From: Allen Ling
Subject: Read and give me feedback!
And did we mention we didn’t know what the hell we were really getting ourselves into when we started this graphic novel?
So, for almost two years, Christian pushed the limits of his short-term memory retention, and drawing stamina, and Allen drove Christian nearly insane with his ADHD and also lost his patience multiples times as far as being held hostage by Christian’s perfectionism. Also, Christian had to also deal with over a 100 story changes because Allen never ever wrote any non-fiction longer than 2 pages. Allen also had to remind Christian of the 100 changes repetitively. Allen was also distracted with his many other ventures and adventures in womanizing. So, we were in a LOT of trouble by the end of year two.
Another friend of Allen’s, Dave Lopez, introduced Allen to Mel Smith, who became our project manager and editor, and graphic novel sifu at the middle of year three. And just in the nick of time. He proceeded to recruit more help for us for the covers, lavish splash pages that Allen envisioned (but was too lazy to draw or even sketch out for Christian), a colorist so Christian can focus on just line drawing
and composition, and a seasoned letterist. Mel helped placement for dialogue, and then coached Allen osmotically to write voice and thought balloons as well as captions in a comic book format.
Now we finally finished! Coming up with the story of Genesis II began most likely when we were born. It is the accumulation of our skills, experiences, our imaginative thoughts turned into ramblings then
artistic renderings, and eventually all this somehow formatted itself into a cohesive visual story.
Christian Boe and Allen Ling drew and wrote this Graphic Novel in real time over three years, only having a beginning and a vague ending in mind. We took each other on an amazing ride of creativity; and we
never quite knew how the story would really end until the last 2 months of the production.
Enjoy what might be the best thing we ever did or will do besides having children (or making them)!
– Allen Ling
Click to Read the Response
To: Allen Ling
From: Christian Boe
Subject: re: Read and give me feedback!
I just finished reading your introduction draft. I like that your sense of humor shines through, but I feel like it glazes over something that started out as a spark and turned into a life changing journey.
As I sit at my desk reviewing the finished pages I can’t help but reflect on the first time we met up over at your house in San Rafael to discuss a story about earning redemption. On that day we perused your comics together and related on how we both used to draw comics in high school. We discussed our favorite artists and our greatest influences. We talked about the kinds of stories we like and our ambitions for the project.
A few months later, we were hanging out at the Prince street studio in Berkeley, looking over the developing comic together. It was in that space where we spent so much time sketching and writing. I’m reminded of when I walked in one sunny afternoon and saw the work printed and framed for the first time. Do you remember sitting around that little white table (that was bizarrely shaped like a human head) discussing ideas for hours and trying to make sense of everything?
I have memories of talking on the phone one night when we came up with the ideas for the GMO armadillo dog and porcupine cat – we had already combined the bird and gorilla into a strange beast and felt like the others were too ‘normal’ for our world. While working on the GMO’s we had contemplated designs for birds, beasts and a multitude of bizarre creatures of different sizes, shapes and styles. Not long after that conversation we finished the character lineup and began developing their backstories.
In this moment I can’t help but look back on those early days when we would sit in the Oakland cafe coming up with ideas for future technology and weapons that looked like various creatures (like the orca missile) and designing a whole world together – a strange vision of the future that was unique and strange but surprisingly charming.
This process took us through ups and downs. We racked our brains over designs and possible titles and story arcs until we had headaches and sometimes we didn’t break through the mental blocks for days, weeks or even months. We learned the hard way how much work, energy and commitment it takes to make a project like this come to life and we forged something unique through a crucible of late nights, tired eyes and really sore knuckles. Sometimes we lost patience, and lost sleep and lost sanity; we learned that comics are not all fun and games but in the end we accomplished something special and there is no doubt that the journey that we went through has shaped my life permanently.
Our introduction is an opportunity to say a little something about our journey to make an ambitious comic and to say it in a genuine way, even if we could never fit it all in just one page. We came into this project as a couple of indie guys with no real experience and it is pretty fucking cool and interesting just how far we’ve come. And thank God that Mel got on board the project and brought his creativity, care and his professionalism because we were spending a lot of time re-inventing the wheel. He really got this locomotive on the rails and plowing full steam ahead. For that, I am eternally grateful. I am also grateful for the incredible work from the other pros he introduced to the project and that you agreed to fund and bring on board. We have Nate’s beautiful cover art, John’s stunning lettering and logo design, Manuel’s dynamic splash pages and Zac’s amazing use of color that breathes life into the pages. And of course, I am thankful for Robert’s endless stream of concepts and ideas of various monsters and violent strange beings. Everyone put in such incredible work and I am in awe of the talented and creative minds that I got to see at work on the last leg on this voyage.
Our process means a lot to me after all we’ve been through and I believe that it’s a story that people would like to hear told genuinely.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,
– Christian Boe