When the Clock stopped (for a few days) at San Diego Comic-Con 2013

What happens when two Victorian steampunk style British gentlemen go to one of the biggest comic book conventions in the world, for the first time?

Well, lots of things, old fellow. Lots of things.

We documented our journey to the prestigious San Diego Comic-Con 2013 over at Geek Syndicate. And this is just the beginning…

“If I wasn’t so tired, I probably would have had visions of the police filing a report about how they discovered two black guys from the UK, holed up in ‘a lady called Gladys’, buried alive by a mountain of steampunk and fantasy comic books.

“Any press is good press, as they say.”

Start reading here:

Clockwork Watch is heading to the San Diego Comic-Con

Yes, that’s right, Clockwork Watch is packing its collective bags and jetting off to the United States in July 2013 where the team of Yomi, Jennie and Corey will be selling copies of The Arrival and Breakaway at Comic-Con International in San Diego. This is one of the biggest comic book and sci-fi conventions in the world, with well over 130,000 people attending each year, from eager showgoers and talented creators, to big-shot Hollywood actors and directors looking to promote their latest movies.

It’s an honour to have been selected among the tons of those who applied and we’ll look forward to seeing you there if you can make it! We’ll have more info on which table we’ll be seated at closer to the time.

The Clock faces – part 3 by Corey Brotherson

And here we move on to the last of our main characters in The Arrival

Chan Ranbir

Chan Ranbir

Chan Ranbir

Chan is very much a driving force of The Arrival – for both the right and wrong reasons. A short-tempered genius, the father of the Ranbirs is stern, influential and a figure who looms over the family’s future.

Chan wants two things – for Clockwork to be a success, and to have his family part of that. In some respects he thinks that’s one and the same, and as such it creates one of the major problems for the family.

Reading Yomi’s original script made Chan into a very harsh figure. Which is perfectly natural. The Arrival is told through the eyes of his son, Janav, who only sees the move to England not in terms of building a future, but as a destruction of the young boy’s past. And as we take in the story through the perceptions of a slightly bitter eight-year-old, Chan comes across as a bit of an ogre. However, deconstructing that reveals a man driven by his passion to be a father to a better society, rather than merely being a simple obstacle for Janav to overcome.

Chan Ranbir, Master Kineticist

Chan Ranbir, Master Kineticist

True, Chan can be seen as overbearing, but the intriguing thing that stood out when peeling back the layers of his character is that he is a man of the future. He is such an important part of the Clockwork Watch universe – a main cog, if you will – that he is one of the few characters in the story who has his eyes firmly set on what’s yet to come.

Which is the biggest problem for Chan. After all, the large irony of a man who has his sights on everything ahead of him, tends to be short-sighted to the things closest to him…

The Clock faces – part 2 by Corey Brotherson

Tinku Ranbir

Tinku Ranbir - Janav's Mother

And so on to our next main character in The Arrival– the dutiful mother, Tinku.

Tinku Ranbir
Mother to the ever-questioning Janav and wife to the stoic Chan, Tinku is a character who has great significance to the story. Her presence is felt throughout both The Arrival and Breakaway, and provides a sense of balance to the two male figures.

Tinku and Janav

Tinku and Janav

It’s somewhat ironic that I initially found Tinku the hardest character to get a bead on in The Arrival.

Many of the stories I’ve written have been said to be “very female” – not just because they feature female lead characters, but also because of the themes and subject matter they contain.  However, when it came to taking a look into what made Tinku work as a character and what made her more distinctive from the rest of the cast, it took me a bit longer to figure out.

It’s too easy to merely say that Tinku is the ‘heart’ of the family – while this is true (in more ways that one), Tinku represents more than the glue of conscience that keeps the Ranbirs together. She’s strong, thoughtful and probably the most socially aware of the family, which are important traits for anyone relocating to a different country, culture and society. As expected, Jen’s artwork conveys all those elements of her character with subtlety, beauty and grace.

Tinku possesses relatively minimal dialogue in The Arrival, but arguably some of the most important lines in the whole story. In some respects, this is as much her tale as it Janav’s…

The Clock faces by Corey Brotherson

So, you’ve seen some of the artwork showing a few of the characters you’ll be joining on the journey that is Clockwork Watch – but who are they? Well, you’ll be finding out soon enough in The Arrival, however there’s no harm in introducing some of the people whose lives will dramatically change before you over the next 12 months…

Janav Ranbir

Janav and his mother

At eight years old, Janav is our doe-eyed gateway into the world of Clockwork Watch, and our touchstone to this strange new and rapidly changing society. He’s headstrong, inquisitive and has a streak of rebelliousness about him, all traits that prove to be hugely important in the events that follow his arrival into England.

Yomi’s original script showed Janav to have a curiosity about many aspects of his new life, which is something Jen captures perfectly in her artwork. Janav’s wide-eyed expressions manage a wonderful sense of naivety and innocence which is something I wanted to explore visually early on in the story. Some sequences I adapted play up this element of childishness to create a sense of comedy, others work to present just how big, strange and scary it is to be taken from your home into a new country, especially one going through a Steampunk revolution.

Early Janav Sketch

Early Janav Sketch

Janav is a far more complex character than initially appears, and there are a lot of elements in Yomi’s original script that all push towards showing fringes of darkness that rests within this little boy. It’s something I was keen on exploring and emphasising from a dramatic point of view, which leads to some important shifts in narrative the closer we get to Janav. When you read The Arrival, see if you can spot the significant changes that mark Janav’s growth – which have huge consequences on the Ranbir family…