Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hole in the Chest Boy, Good, Deep Friends, and Confidence

I have wanted to make a graphic novel for a long time.  I have never had the patience to really work on one, however.  Usually a writer will provide you with a script and it seems like they are not looking for you to add or subtract from the title.  The illustrator's input appears to not be needed for the story.  This isn't a very good outlet for me though.  I prefer to write my characters, understand them, and make them more about the words and poetics of the situation than I do to show my immense ability to move a character around into a million positions.  In fact, I don't have an immense ability to move my characters around in a million positions.  I am constantly attempting to get better with this, but am definitely not as good as other artists. 

I have been teaching illustration for the past year at a local community college, and this is giving me some more confidence in my work, however.  I have found that by teaching the students the proper steps to go through to build a character and a plot, composition and layout, I find that I am more and more capable of doing so myself.  That leaves the only issue with making a graphic novel the unfortunate fact that most people that seem very interested in writing work for a graphic novel are interested in some fantasy character, science fiction, or violence.  I am not particularly interested in any of these.  I am more of a sensitive kind of guy.  I don't draw to work out dragons or mythical creatures.  My idea of cool is much more reading Sartre and listening to the Cure than it is watching the newest season of Game of Thrones or watching the new Batman series.  I am more the speed of a Daniel Clowes than I am a Rob Liefeld, but everything that I grew up with was more Liefeld.  It took a long time for me to admit this, but once I did, I realized that I can get into this graphic novel thing if it is just a little more sad.

As I was chatting with a friend at work, we began to talk about our writing and drawing styles and it dawned on me that one of my characters aligned very well with his writing.  We met yesterday and started talking more ideas for our character, plot development, and supporting cast.  The result was an idea influenced by Sartre's Nausea, Emo records of the nineties, and a bunch sketches from sadder times in my life.  I am very interested in looking into these characters from the sadder spots in my life as I feel like it will help me identify the character more when he shows up within me.  Perhaps by fully understanding him I will be able to help myself when that character comes around again.

Here are a couple panels from what I've been working on so far.

I am very excited about this project.  I plan on printing the first book in two 8 page zine formats and sewing them together.  The outside cover I think will be a black construction paper cover with a piece of fabric sewn over top.  A hole will be left out of the center of the front cover in the fabric showing the black construction paper behind.    The whole book will be 5" X 7".  This should be rad.  I've been drawing for it pretty much constantly since I met with my buddy.


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