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“Life of Parson” – A Comic Based on the Humor of Everyday Faith

Daniel Griswold

Life of Parson Title

“Life of Parson”

a comic based in the humor of everyday faith

I’ve had an idea in my head for a long time.  It basically goes like this: There are two things that you don’t see in PopCulture very often these days; people going to the bathroom and people going to Church.  While the first I understand, the second I don’t.  Faith plays a huge role in life, and I’ve particularly felt its impact on my own heart and my desire to love and do good in the world.  While I don’t own a Television Studio or a Movie Production Company, I do have friends that are excellent illustrators and I absolutely love to write.  In this case, I’ve partnered with my friend Mark Marianelli, of New Hampshire, who has an amazing illustration style.  I’ll be doing all the writing.  We love to laugh (as you may have experienced with our projects at Six AM Comics) and we are faith inspired people, so why not base a comic on the life of a good young pastor trying to do good.  I think this could push against some of the faith based stereotypes I’ve encountered and explore the silliness we all experience in community in general.  There is a huge chest of goodies that our pop culture doesn’t explore a whole lot these days.

For your pleasure, here is our first ‘Life of Parson’ Comic (Click Comic to Enlarge):

Life of Parson Comic

I hope this interests you?  And if so, once I have 50 interested people signed up on this “Special Persons contact list, I’m going to send out the second comic and the scripts as well as some interesting “Making Of” materials.  We’re not going to publish this like we do with our other webcomics because we want to test the interest in this kind of endeavor.  If the newsletter grows, Parson will flourish and the content will flow.  If it doesn’t, then we have many projects in the works.  Take a moment to let us know this is something you would like to see happen.  If it takes off, we’ll try and publish in different venues, but this is a test.  Lets see where this goes.  Sign up now below:

 

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Join Parson’s “Special Persons” Newsletter

 

Please share this blog with anyone you think will be interested.  Thanks in advance.

An Observation: Going to a Concert Has Changed in 2012

Daniel Griswold

I'm not usually one to complain.  In fact, I usually am the creative end of ridiculousness.  It works.  But I noticed something odd today while watching a concert on Television.  I've been to a lot of concerts, I've moshed, I've danced, I've been crushed up to the stage in venues that were too small for the crowds that showed up.  Here is a picture of the type of concert I'm used to going to:

 

A bunch of crazy people having a good time, pumping fists and yelling a lot.  Now you may be more of a U2 fan than an indie scene punk fan.  That's cool too.  The thing that I've noticed however, and what freaks me out, is that I saw a whole front line of girls at a televised Concert event, and none of them were actually looking at the band.  Instead - they were looking at a phone that was recording the event.  ALL OF THEM.  No one was actually there - they were instead recording the event to show other people where they were (supposedly), but none of them were actually experiencing the concert as it is meant to be experienced. That's why I anger sketched this panel:

 

Imagine a whole concert where everyone was looking into their phone.  It would be horrible.  Imagine a whole front line with young girls merely recording the concert - what a bummer to the people who could actually be that close to the band and singing along.  Blows my mind how augmented reality is keeping us frome experiencing reality.  Next time you go to a concert, treat it like a movie.  Turn off the phone, and let the people who couldn't make it go and experience it for themselves.  Tell a story, and practice the art of communication rather than pressing a play button and tearing down the wall of mystery that music creates for those about to experience it themselves.  Try it out - you'll find the experience much more rewarding - and I will fistbump you very thoroughly.  

