Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Next Big Thing Blog Series

Last week I was invited to take part in the 'The Next Big Thing' blog series by my friend Victoria Dougherty. Victoria is a writer and the one face that always springs to mind when I hear the word 'Chocolatier'. I'm not even sure why that happens, but Victoria must have said something about being a Chocolatier, and probably in a smoke filled Czech pub, long ago, and it stuck.

Jump over to Victoria's pages and read about her book here: Victoria Dougherty

Now...time to answer the NBT questions about my graphic novel.

The Next Big Thing 


What is your working title of your book?
Hmm. Well, as we are not ready to reveal the details of the book I'm going to have to hold off answering this one, the subject of our book is all in the title. But it's a damned fine title...and a great story that we have to keep under wraps just a wee bit longer. 
Where did the idea come from for the book?
"The idea came from hearing a radio interview with Jerry Garcia where... "

See that quote above? Ok, those are the words of Brandon Beckner who gave a great answer to that question. Brandon and Scott Sampila wrote the story together and first told me about it ten years ago. As I read the story the characters came to life in my mind and I saw it had the potential to be a terrific graphic novel. I suggested it to the guys and started blocking the story. I created a 262 page 'sketchbook' version, in essence a storyboard of every page and I coloured and lettered it. 

I could see it read well and Brandon and Scott were delighted. I then started illustrating the finished art pages at the beginning of summer 2012.

Thumbnail pages from my completed 'sketchbook' version of our story. In doing this I can now see the entire book at a glance. I can draw any page or panel because I know what where very thing is going.

What genre does your book fall under?
I am developing the story as a graphic novel. It's a somewhat fictionalised history of actual events. I keep thinking it ironic that the outrageous, crazy, unrealistic stuff in this GN did actually happen and it's mostly the down-to-earth stuff that is fictionalised. You'll see.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
As I was drawing I did notice one character looked a bit like the actor Andrew Garfield. That was purely coincidental.
Only once did an actor come to mind before I started drawing the characters, that was Peggy Lipton who I thought of as an inspiration for the character of 'Bree'.

See what I mean?...Maybe I'm imagining it.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
"-------- is a zany ------------- ride through the ------ of ----------- told through the eyes of a young, hungry ---------- whose life is turned upside down when -------------------------------- most ------------------secret -----------------."

Again, Brandon gave a terrific answer to this question. But, alas, we just can't give anything away yet. Come back to these pages, bookmark this blog, I'll reveal all at some point soon...I promise you won't be disappointed!
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I have no doubt our book will find a publisher. A bold claim, I know.

My only concern is my pages, speeding up the process without losing quality, that's all I think about. Even now, typing this, I know I should be drawing. I draw everyday and for the most part all day long.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
"First draft of the manuscript took about 4 months - not including several months of research." - Brandon.

....and for me to storyboard our book took 2 months in winter of 2011.

2 panels from my thumbnail book.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I can't think of any graphic novel like ours. It's not a superhero story (I don't really like those at all).
If our book could sit near a shelf with 'A Contract with God' or 'Persepolis' or other great graphic novels that document actual events to some degree...I'd be happy. 
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Jim Baikie inspired me to do what I Jim is responsible ultimately!
Here's a short film about comics featuring Jim and a few other now famous names.

 Jim is an Orcadian artist and he and his wife Wendy were very kind to me as a student. I flew to Orkney and worked in his studio for two weeks in which I got my first comic art experience on the very first issue of the Marvel comic book series 'Nightbreed' adapted from the Clive Barker  film. I did very little but it was cool to work on a real comic.
You can find more about Jim here.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
How about this?

Now it's time to pass the baton.
I'm told I can nominate 5 writers who I like. I'm an artist who occasionally you'll get 2 writers and one film-maker (although that last fella's something of a polymath, so he's a writer too, but it just so happens he's currently blogging about his new film).

Writer 1.
My good mate Brendan McNally author of GERMANIA and Friend of the Devil.
Enter his high-octane cerebellum of Brendan McNally.

Writer 2.
Lee Robson with whom I first partnered with last year to create a 6 page SCI-FI story... getting there Lee...getting there.

Lee is the author of the graphic novel BABBLE and you can read more about that book here. ...and more importantly BUY IT here.

My old Prague pal, Tony Mullen (now resident in Tokyo...I think) has written several books on computer animation technique and is currently making Electric Town, a film that combines live action and animation. Read about Electric Town here.

Thanks for reading...I hope you'll remember and come back to see our progress at some point and even consider supporting one, or all, of the projects linked here.

1 comment:

Brendan McNally said...

Wow! Thanks for mentioning me, Booda! I also have a blogspot, maybe it should be called a bogspot or a bogstop: Brendan McNally Nazis and Dinosaurs. I must confess, right off, so far there isn't anything on dinosaurs. Instead I have stuff on Bonnie and Clyde, hillbilly music and Mexican Border Radio. That's practically the same thing. DID YOU KNOW.... Bonnie and Clyde got assassinated eleven years to the day before the three-week regime of Hitler's successor Admiral Doenitz, got (mostly) unceremoniously rolled up at the order of General Dwight D Eisenhower, whose market lack of appreciation for the surreal later had a deletrous (if such a word exists) effect on 1950s America. I'm not saying you to agree with me, JUST THIN ABOUT IT.. Now we return to our current broadcast.