You: Take off that shiny, clowngirl CV avatar, what are you?
Me: Genius, playgirl, psychopath.
So, as some of you know, I'm an author. This is fact. Technically, I'm even a professional – I've made over a hundred bucks so far on writing. Maybe not a lot, but hey, I'm starting out.
However, all of my tinkering with publishing novellas began with a much larger project – the oldest thing I've been working on that's still intact. It is, at the moment, a prose-comic-wannabe (edit: currently has scripted sections -- I have also developed more skill in scripting and will be working on reformatting the whole thing), featuring a young woman named Amy Tirouette....
Also known as Joygirl.
Yeahp, that's where the name came from. She's existed since before I was a ComicVine member. I took it so that, when her story finally got published and became a big-time comic, I'd be the first one with the handle. ^_^
But that's all backstory and nonsense that most of you likely don't much care about. The important part here is that the Joygirl character is about three years old – years of plotting, creation, writing, and editing.
Alright, so how much actual work did you get done in three years? Let's talk numbers.
I'm glad you asked, spectral italic voice. Let me check.
We're in the 110,000 words ballpark. For reference, the average smallish novel is 50-80k. 100K is respectably-sized, publishable novel. And I have a bit more than that.
Okay, I get it, you wrote a story. What do you want from me?
Goodness me, no need to be so coarse, spectral italic voice (I'll just call you Siv for short from now on, it's kind of catchy actually). What I want from you young, fresh, talented minds is artwork. I have arrived at the point in my career when I need to make something of this work. My plan is to submit it to Image Comics (reasons why in a few), and I'm not going to be able to do that with a prose story and a cute image. Let me go into some more detail.
Amy Tirouette is a normal girl, more or less. She has the quirks that any normal person has that make her unique, such as the fact that she still more or less acts like a dorky college girl. She had a great job working as a security hacker at Orion Soft, she enjoys anime (even a few of the naughtier ones are a guilty pleasure), she has a collection of Luis Royo paintings, she goes for the “tall and dark” type, and she's shy.
All of that, however, began to change at a fast pace when she got into a car accident with a semi-truck on the highway. She got a great settlement out of the few injuries she sustained (mild bruises, and contact with some purple waste that burned like hell for a few days). Not a big deal.
But it turns out that Amy has always had a split personality, one she has suppressed since childhood. One that is eager to escape. As the chemicals from that accident strengthened her body, they slowly changed the pathways of her mind, altering her in a permanent way... and releasing a psychotic hedonist from the depths of her own mind. One who carries no christian name, and refers to herself simply as... Joygirl.
The above is official commissioned artwork, personally directed by me. I am open to suggestions but this is her current, official look.
The story, between dealing with heroes, villains, masterminds, and whatnot, features a constant struggle between the True Neutral Amy, trying to keep her life from falling about, and the Chaotic Neutral (bordering on Chaotic Evil) Joygirl, who wants to have fun and is willing to do anything to get it. She is, in effect, both the primary protagonist, and the primary antagonist, of the same story.
Her powers are thus:
Enhanced strength (2-3 tons)
Enhanced speed (approx. 80-90mph.)
Enhanced reflexes/thought speed, about exactly on-par with her physical running speed.
Enhanced healing factor. This allows her to regenerate at an alarming rate (think Deadpool – she has healed from automatic weapons fire, having all of her internal organs liquified, and her head ripped in half). Unlike characters like Wolverine and Deadpool, however, excessive healing does take its toll on her. After so much punishment (e.g. Having her head destroyed repeatedly) she becomes greatly weakened. Her regeneration slows, and she won't be up to par again without a while of rest, and an even larger amount of food. She needs the nutrients to support her healing factor, and is thus a Big Eater at the best of times. If it goes several days without healing, her body will begin to break down, splitting open and starting to bleed from the inside out. As a result (as well as sadomasochistic tendencies), the Joygirl persona practices frequent self-harm. Every time she heals, scars are left behind, unless the entire limb is removed – it then grows back fresh.
Ultralibrium. This is a combination of subjective weight, and subjective gravity. She can walk on flower petals, water, the ceiling, gas particles, you name it. She is also learning how to use it more creatively in combat.
Empty Mind. The Joygirl persona “borrows” basic memories such as language and math from Amy's mind. As a result, her own mind does not have the burden of large information stores such as language. Her learning curve is incredibly short (allowing her to gain sufficient experience with multiple martial arts, as well as chemistry and demolitions, within a short time). As a result of her excessive insanity, she is also borderline-impossible to control with telepathy, drugs, or pheromones.
There's a lot to the story. As I said, it's about novel length, and from those who have read it, once it is converted into a script it will be very, very bulky (essentially, each of my “chapters” will damn near be a story arc). I am closing in on #13 right now (and it is nearly finished), which will see the end of a massive story arc featuring the origin story of Joygirl, and a select few of her supporting cast (Suicide, Bile, and Dr. Toxic). I am also currently working on the beginnings of a “K'ryl: Origins” mini.
So, regarding its length, if you sign on we will end up having a lot to discuss. Make the entries graphic novels, split the entries into multiple issues, whatever. We can decide on that when/if you read it and sign on.
Speaking of reading it. It isn't public on any sites yet, but I have it in my laptop. PM me with your email, and I will gladly send it to you.
My plan for this was to create a very dark, realistic world, with a large amount of very dark, unrealistic characters. This is about human (or inhuman) goals in a human world, a world that just happens to be featuring a protagonist with every psychosis known to man. As such, no punches are pulled. Clothing damage happens. Beauty can be tarnished. And the heroine does not need to be a 5'9” D-cup with junk spilling out of her trunk and long, flowing locks. In fact, Joygirl may be the only superpowered adult female who is a 90-pound, horribly scarred, lesbian A-cup.
Content is an important part of this. If you are easily offended or squeamish, stop reading right now – this pitch isn't (read: cannot be) aimed at you.
If it was a movie, it would be rated R (or possibly NC-17) for strong, sustained language; strong adult content; nudity; sexuality; strong, stylized violence; horror/gore, and psychological horror. As far as comic standards go, it would lie somewhere between Hack/Slash and Bomb Queen (hence my choice for Image as an ideal publisher – I know they can handle it. They can pick up what I'm puttin' down).
So, if you can't handle or can't portray any of that for any reason, this isn't for you. No, I can't just “tone it down” – toning it down would massively disrupt the style and mood of the story.
Side note: Amy is heterosexual (bi-curious, at times, as a result of Joygirl's influence), whereas the Joygirl persona is a lesbian. If you have problems with this, then again, this isn't your story.
This is where you come in! Isn't that exciting?
Now, I want to say this right away, so that no misconceptions are had. I may be a beggar, but in this case I must also be a chooser. If I want to get a few pages made, pitch them to a company, and actually have a chance of being accepted, I need the artwork to be good. Thus, I must reserve the right to gracefully decline an audition, whether it's because I don't think you have what it takes, or simply because you are not the right style that I'm looking for. I'll need some bendy poses and explosive action scenes, distinct expressions and ample use of gore and abilities like Ultralibrium.
I can try to pay you (though, as a self-respecting writer, it does irk me – I did years of work on the project for free), but it certainly won't be much. However, if you sign on with the project, and you are good, I will definitely put you on the contract and you will earn your fair share of whatever profits the story makes, until you are tired of it and feel the need to move on. I feel like that's fair – you may not. If you don't, there is little I can do to make you feel better about it. I just got the $6 footlong from Subway, and hitched a ride with someone else so that I can use the WiFi at a fast-food restaurant.
So, come one, come all, let's see what you can do. Who's interested and who's not, who thinks they have what it takes, who thinks I'm an ignorant hack. Come at me, bro.
I am once again actively looking for an artist to take on the project who is dedicated and talented. I realize it's been a year since I made this... consider it a resurrection of sorts. So this is open for business and I am very much in need of someone to see the potential in this project. Only a pitch is necessary, not a full comic. Once that is finished, we can hopefully get ourselves a nice little contract.
Totally irrelevant little addendum that is sort of neat.
In a state of boredom some months ago, I created a list of TvTropes that are relevant to the series and its characters. Obviously, it is not complete (no TvTropes page is truly complete) but there's a good bit on there to browse.
Absurdly Sharp Blade – Styx Obsidian
Anti-Hero – Ghostrunner is Type IV, Joygirl herself is Type V when she's feeling nice. Amy is Type I.
Anti-Villain – Joygirl
Author Appeal – Joygirl's slim build and piercings.
Ax Crazy – Joygirl, Suicide
Badass – Most characters. Notably Joygirl, Ghostrunner, and Blaze.
Bandage Babe – Dr. Toxic
Bare Your Midriff – Joygirl
Big Bad – The Jamaican
Bifauxnen – Amy, to an extent. Wearing baggy clothes and little makeup, on top of her shortish hair and thin figure, makes her somewhat androgynous.
Black and Gray Morality – The JGverse as a whole.
Breaking the Fourth Wall – Joygirl, frequently.
But For Me It Was Tuesday – Joygirl is honestly unconcerned with most horrible things that happen.
Call Back – Joygirl frequently references past issues, mocking the reader for forgetting what happened.
Chaotic Neutral – While it can be argued that she is Chaotic Evil, Joygirl falls firmly under this, as her only true motivation is fun.
Chessmaster – The Jamaican, The Skinless Man, JoJo, all fall into this in varying degrees.
Cluster F Bomb – Joygirl, continuously.
Collared By Fashion – Joygirl
Combat Pragmatist – Suicide uses whatever weapon is laying around, or no weapon. Whatever. Joygirl will improvise but prefers her own stylized gear.
Complete Monster – Suicide
Covered With Scars – Joygirl/Amy
Crazy Awesome – Joygirl
Dark Action Girl – Joygirl, Ghostrunner
Depraved Bisexual – Rose, possibly K'ryl
Designated Hero – Joygirl
Didn't We Use This Joke Already? – Joygirl occasionally berates herself for telling the same jokes.
Don't Explain the Joke – Joygirl often explains her jokes, usually in an inflammatory manner, when she feels that the audience or another character does not get them.
