We had our third meeting last week, and it went really really well. We are finally getting to the point where we can begin to imagine what it is we are making, and what we might be able to do with it.

What I hadn’t realised about Research and Development is that the process itself is the project, not the finished thing.

I’ve been slogging away and wondering when we’ll have something to show for it, worrying what people are going to think of it all, will it be up to snuff? But actually, sitting there talking about what goes into the actual comics, and what goes into the code for the app, and what tools we might be able to offer, and which ones are harder to achieve, it was suddenly clear to me that this is what the grant is for. its for the talking, and the thinking, and the problems to solve, and the tricky stuff that drives you all crazy.

I have no idea if what we end up with will be what any of us imagined at the start, but i am very excited to see how we all get there, and what happens along the way.

Mitch Jenkins, the world class photographer and director who recently finds himself reduced to reporting our meetings (often tucked away in a hide so he can observe our natural behaviour), has been at it again. This time he had a large and noisy polaroid contraption, which reduced anyone he photographed to a startled ghost. He has very kindly put them up on his blog for all to see, along with his own meeting report:

http://mitchjenkins.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/overload.html

As he points out, he is a very busy man right now, dashing from city to city to screen ‘Show Pieces’, the five amazing films he and Alan Moore have made together, and from the world of which the whole Electricomics project is but a tiny part.

A quick glance at www.mitchjenkins.com shows that his talents are truly squandered snapping us eating biscuits in an attic. Thankyou sir. Your hard work is much appreciated!

The Ocasta chaps have been very hard at work also, writing code, assembling libraries of Javascript (I type like I know what that means) and figuring out how to translate the frankly huge list of hopes and desires in the scripts into reality.

They are taking on more people to cope with it all, and still have need of iOS people, if that is you, please use the Contact Us form to get in touch and make the subject iOS.

In a similar but non specific request, any genius code monkeys out there willing to Beta test or lend a hand to the Electricomics project, please use the contact form again but put CODE MONKEY in the subject title. We are fast realising we need all the help we can get!

When we were writing our script for our story Sway, I had no idea what the end result would be, and no real idea of what it would take to get to that result.

After sitting down with Martin and Steve and the gang and actually seeing what they have to do to make that real, I found it rather humbling as a writer.

I have been very accustomed when writing comics, to just thinking what might look cool, what might be an awesome thing to put in a story, or what my current obsession happened to be. I would happily send off the script to whichever editor had commissioned it, and that would be my job pretty much done. the artist would presumably draw it, and then the other processes would happen and my comic would pop out fully formed at the end.

Working with the team as it is, where we have tech and research partners who have varying degrees of familiarity with the comic making process, and ourselves as the arts partner with almost no idea of anything technical or academic, the project is becoming a lesson in co-operation, in playing to your own strengths, in asking what things mean, and what the next step is, and actively seeing that script through the process at every minuscule stage.

My comfortable detachment is gone. I have to account for my ridiculous scripting decisions, and either stick with them, or ditch them quick. Efficiency is the new king, and Ego is cast out.

And yes, for anyone wondering, all that even goes for the big hairy fellow himself. Big Nemo is obviously  ambitious boundary pushing multi faceted and clever. It’s an Alan Moore comic, of course it is, but it has been under just as much scrutiny by the whole team.

Colleen Doran has been wrestling with the behemoth like Big Nemo script and even posted this in the wee hours of last night:

It still astonishes me that I have Colleen Doran working on my project. I am giddy as a result.

I have received rough layouts from Paul Davidson, who is working with Pete Hogan on Cabaret Amygdala Presents… and they are just fantastic. His layouts are what a lot of artists would just hand in as pencils. We are lucky to have him while we can still afford him!

I have rough layouts from the great Peter Snejbjerg for Red Horse which he is doing with Garth Ennis. I cannot wait to see the actual art for it. I am trying to maintain my editorial mask of detachment, but I fear it won’t last.

I also have rough layouts for Sway, which I co-wrote with my husband John Reppion, and which is being drawn by Nicola Scott. Nicola Scott, people. I know.

I have also seen the sketches for our first very beautiful cover. If you pay close attention to Instagram and Twitter and our Facebook page, I may show you a tiny bit of, just so you can be excited too.

I’m nice like that.

I haven’t mentioned our research team, Alison and Daniel, but don’t let that fool you. They dont just sit there nodding and making little notes and being enigmatic, they are really digging in and getting their hands dirty. Dan is working on something which attendees of Thought Bubble will get a peek at, and Alison and I have another event which we are plotting, where we will use the innocent youth of London as guinea pigs for our own devious experiments.

More on that soon I promise. More of everything soon!

Stay tuned people. We are just getting to the good stuff!

Leah Moore

I'm not running away with these cakes. I am just holding them for a friend.

I’m not running away with these cakes. I am just holding them for a friend.