-Dan

New Japanese Video looks like best of Phantasy Star Online, Zelda Windwaker, Pokemon, Grandia, and Final Fantasy! (warning – cell shading ahead)

Daniel Griswold

The game is Ni no Kuni by the development company Level-5 for the DS and PS3 (interesting combo there).  Below is 13 minutes of trailer and then gameplay of this amazing looking game.  As a gamer, I have some very specific tastes that were developed between the NES – Sega Dreamcast era.  While I do the whole FPS stuff in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, I’ve always had a soft spot for the artistry of games like Shadow of the Colossus, Zelda: Windwaker, and even old Playstation classics like Klanoa and Tomba.  These games presented low stress side scrolling and puzzle solving with interesting story lines and creative universes to explore and conquer.  Modern games too often continually challenge the player so much that it is hard to enjoy the universe.  I like adrenaline rushes like any other, but if that’s the basis of an entire game, after a hard days work, sometimes I just want to explore, enjoy, and feel like I’m escaping into a fun universe.  This game looks like its going to be on my Christmas dockett if it comes over to the United States. It has free roaming in a beautiful environment, sailing on a boat ala windwaker (which I loved btw – windwaker haters begone), and the gamestyle looks to allow the player to think through and strategize in the classic rpg style.  Depending on the portion of the game, there are different perspectives and the developers looked like they had fun making this. It looks like a work of art in progress and I can’t wait to play. Thanks to Kotaku, you can see the game footage below.

Here is a good long video of the game:

Source: Kotaku

Literati - "Leviathan" by Scott Westerfield (book review)

Daniel Griswold

After reading The Hunger Games and Mockingjay, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find a good Sci-Fi book that I would enjoy anytime soon, but I found Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.  I went into it with a bad attitude, but it has blown up in my face.

What makes this book stand out is that it follows two kids alternating style.  One one is a guy named Alek, who is the heir to kingship in Austria, but his father is murdered and war breaks out in the time of WWII.  The other is a girl named Deryn, who is a daughter of a balloonist who has passed away.  She pretends she is a boy to get into the Royal Air Force and makes a name for herself.

Not only that, but this novel has some neat innovations.  It is set historically around WWI, but the world is completely different.  Germany builds massive machines like Land Destroyers that move on legs but have the basic designs of a Naval destroyer.  Their engineering know how has made a robotic military real.  Then there are the Darwinists, like Britain and France, who have used the DNA of the animal kingdom to make creatures that serve mankind.  One such vessal is a giant whale like creature filled with Hydrogen like a Zepplin, but made up of so many animal species to maintain an ecosystem that it is barely recognizable.  It has everything humans need rigged to it and strapped on so there are bridges, quarters, storage, and of course guns.

The battles between beasts and machines are blazing and action packed.  The writing style is on an easy level but that allows the imagery to move quickly.  Hardcore sci-fi and fantasy fans would probably steer away from this, but if one lowers the guard a bit, they would find an enjoyable adventure.  Definitely worth a read.

Poem: Downtown by Daniel Griswold

Daniel Griswold

I write a lot, and that all started in High School in various notebooks and journals.  Here is a poem I called Downtown, which is literally made from images of Derry, NH's downtown area and my thoughts.

"Downtown"

by Daniel Griswold
(submitted for Mr. V's Creative Writing Class, Pinkerton Academy, 2000) 

 

Roads and things like the comfort of downtown.
Buildings hug themselves as tingly rafters hang
over movement of awkward rat like cars and
rotweiler trucks deal with fertile snow that
falls to renew the horrific dusty railways and
homeless. The reeling crowds shop along the
streets, or at least they did thirty years ago.
Now you might see the lovely bikers along the
Perkey Cafe and the drug and senile line up
in friendship by the China Express where
young cats aren't allowed to play. Downtwon
is loud but rhythmic as clocks visually prompt
passerbys that their appointment was two minutes
ago. Schreeches from late cars peel along the ears
of the streetband that sings some Metallica, some
Ray Charles...Then the music shop lets out a
tune of gasping guitars to remind the fire dept.
to chime the hollow blow horn, that the end
of the day has come.

The Electrician

Daniel Griswold

A while back in my life I wrote a song called The Electrician.  It is about an old man who has lived in the city all his life.  He's sitting, probably because he is a bit tired from a life of hard work, and he's thinking about all that he's done.  He has made light come to the city for his whole life and now that he's at the end of his life, it continues on.  His friends are dying, there are still shadows of evil in the world, but his dent was valuable.  He's ready to leave for "something green beyond."  He is about to die. 

