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The Theory of Narrative Gestalt

Story happens.

The human animal is a storytelling machine. We never need to be taught the basics of narrative, because the basis for all story is simple causality. Events that follow one another are likely linked, our brains dictate, and we scour the environment for clues to the nature of that link. If nature does not provide an obvious answer, we confabulate and confuse, projecting our intuitive understanding of human motivations upon the world. It is this inborn need that is the core of narrative.

We understand stories on a primal level; they trick our limbic system and beguile our amygdala. True, on the higher levels of thought we understand this is an illusion, but one we are willing to indulge in for the sake of a thrill; we aren't such slaves to our passions as to allow them unchecked reign. The methods of this manipulation have been codified, expanded upon, and undercut since the Classical period, but the core of story -- causality with meaning-- is maintained. A grea…

Creating the Audience

So this Saturday night I'm doing laundry and crunching numbers on comic creation. It doesn't take an accountant to tell you that printing, distributing, and selling your own books won't make you a profit. Case in point: If I print out 500 copies of the B&W issue of Virtuoso, I have to sell 315 of them just to break even. That's selling them at 3.00 a piece, which is on the cheap end of comics. But selling that many means doing the convention circuit, which drains the coffers fast. So take that profit I earned in and flush it if I do it that way. This isn't even thinking about paying myself or Krista.

(Consequently, if you want to make sure that a fellow Whitechapeler gets paid for doing great art, go here:)

Anyway, seeing as how this profit model doesn't really work, not if you want to make a living at comics, you have to think laterally. Most webcomics make money on merchandising. The comic is free and online, and connected to a merch stor…

Societas Insomnia

After hunting around the internet for a few minutes, I found a few pictures from my time performing for the Portland performing arts troupe Societas Insomnia. It was a deeply disorganized group, with dozens of performers dropping out and being replaced, sound and lighting issues, and big egos getting stepped on constantly. But man oh man, do I enjoy performing.