The Raft – upcoming comic book

- by Ragnar on November 25. 2010

Since around 2005, if I remember correctly, I’ve been working on a comic book called The Raft. You might think that it’s many pages long, since I’ve spent 5 whole years on it, or that I’m painting it in oils or some other time consuming medium, but that’s not actually the case. The real reason it has taken me this long, is that I never managed to nail down the script.

The Raft - Devon hanging on

The Raft came out of another project I was working on in 2002-3, called “Lost” (before the TV series by the same name), that never saw the light of day. It was a pick-a-path comic about a couple of guys that were lost, both literally and emotionally, in a big cave. The whole idea behind the comic was that you could control the direction of the story by scrolling in different directions on an infinite canvas, like solving a maze, except with a twist. The story looped back in on itself, so the reader would never get to the end of the story, and would be as lost as the protagonists in the comic. The problem with the story was that it wasn’t one, it was an interesting structural concept, and not a story.

Gradually that comic morphed into The Raft. I had wanted to do a “chamber play” in comic form, with only a couple of characters and a limited setting. Some of the story ideas and characters I had been working on for Lost got carried over to The Raft, but not the infinite canvas nor the whole maze/pick-a-path idea.

I believe the fact that The Raft grew from these rather convoluted roots, is the reason I had such a hard time with the script. Without a clear base idea, it was hard for me to find the heart of the story. I’ve written and re-written the script more times than I care to count, sketched rough layouts of several versions of the whole book, drawn, inked and discarded a small pile of pages, and shelved the whole project as a hopeless exercise in futility on several occasions, but for some reason I kept coming back to it.

Finally after five years I’ve managed to nail down a script I’m happy with, though I must admit that I’ve probably become a bit blind to the story by now. I’ve nearly finished penciling the whole story, and inking about a quarter of the pages. My plan is to publish it in book form, along with Tim, The Pillow Method and a short comic I’m working on along side The Raft (more on that later). I’m hoping to finish The Raft by the end of the year, though considering how long it has taken me so far, I’m not making any promises. 😉

If you want to take a sneak peak at The Raft, take a look at the blue pencil background used on this site. It’s all random drawings from The Raft.

The Raft - Swimming with the fishes

by Ragnar B. - November 25. 2010 -
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What People Have Been Saying About the Raft and Other Stories cover image

What People Have Been Saying About the Raft and Other Stories

I’ve been cleaning up this site lately, and getting rid of short articles that were just links to events or press related to my work. . . .

Making Comics Using Google Forms to Track Your Progress cover image

Making Comics Using Google Forms to Track Your Progress

I’m currently working on a 100+ page comic book, which is honestly a lot of work, and I wanted a tool that would help me keep track of all the time spent on it so I could get an accurate estimate of how I was doing and better plan future comics. . . .

Turning Queertales into a Static Site

I guess the title of this post can be interpreted ironically, as queertales.com has been quite static for a few years, with rare updates from me, but that’s not really what this post is about. . . .

Rudolph the Red Nosed Rentboy cover image

Rudolph the Red Nosed Rentboy

Have a Gay Christmas, with Santa and Rudolph. 🙂 . . .

New Projects on the Distant Horizon cover image

New Projects on the Distant Horizon

I’ve began working on a couple of new comics projects, a rompy sci-fi story and a dark historical fiction. Both are in very early stages of development, so I have no idea when (or if) they’ll be out, but I’ll try to keep you up to date on my progress here. . . .

Stranger Danger cover image

Stranger Danger

A boy spots his brother gettign in a car with a stranger and takes matters into his own hands. . . .

I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas! cover image

I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas!

It’s well into the 24th, and I should have gone to sleep hours ago, but instead I sat up and drew this. . . .

Status Update cover image

Status Update

I’ve moved some relevant blog posts from my old site, ragtag.net to here. They contain some early sketches for The Raft that I thought you might enjoy. . . .

Christmas is a Little Different This Year cover image

Christmas is a Little Different This Year

Here is a little Christmas card for you, that I hope you enjoy. As you might have guessed from the card, I’m spending Christmas in Thailand this year. . . .

The Raft cover image

The Raft

Nathan is in love with his best friend Devon, he just hasn’t told him yet. Together they’ve built a raft, on which they plan to sail to a nearby island. . . .

David is a Funeral Director, Who Just Happens to be Gay cover image

David is a Funeral Director, Who Just Happens to be Gay

Phrases like that are commonly heard when discussing gay characters in fiction, but what do they really mean? On the surface they simply mean that the characters gayness is not important to the story, but if you dig a little deeper it has a more subtle and darker undertone. . . .