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Previously: To read from the beginning, click here. Ace has just learned that while his dream suggested Faro Kid may have a link to Ace's unknown past, in reality the criminal seems to know nothing. They have a shootout, which Ace wins, and he then decides to make things fair by engaging in hand to hand with his enemy.




COMMENTS:


One more page in this first issue. Next Wednesday, Issue 2 will begin!

It's been an interesting week for me, regarding Ace of Diamonds. I got some really encouraging feedback (some from friends, some from people I don't know) and some really discouraging feedback (some from people I don't know at all and some from people I kinda know, online, sorta by reputation). I expected some people to just not like what I'm doing, but I was slightly taken aback by the intensity of the negative responses.

Of course, this feedback has caused me to think about why I'm doing this. And the main reason is, frankly, to sharpen my skills as a writer. The constraints I put on myself in this project make things difficult, and that's on purpose. Already it has paid off, as I had to rewrite a script for an artist on my newest project (this artist, coincidentally, is the artist of a western comic . . . but our project together is about ancient Israel). The rewrite made me go in and really dissect things. And as I've said in some of my blog postings on my Myth-Understanding blog (in the section called The Way of the Writer), you have to use your muscles or you'll lose them!

Now, of course, as soon as I post this for public consumption, it becomes something beyond just a personal experiment. Like ANYONE who publishes ANYTHING, I do so in the hopes that some people will read it and enjoy it. People who put up their writings or art online and say they don't care what people think are lying: if they didn't care what people thought, they wouldn't put it in a place where people can see it! They may not be bothered by reactions, but reactions are why they put it in a public forum: whether they seek positive or negative reactions, they are seeking a reaction. Most people are seeking for positive reactions, whether to make people happy or interested in thinking about something, or to get their ego stroked. Some people are seeking negative reactions, in that they really want to make people upset. I'm no different. I started this as a webcomic because I hoped that maybe some people would enjoy seeing what I'm doing. And some people really have. Mission accomplished!

Other people haven't. I hesitate to use exact words, because the person who sent me one reaction didn't send it to me to share with the world and we've talked since then and I can actually understand his problem with what I'm doing. I don't agree with his opinion, but it's his opinion and opinions, unlike facts, aren't right or wrong . . . they just are. But he had a problem with me using someone else's artwork, even though it was in the public domain, for something it was never intended to be used for. And that's a fact: I am using Black Diamond Western's artwork for something that never intended it to be used for. However, here's where we differ: I believe that's the exact reason that we have the public domain.

The public domain exists so that we can take works of art, statements from the past, and use them to create new works of art, statements from the present. Now, I do not believe that copyright law is bad. That protects recent works and allows artists to benefit from their creations. But, let's be honest, part of my career is built on the public domain! The public domain allowed me to take cultural touchstones and reference them directly, making my own artistic statement about them.

This is another reason why I'm doing what I'm doing. By using an obscure, public domain comic book that represented pulp comic fiction in all its glory, and rewriting it into a story that, honestly, represents my conception of modern "pulp" fiction storytelling, I'm making an artistic statement.

And while I didn't expect it, I welcome the dialogue it has created. Because, at the end of the day, isn't that what art is really all about? Dialogue, first and foremost between the artist and the viewer with the art itself as the conduit; between different viewers; and, sometimes, between the artist and viewer as they actuall communicate about the art.

Regardless, gentle readers, I'm in this for the long haul! I have the issues I will be using to present Ace's origin, and the issue that will be his last adventure! Unlike network television, I will not leave you hanging with no answers by canceling this puppy mid-season! I welcome your comments (if you use the comments below, though, please don't be obscene -- I would delete that because as much as it could add to the conversation, it would take more away).

~ Ben

“Ace” of Diamonds, Remix Comix, Whisperingloon Studios, and the other stuff I made up for this webcomic are TM and (C) Ben Avery, 2009. While the original Black Diamond Western is in public domain, “Ace” of Diamonds (the story and the artwork) and the contents of this page are NOT public domain.

This entry was posted on September 30, 2009 at Wednesday, September 30, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

1 comments

Incidentally, check out the line work on the 2nd and 3rd panels of this page! Those curves are amazing! I can't analyze this from an artist's perspective. I don't know the words to use or whatever. But the motion of those two panels and the way those curves draw the eye is awesome. If I were an artist, I'd be trying to figure out what to learn from that. Since I'm not, I'll just settle for appreciating it.

September 30, 2009 at 11:45 PM

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