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Newsletter #181: The Flip

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Newsletter #181: The Flip

More on WHITE BOAT and a paid subscriber craft lesson using examples from BENEATH THE TREES WHERE NOBODY SEES and REDCOAT

Hey guys, it's Scott.

It is Thursday, April 4th (but you’ll be reading this on Monday, April 8th), and a tiny bit of housekeeping before the post. We had a slight mix up in the procedure for ordering our vinyl that goes along with White Boat #1. So we ended up with an extra week for FOC. So we have through the weekend for you guys to order White Boat #1 from me and Francesco Francavilla, out from DSTLRY in May.

White Boat #1 (2024) | Cover by Francesco Francavilla

It's a giant issue. It's like 45 pages of story and it's kind of like mutant Jurassic Park people on an island. And it's like the Island of Dr. Moreau, but with crazy rich people and I love it. It's one of my favorite projects. And I can't tell you what great work Francesco has done on it. I hope you'll pick it up. We're having a complete blast. And I really love the book.

So today I wanted to talk about something, it's a small topic, but it's something that I really love. There's not even really a name for it, but James Tynion IV and I used to call it ‘the flip’ in comics. And so for me, what the flip is, is it's when you have a story that sort of presents as one thing, but at its heart is something else. And because of that, your main character usually speaks to those values of the thing that the comic is really about. And in that way, when you introduce that character, you have a chance to kind of speak to all the priorities of the book in a way that shocks. It can be very dark. It can be very light. But ultimately, that character introduction gives a glimpse of what the book is really about and creates a power around that character for readers. Because suddenly they understand what you're going for and their understanding through the characterization of that protagonist. I know that sounds complicated, but really what I'm saying is like, your main character embodies the book and when they step on stage and show who they are, it's a surprise because the way that you've set the book up to that point says that it was about something different. And so there's a joy to suddenly realizing, “oh, the book's about this. You flipped my expectation on its head.” And this character really sort of is the personification of those values.

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