I wrote this when my grandmother was passing away and she finally did.  I spoke the eulogy at her memorial service and it was beautiful, but I didn't mourn then.  This song has been my continual mourning for my grandmother.  Everytime I hear this song in my head - I remember her and her long life of hard work and sacrifice.  She brought light to the world, and that is what being an electrician is all about.  Listen to the song here, and the lyrics are below. 

 

The Electrician

By Daniel Griswold

 

On a stoop in the oldest city

An old man rocks up on on his stoop

Wandering slowly while the sky dims

And night begins to flow

 

He felt the beat within his heart

And held his hands before his eyes

Reaching deeper than hed ever dug before

 

Into the mind he’d owned by never felt

He looked beyond the streets with manholes

Where he’d made money as an electrician

And saw the light, flicker on in window sills

Feeling vaguely responsible for what he saw

It was a life worth living for him.

 

I think its time for me to go

Beyond the great city

Its time for me to know what ticks

Beyond this place

 

I wouldn’t have left the city until today

We pulled up cords to light the night til day

Now my muscles are tired and my friends are dying

 

To toss our boxes and see beyond the grey towers

Whose shadows cast brightly on the sidewalk

And I know there’s something green beyond!

 

I will see, I will see

I will see beyond the city

 

I will see, I will see, I will see

I will see beyond the city.

 

 

The Hunger Games Cheat Sheet - For Those Who Want In But Don't Yet Have Time

Daniel Griswold

The Hunger Games Trilogy is a phenomenal yet easy to read work of near-Science Fiction that struck me from the beginning.  The movie is coming out next year, and many are testing the waters to see if they want to read the books. I encourage everyone to do so.  The whole trilogy could be read in a week or two with determination and it is well worth it to get to know Peeta, Katniss, Haymitch, Cinna, President Snow, Coin, and crew. 

Here is a short list of things you may need to know if you haven’t read the books and want to understand what Fans are talking about:

Panem - A post-apocalyptic North America after a great loss of land and resources and after a great war over the resources.

The Capital - The city that used military might to subvert the other 12 areas or Districts, and supposedly destroyed the 13th, which is where Atomics/Nukes were produced.  The Capital is a cushy place full of entertainment and control. The President of Panem is named Snow.

The Hunger Games – Each year, young citizens from the 12 Districts are put into a lottery and two from each are selected on REAPING DAY and  are placed into an ARENA made by GAMEMAKERS, and are forced to fight to the death.  They are simultaneously a way to subvert the 12 Districts and remind them never to rise up against the Capital, and also entertainment (like Reality TV) for the masses in the Capital.  Those who have survived The Hunger Games become known as CAREERS and train up new TRIBUTES from each district.

Districts 1-12: These are zones in various locations that are under the control and surrounding the Capital.  Each provides a resource to the Capital.

District 1: Luxury Goods
District 2: Stone Mining
District 3: Electronics/Technology
District 4: Fishing
District 5: DNA Splicing/breeding
District 6: Medicine and other scientific research
District 7: Lumber and paper products
District 8: Textiles
District 9: Food Processing
District 10: Livestock
District 11: Agriculture
District 12: Coal mining – Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch are from District 12.

Source here.
District 13 – A district that is supposed to be destroyed and is rumored to have been a place that produced Graphite.  But people seem to know that it was actually a place where atomics are produced and was the only district that wasn’t subverted by the Capital.  A peace was made in exchange for District 13 to “disappear” below the ground.  The president of 13 is named Coin, and is just as intense as President Snow.  They live underground, have a nuclear arsenal, and have been quiet for a long long time.
Mockingjays - Bioengineered birds that originally communicated between people and recorded with human voices but who mated with native birds and became excellent songbirds with amazing memories.  You could sing to them and they would spread a song to other Mockingjays quickly and beautifully.  The third book is called Mockingjay because of the pin given to the main character Katniss, and she takes on the Symbolism of being Panem’s “Mockingjay” or “Girl on Fire” as a symbol of the Rebellion against the Capital.
If you have other terms that are coming up and you want to know, leave a comment and I’ll reply asap.