It’s probably a little sad how excited I get about my work. I’ve been running on adrenaline for the past decade or so, frantic to get these things out of my head before it bursts, and thankfully its never shown any sign of waning. I was reminded of this at about 6am, when I woke up and the little details of yesterday started filtering back into my brain (I always recall a remark I heard once about how when you wake up, you can have forgotten every how, where and when, but you never forget who you are. That’s always intrigued me). I suddenly remembered what was on my desk downstairs, what had happened last night. A spark, a flash of something that had brought everything together so perfectly you’d have thought I’d planned it.

I’d written the very end of Corporate Skull.

I spent two years planning Corporate Skull before ever putting it on a page. I filled sketchbooks with the theories and ideas, the characters and the plots, and as it developed, new ideas ground old ones into dust, and the story as a whole began to take shape and grow into something complete. Well, kind of. See, you obviously can’t plan for everything. You can have an idea of where you want things to go, but inevitably you have to start drawing the damn thing before filling in a lot of the holes. And something on this scale is going to take a long time to produce anyway, during that time the ideas are bound to evolve by themselves. So it may be a little unprofessional saying I started this project without knowing how it was going to end. I punched in key events through the story, but as everyone knows, you need something at the very climax to just punch you in the guts.

As it happens, I thought I had my ending some time ago, but it soon became clear that it was so integral to the plot, that it needed to be brought forward. It’s now a reveal midway through the series. It doesn’t spoil anything to say that it changes everything. Of course there are plenty of other twists and reveals all the way through – part of the reason for starting this was my love of cliffhangers, clues and double-bluffs, and Corporate Skull has them in spades. If I’m doing this right, it’s going to be a mental ride (incidentally, I’ve noticed people starting to theorise about what’s going on in the comments, specifically the relevance of the number 8 – to me this is WONDERFUL, i love hearing people’s ideas and only haven’t joined in the debate because I’m scared I’ll give too much away!)

Before I sketch out roughs, Skull is planned out in a big A4 sketchbook. Each issue (24 in total) has two pages devoted to it, where i write down what i want in that issue and the key points that need to be put across. Obviously the notes are far more comprehensive for earlier issues than they are for later ones – i’ll fill those in as we go. Yesterday morning I wrote down a random idea that might be nice to introduce in the front of the book, and thought no more about it. Later that evening, I saw the idea written down there, and (as happens sometimes) everything locked into place spontaneously. It made perfect sense. It held everything together. It provided alibis for all the random threads I’ve been trying to weave through this, in a way I hadn’t considered. I elaborated the theory a bit more, and that’s it in the picture up there. My ending to Corporate Skull.

If you’re concerned that’s a long wait, don’t be. Issue 4 will be when answers start coming thick and fast, and give some resolutions. It’s just, y’know, there’s a lot more underneath that has yet to be played out.

disclaimer –
I hope these blogs about the writing of Skull are interesting to at least a few people. Personally, when I see a webcomic where the artist has blogged about their writing method, i find it’s a really fine line between ‘oh that’s curious’ and ‘oh what a self-aggrandising dick’. I just wanted to convey the excitement in planning a long-form story (something that is relatively new for me), and the pure thrill in stitching together a webcomic like this.