Tag Archives: Ken Raney

Gideon Film Festival and writing to music

This upcoming weekend, August 6-11, I will be one of the faculty for the Gideon Media Arts Conference to be held at Ridgecrest, North Carolina. I must say, I’m very excited about it. I learned about Gideon roughly two years ago, just after the event. I fished around a little, ended up “meeting” (you know how that goes over the internet, right?) Ken Raney, the guy who heads up the Graphic Arts track at the Conference, then getting involved with Clash Creative, which led to my involvement in the Martyrs anthology (how’s that for narrative summary?). I desperately wanted to participate last year, but by the time I’d learned the dates, I’d already had something scheduled—so I was bummed. Not that the event I was going to wasn’t as good, I wanted to do both!

So, as soon as September rolled around last year, I started hounding Ken regarding the dates for the 2011 Conference. I got the dates from him and blocked it out on my calendar. No, I hadn’t gotten the invite to come, but I wanted to be sure I could go just in case I did. Those of you who’ve been in my sessions know how much I enjoy them, and I wanted to make sure everything was good-to-go, at least on my end.

Lo and behold, several weeks back, I got the email from Ken! As an added bonus, Brittany will be attending the film/musician sessions there. So, you should check it out. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and am anxious to be a part of it! Come out and see us!

Many years ago—when I first started writing comics—I used to listen to music very regularly as I composed. I gravitated toward the classic rock because it was what I knew and liked. I tried listening to classical but found myself distracted by the intricacies of it. I tried listening to “nature” music—you know, the kind that has wind and rain and lightning and thunder. But it made me sleepy. I tried listening to country, but found that I just spent my time laughing at it.

So most music was distracting to me. But I could play classical rock and I often thought of that music as a sort of sound track to my stories: I could see my characters interacting with one another and the music playing behind them. In fact, most of my very early comics share titles with the music I was listening to at the time. Most readers—I assume—never even noticed. A few caught them, but I’ve always guessed that’s because we shared an interest in that particular style of music and they recognized the titles immediately.

I could never listen to anything “new” though because I was too busy listening to the lyrics or intricacies of guitars or drums. Essentially, it distracted me from writing. I had to listen to music that was familiar so that it played, nearly unnoticed, in the background. MUCH like a good soundtrack for a movie. About ten years ago, I went silent, opting for no tunes. However, over the last few years, I’ve started listening to music again. Maybe I’ll talk about the whos, whys and wherefores in a future blog.

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Say hello to Clash Creative

Around May of last year I stumbled upon the website for the Gideon Media Arts Conference. I was flabbergasted to have found such a cool event. As most of you know, the last few years has seen me teach “Graphic Storytelling” in several different venues. This was what I’d been doing on a grand scale—and I desperately wanted to be involved!

Alas, it wasn’t to be so—primarily because the time was late and their plans were set. But I was virtual-introduced to Ken Raney, a man with a mission…and a vision. Ken and I boo-hooed a little that I couldn’t be there, but he had other ideas he wanted to talk about and was a bit mysterious about it all. Not long after the conference, I participated in a Skype conference call with Ken and a couple of other creative minds. It seems Ken wanted to form a sort of Christian creative brain-trust, a creative house of ideas (if you’ll permit me to steal that line from a company which no longer employs that idea!), a place for high quality creative ideas with a Christian bent. I was all over it!

Each of the members created marketable ideas and we hashed them out. My contribution—which is still with Clash—is a project entitled Moonbeam Bobby. In a nutshell, Bobby Moonbeam is the young son of a missionary family, a family whose mission field happens to be—you guessed it: the Moon!

It wasn’t long before Ken had generated art for all the potential projects and began pitching them around. The interest he’s already generated is pretty incredible.

But what I didn’t realize is that he was busy doing so many other things with Clash Creative.

This past Monday, Clash Creative launched the official website. You should really go take a look. Even as such an early phase, it’s chock full of information, regarding the many forms of entertainment. It even has a “career bio” of yours truly there.

Clash Creative is targeted at teens. The primary aim of the Clash website is to be a portal website for Christian teenagers of all things entertainment: movies, tv, literature, comics, games, you name it. The site states that Clash is “dedicated to bringing excellent, enlightening, even edifying entertainment to Christian teens and tweens.

As I said earlier: I’m all over that.

So, swing by the grand opening of the site. You’ll be amazed at what you see.


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