03 May 2009

Step 1: The Idea

I guess the best place to start is at the beginning. I was born on the 1st of July 19 … okay, maybe we should skip ahead to what’s really important – the genesis of the crazy, insane, totally stupid notion that a normal, average guy could create his own graphic novel without having any substantial experience in writing or drawing comics and not having published anything before in his life (unless you count the movie reviews I wrote for the college paper.)

So why would I embark on something that promised nothing other than copious amounts of blood, sweat and tears, not to mention several large helpings of prejudice and mammoth spoonfuls of outdated notions from which I have yet to reap any benefits, if ever?

Good question - and something I don’t completely have the answer to, because if I did I probably would’ve done what I usually do – hit the snooze button and pull the covers over my head. I don’t think any sane person would enthusiastically leap out of bed with a smile on their face and brave the big nasty world if they knew the result would be a large and embarrassingly obese zer0!

The only possible explanation that springs to mind is one Honda commercial and that classic (and often covered) song The Impossible Dream.

Not only did I have to face the task of creating this totally new thing out of thin air, from a blank page, with no prior experience whatsoever, but I had to convince people to take a chance on this strange thing they’ve never even heard of before called a graphic novel. I can’t begin to explain all the gasps and clasping shut of children’s ears I've experienced when I mention to folks what it is I’m peddling. But hang on, I’m getting ahead of myself here…

This is probably a good time to mention that as far as writers go, I’m not one! Although I wrote the story, I don’t really consider myself a writer. If there’s a title I feel more comfortable going by, it’s probably that of storyteller. A writer to me conjures up images of really intelligent, sophisticated, witty people who always seem to be quoting other intelligent, sophisticated and witty people. Unlike those writers, who were born with pens in their hands and dreamed of one day having their name on a book like their favourite author, I had no aspirations to be a writer.

I was over there just minding my own business, when out of nowhere I just became overwhelmed with all these stories - sometimes ideas, but many times fully formed plots - that used to come to me usually in the middle of the night on the coldest night of the year when I was unable to switch the light on to write the stuff down because I shared a room with someone, so I had to go into the damn cold kitchen or bathroom.

And that’s (more or less) where Project H began - as this story that refused to let go of me until I got it all out of my head and onto paper (the little bastard!) But looking back, it was probably the most electrifying period of the entire process, the rush of excitement of all these heady ideas and characters and situations, moulding them scene by scene into this living, breathing and complete story bound together within this thick stack of paper where before there was nothing but an idea.

There’s absolutely no experience like it in the whole world (so I’m told).

Next time … The Writing.

1 comment:

  1. Really good blog.Very detailed.Didn't realise how much work goes into completing a graphic novel.Have faith that your story is going to strike a chord with your intended audience.I am sure it is going to be big once the word gets out about how good it is.