The Dragon – Suicide
Driven to Suicide – Amy, once. It doesn't stick, as a result of her healing factor regrowing her head.
Enemy Within – Joygirl, to Amy
Even Evil Has Standards – Joygirl tries really hard not to kill random civilians, and some of the more severe acts of evil she finds gross. Suicide, for example, she is utterly creeped out by.
Evil is Cool – Joygirl thinks so.
Evil is Sexy – Again, Joygirl is of this opinion.
Evil Laugh – Joygirl
Fanservice – Hey look, Joygirl is naked and having sex with girls!
Fan Disservice – Hey look, Joygirl got cut in half and it sliced her top off!
Fingerless Gloves – Joygirl
For The Evulz – Suicide is bad to the bone.
Genki Girl – Joygirl when she's in a friendlier mood.
Giggling Villain – Joygirl
Girlish Pigtails – Joygirl. Suicide's are shorter and a little more like horns.
Good Is Not Nice – Nobody in the series is 'nice', regardless of whether or not they are good.
Good Is Not Light – The only two genuinely good heroes, Agent Blaze and Ghostrunner, both wear black and use lethal force.
Good Scars, Evil Scars – Joygirl/Amy is littered with Evil Scars.
Gorn – Prevalent throughout the series.
Hand Cannon – Talon
Handicapped Badass – The Jamaican, though he is more of a Chessmaster.
Hell-Bent For Leather – Joygirl, Suicide
Highly Visible Ninja – Despite often referring to herself as a ninja, Joygirl is almost never stealthy. Averted with Ghostunner.
I Call Her “Vera” – Talon is a .600 magnum revolver with nine chambers, gas vents, and a 12 gauge underbarrel.
Idiot Hero – Joygirl at times.
I'm A Humanitarian – SuicideImpossibly Cool Weapon – All of Joygirl's weaponry. Rose's mechanical whip. Most of K'ryl's exotic tech.
It Amused Me – Joygirl's main motivation is her hedonism.
Jekyll and Hyde – Amy and Joygirl, respectively.
Knife Nut – Joygirl
Ladette – When Joygirl isn't beheading mobsters, she's eating pizza, drinking beer, and watching porn.
Laughing Mad – Joygirl
Mad Scientist – The Jamaican. Joygirl wishes she was, but her knowledge is rudimentary at best.
Male Gaze – Surprisingly, averted so far. None of the male characters seem to show any interest in Joygirl.
The Mirror Shows Your True Self – When Amy or Joygirl looks into a reflective surface, they see their other half.
Monster Clown – Joygirl, Suicide.
Mood Whiplash – Goes from light-hearted and comedic to extremely dark regularly.
Obviously Evil – Suicide is covered in buckled black leather, has sharpened fangs, smeared white and black facepaint, and pale staring eyes. She's also usually covered in blood.
Painting the Fourth Wall – A common occurrence.
Perky Goth – Joygirl
Perverse Sexual Lust – Joygirl, towards most things with an even slightly fetishistic nature.
Petite Pride – Joygirl again.
Pet the Dog – Joygirl's behavior towards Amanda is always pleasant and caring.
Pretty Little Headshots – Averted completely. No gore is ever spared.
Psycho Lesbian – Joygirl, Alyssa.
Psycho Serum – Pandemonium-9X makes everyone who touches it absolutely nuts.
Rape Is A Special Kind Of Evil – So far, the only person to truly force themselves on someone is Suicide.
Sexy Jester – Joygirl
Ship Tease – Joygirl/Rose, Joygirl/Ghostrunner, K'ryl/Rose.
Slasher Smile – 90% of Joygirl's facial expressions.
Small Girl, Big Gun – Joygirl and Talon.
Split Personality – Amy/Joygirl
Split Personality Makeover – Even without the facepaint, Joygirl is clearly recognizable by her strained, manic facial features and bloodshot eyes.
Split Personality Takeover – Subverted so far. Amy lives in constant dread of it, but has thus far managed to avoid being consumed.
Superpowered Evil Side – Joygirl to Amy, Suicide to Joygirl. All participants have some kind of powers, but on the sliding scale of Amy to Suicide, evilness = strength.
Take That, Audience! – She likes to mock her own readers for not keeping up with her jokes and continuity.
This is for Emphasis, Bitch! – Joygirl
Too Funny To Be Evil – Joygirl wishes.
The Unfettered – Joygirl, Suicide
Weapon Of Choice – Joygirl's knives, gun, and chain. Rose's whip. K'ryl and firearms.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity – Played with. It isn't the power itself that drives Amy mad, but the way the chemicals actually affect her mind.
Our Vampires Are Different – The JGverse vamps are separated into “vampires” (Stoker-esque, low-powered predators who can eat food and are powerless in sunlight) and “vampyres” (bloodthirsty monsters that can transform into beasts, turn into smoke, and burn in sunlight).
Villainous Harlequin – Joygirl again.
Villain Protagonist – Guess.
You No Take Candle – Whatever made Bile the way he is rotted his grasp of the English Language.
For a family-friendly sample of writing, try checking out the Joygirl Holiday Special, posted here on CV.