answer to this question.


No, but I did consider a chance meeting with Daphne on break. In marked contrast to Penny and Aggie, Daphne's bitterness runs deeper and is more genuine. From her perspective, Sara had decided not to trust her even when their relationship began, and so was effectively stringing her along and "using her as practice" the whole time they were dating. The information that Daph eventually found out about Lucy didn't exactly help matters. There may have been the vaguest hints that Daph could move past it eventually, but that's not something I see them resolving in a single encounter, or so soon after leaving high school.

What would likely trouble Sara most about this is that Daphne shows a lot of signs of living well in college, which prompts the question: "Was our relationship a bust because we were young and didn't know what we were doing, or was Daph worse then than she is now... or did I sabotage it from the start? Is this good life what Daphne's life looks like without my bad influence?"
User avatar
TCampbell
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3345
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:57 am

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby TCampbell » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:58 pm

Alice Macher wrote:Should we take it from Sara's reaction in this strip, that although Penny and Aggie had been in friendly (if long-distance) contact with each other since burying the hatchet at Millard Filmore, the their keeping in touch was a complete surprise to Sara?


Sara knew that Penny and Aggie were friends on Facebook and iEden and such networks, but certainly did not know how much keeping in touch they'd done. What really startles her is the vibe between the two of them, which shows clear romantic tension but also a relaxed intimacy you wouldn't expect from two people having their first meaningful contact in four years.
User avatar
TCampbell
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3345
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:57 am

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby Trefle » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:33 am

Man, so many good questions. Just putting that up here.

And so many potentials. *sigh*

Retrospectively, if there's anything you could change before making (or at least putting) QUILTBAG, what do you think will make the strip better, from a creator's perspective?
Trefle
 
Posts: 961
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:16 am

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby TCampbell » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:11 am

Trefle wrote:Man, so many good questions. Just putting that up here.

And so many potentials. *sigh*

Retrospectively, if there's anything you could change before making (or at least putting) QUILTBAG, what do you think will make the strip better, from a creator's perspective?


Emotionally speaking, what I should've done was take an extra month to consider the pros and cons of doing this series and see if I could be as motivated to represent various sexual and gender identities as a single group as I was motivated to represent teenage girls. While I have friends or friendly acquaintances representing almost every part of the acronym, I certainly haven't been as close to most of them as I was to my extended family when P&A started. I also don't feel like 2011 QUILTBAGs were as under-represented in online comics as 2004 teen girls were. (Intersexes and asexuals, yes: transsexuals and transgenders, arguably.)

But let's suppose I did get that fire in my belly, or that someone else who did inherited the series. Basically, there are two divergent paths to carve QUILTBAG's concept into something Eisner-worthy. One is to make it much more centered and focused on Sara and Lisa, and to make Sara and Lisa a lot less passive about their world. In the QUILTBAG we got, their principal goals were to blend in, do well in school and find fulfilling romantic and sexual companionship. None of that is implausible, none of that makes stories hard to tell. But it all does mean that the characters weren't naturally drawn into situations that addressed the series' alleged themes, and I wanted to push those themes, which led to somewhat contrived coincidences like Lisa's first partner being a transsexual and the pair just happening to stumble into a lesbian-exclusive sorority on their first try, and, oh yes, the fact that they just sort of found themselves in the "gayest" dorm I felt I could get away with.

If Sara had been more of an "Aggie" from the start, a fervent promoter of sexual identity whose heart and passion exceeded her wisdom, then she would've sought out LAZ deliberately and her and Lisa's social circle would've started accumulating QUILTBAGs organically, without the need for such coincidence. I don't think it's much of a stretch to imagine Sara in that role, considering what she's been through and the activism she's observed in the past (and especially given the overall failure of Penny and Aggie's "Great Society" to really change things at their high school).

The second path is to make QUILTBAG great is more "art-house," more like going for the Ignatz Award than the Eisner. Make it a true series of loosely interconnected vignettes, with only the barest connections to the Penny and Aggie universe (but possibly including more of the old crowd than just Sara and Lisa, as the stories might well take place on multiple campuses). What would really tie the series together would be the themes of gender and sexual identity and how it's evolving, more than the plots. Frankly, stuff like this only sells on the basis of auteurish talent: see Short Cuts or Building Stories. I really wouldn't be able to rely on P&A's fandom for it and I'd probably need to suspend most other creative activities just to promote it. That sort of effort's going into Guilded Age right now, instead.
User avatar
TCampbell
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3345
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:57 am

Re: QUILTBAG Queries: Ask T and Jason

Postby Alice Macher » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:50 pm

TCampbell wrote:Make it a true series of loosely interconnected vignettes, with only the barest connections to the Penny and Aggie universe (but possibly including more of the old crowd than just Sara and Lisa, as the stories might well take place on multiple campuses). What would really tie the series together would be the themes of gender and sexual identity and how it's evolving, more than the plots.


So, sort of like your initial plans for Yun Sung and Bo-Bae, where their storylines would've been a recurring feature in P&A, not interacting directly (or even at all) with the Belleville cast, but providing a broader, comparative view of teenage girlhood?
"Life doesn't wait forever." --Lisa Winklemeyer
User avatar
Alice Macher
 
Posts: 4719
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:57 pm
Location: Toronto

PreviousNext

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 24 guests

cron