It’s no easy thing creating a graphic novel. Writing, drawing, lettering, and publishing are all difficult skills to master. And yet it’s so simple in other ways: mere marks on a piece of paper. It’s this latter thought I’ll be holding on to as I battle through the next year, by the end of which I hope to have a finished book.
I have a firm idea of what I want to achieve, though whether it’s all possible…we’ll see.
A few notes on what I’m planning, and why:
I want to break new ground, if I can. It’s frustrating, as a writer, to always be asked to describe your new proposal in terms of other successful projects. (It’s ‘Sandman meets Game of Thrones’, and so on). I can understand why, but when it’s ALL there is it becomes restrictive. As much as I enjoy a good concept, I have a burning need to write something more ambitious and subtle. So, it’s time for some virgin snow in terms of language, themes and technique. It’s time to make something very personal.
Original work, it seems to me, requires some originality of process. Obviously creating comic art is a well-trodden path, and there are many practices it would be unwise to jettison completely. But there’s also a narrow school of thinking on how to create sequential art, and I want to deviate from that a little. I’ll be documenting what I discover as I go.
Similarly, originality of thought requires living an original life. Not difficult, we’re all so very odd when it comes down to it. So bringing that out is important: experiencing, thinking and living in ways that inspire original ideas, writing down those that can be expressed in words, sketching those that are visual, distilling them all into the work. It’s a lot of fun
In the same spirit, I don’t want to be overly influenced by other creators. While I have the utmost respect for their work it’s important to find my own way, and express my own voice, however underwhelming it may prove to be.
My motivation is simply a profound love for the medium. Who hasn’t been inspired by the magic of sequential art, the deceptive simplicity of a few lines and marks expressing so much of the human experience? I know I have, and I feel hopeful that if I grit my teeth and graft hard I can maybe contribute something interesting to the great tapestry of work already out there.
You can find out how it’s going so far here