Thursday, January 11, 2007

Introduction to Magik Beans

Hi, my name is Mike Perschon, better known here in the Metaverse as Gotthammer of and its accompanying blog. I'm currently working on a Master's degree in Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta, where I also work part time as a teaching assistant. I'm a freelance writer, independent musician and all-around hyper-creative muse junkie.

This blog is the culmination of a few different strains of my creativity. The first element started about ten years ago when I wrote a play for a dinner-theater called "Caffienated Inc." (you need to pronounce the "incorporated" for it to sound right). About two years later I helped workshop it into a bi-weekly serialized production which ran for a year solid. The plot line was a sort of sitcom which incorporated a sort of Christian allegorical element. There was an angel who everyone thought was a street person in the cast for example, and the lead character got hints about the plot through dream sequences.

The second element is a web-comic I started five years ago called "Josh and Caleb" which still awaits its denoument and ultimate completion. I've loved comic books since I was a kid, and still find myself sketching whenever a meeting or class I'm in loses my attention. What I've been sketching more times than not in the past two years are the characters for a web-comic version of Caffienated Inc., which got a major face lift when I took a course in Norse mythology. I won't say anymore about that right now, as I hope the story will speak for itself.

The third element is my writing. I'd like to be a published writer, but I've got a family, so I'm working towards becoming a post-secondary educator so that I can have the 9-5 to pay the bills, and my summers to write. In the meantime, I need to keep up my chops, so this past Christmas I did a writing exercise at the Gotthammer blog to get back in the groove of writing daily. The result was "Chronicles of the Magi", a fantasy version of the nativity story in the Gospel of Matthew. The feedback I've gotten from that little exercise was positive enough that I decided to go ahead and launch Magik Beans...

But not as a webcomic. I just don't have the time or the skills. Sure, I can draw...and from time to time I'll post pics of the characters or scenes, but I can bash out 800-1000 words in a half an hour in contrast to the frame I'd get done. And while I know webcomics are all the rage, I'm hoping a serialized novel in the same vein as Christopher Moore's work will be something people will appreciate. All I know is that if I commit and follow through with this, I'll have (for better or worse) somewhere around 156,000 words (I'm betting I only average 3000 a week) of this story, which has been fermenting in my head for the past two years.

So. Onto our story, which will be updated weekly on Thursday afternoons; it's still about a coffee shop, Andrew Weezle, the postmodern philosophy major who manages the shop because he can't get on with his life, Lara the goth girl who dabbles in Wicca who is his only employee, Blackout, the ultimate skeptic and coffee addict by day/DJ by night, and the adventures that result from growing an axis mundi in a flower pot where the bonsai tree you got last Christmas died.

As for the flavor of the Magik Beans, the inspirations and influences abound, but could be narrowed down to Charles DeLint for the urban fantasy, Neil Gaiman for modern mythology, Terry Pratchett for the dry wit and Christopher Moore for the unabashed funny parts.

If you love what's going on here, don't hesitate to let me know. I thrive on ego-inflating praise.

No comments: