Eddie -- Collector's Edition First Appearance.

Anna and I used to talk at great length about cannibalizing older work for newer things -- and thanks to all the comic books and Kevin Smith movies, I think I may have raised re-using ideas to an art form. My penchant for going back to the well is one of the reasons I called this blog "The Mojo Wire" -- because like Thompson was in 70's, I am way too easily mystified by my own stories and turns of phrase.

To better explain what I mean, and why I'm talking about this, I have to go back to high school, when I took my first stab at comic writing. I had this idea for indie comic, called the "The Living Dead," which had nothing to do with zombies, and instead involved two clerks in a small town. The first was Jameson, an obsessively compulsive video store worker with a clinically insane mother, and his best [and only] friend Lenny, who was gay, because, well, I didn't think you could write indie comics without at least one character that was gay.

At college, I put quite a bit of work into "The Living Dead," taking numerous stabs at scripting the first few issues, and inventing a whole town full of characters, all derivative or either me, my friends from high school, or my girlfriend at the time, Sam. Sam was actually very encouraging about the possibility of me actually making a few of these comics, which eventually lead to my first and only [and self-published work] "SULK : The Morning After," which, incidentally, contained almost none of the characters I'd been working on the past few years.

But that didn't matter really, it just encouraged me to make news ones -- and the next thing I knew I was working on "White Trash Nation" -- a story that took place in the same town, but with older characters, twenty-somethings, while the majority of the SULK and "Living Dead" kids were still in their teens. It was good exercise for me. I'm never been strong on plot, but I've always believed if you cared about the people you were reading/watching, then it didn't matter if they were just making a sandwich.

What came next was some mixture of ingenuity and laziness, but when it came time to do work for the literature and writing classes I was finally starting to get into and Bennington, it seemed only natural to start using the characters who until this point had just been sitting on the shelves. Because of this, most of what I've written [with the exception of the Familiar], both inside and outside of class, exists in the same general setting, or "universe" as everyone likes to use.

And "Trendsetter" is no different, as "Eddie" made his first appearance back in... junior year of college, when I was taking play writing, in a little piece I poorly named "Mall Sequitur."

Now, it's actually not very good, but just as I'm reusing Eddie, and considering his time spent as a nurse canonical [I imagine he was fired, for stealing pills, or sleeping with patients], I've been looking at it to try and get a better feel for what it is I want to do in the longer version of "Trendsetter," and get more in touch with Eddie, because I feel like he might need more screen time. Obviously, he's older now, but what else has changed, and more importantly, what hasn't?

I think it also amazes me how much of "Trendsetter" I see in "Mall Sequitur." Even with the main idea of TS coming from a totally different place, I really wound up revisiting a lot of the same things, particularly infidelity, but also the burden of being the start of something you really wanted nothing to do with. In MS, it doesn't work, and I know that now, but I think, with the letters in TS, I've pulled off the sort of realization off that I was looking for. And that makes me feel good, like I finally got at what I was trying to say back then, even after all of this time.

Anyway, it's shitty of me to talk at length about this and not offer evidence of what I'm babbling about, so the two links below will allow anyone who wants to see "Mall Sequitur" the chance.

Mall Sequitur
Mall Sequitur [Storybook ending]

The reason there are two versions is because they have different endings, with a few other subtle differences, neither working any better than the other. Honestly, going over them now, I realize much better how they manage to fall short from my original intentions, but if you're just looking for a laugh, you could do worse. Plus, some early Eddie. Putting these out there at all though is sort of embarrassing to me, but since they have been a big part of "Trendsetter" work today, and since that's what this blog is for, I figured, why not? Bring myself down a peg, and use my new .pdf transfer program a little more.

Some other news. Got Glen's feedback today, and as has been my way, I'd like to thank him here for taking the time, and looking at it for me. Of course, if you've looked at the TS movie blog at all, you know he's going to be living with this thing for awhile. Still, I really appreciate your thoughts, Glen. It means a lot, and helps a ton.

I also want to link something that my friend John wrote. It's called "She Danced" and its easily one of the best meet-cutes I've ever read. I've really been carrying it around the past of couple of days, and I hope other people will read it too.


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