So, I’m doing contributions for a couple upcoming anthologies, and for the next few weeks I’m going to be taking a break from posting my ongoing story and posting pieces from what I’m doing for the anthologies instead, since the deadlines for those are looming and I have them mostly written but still have a lot of drawing to do.
I’ll still be posting… quite a lot, actually. Just things from these other stories.
The above drawing is a portrait I did recently of my boyfriend, which I’m posting because one of the two upcoming stories has to do with him. One of the anthologies I was invited to contribute to is a collection of short stories on the theme of Dads. I was trying to think of something to write about my dad, and there were stories I could have done, but nothing was jumping out at me, and then I was talking to my boyfriend about it and he started telling me stories about his dad, and I immediately knew that was the story I should write. I’m calling the story My Boyfriend’s Dad, hence the title of this post.
The other anthology I’m contributing to is the upcoming Northwest Press book of Robert Kirby’s anthology Three. I’ve had this poetic thing I’ve wanted to do for a while, really taking certain comic conventions and also certain musical and poetic conventions, and mashing them up, and I thought maybe this anthology would be the place to do it. What I’m doing is starting out with a bunch of drawings that I’m doing separately that have a link together, which I guess if you were talking in musical terms would kind of be the melody of the thing, and then I’m designing the story on a grid of six panels a page which, I suppose if you were again to use musical terms, would be the rhythm of the song.
It’s meant to be in some ways the visual equivalent of what Dylan was trying to do with the achronological arrangement of the incidents related in the Blood on the Tracks songs. Of course, the way Dylan described what he was doing there was trying to create the lyrical equivalent of the way a story is told in a painting, because in a painting all the information is presented to you simultaneously and you can choose, to an extent, in what order you view the information, so time becomes less important and you can take in the totality of a story rather than one incident, and then the next, etc. But comics, then, are different from paintings, because the arrangement of panels indicates to you in what order you should read the visual information, and in comics that are told well, space has a temporal element because a bigger panel should mean that you read it for a longer period than a smaller panel, and so in that way you can create pauses, or also create speed, when you’re telling a story in comics. I’m talking about good comics, of course- in a lot of mainstream comics, the size of the panels is determined not by pacing but by what super cool pose somebody felt like drawing Spider-man in that day. So what I became interested in investigating are ways in which you could be achronological, like a painting or a Blood on the Tracks song, but also have it read properly, like a comic, and have a rhythm to it, which is the thing that a good comic and a song have in common.
I want to edit the images together and find out what happens when they’re in different orders with different juxtapositions. I’m writing the words separately as a poem, but I don’t want it to just be an illustrated poem, or a poem with pictures next to it, which has been done a lot in comics. What I’d really like to do is not have the poem or the images be complete without each other, they should comment on one another, and the juxtaposition should hopefully make something that neither of them would make alone.
So I’ve drawn a lot of it and written a lot of it, but I won’t know quite what I made until I’m in Photoshop putting it all together. I really wanted to do something at least a little bit avant-garde and interesting, and we’ll see if what comes out is something interesting, or if it falls flat on its face.
I’ve also written a kind of simple sex joke piece I could do if my brilliant poem comics hybrid thing goes unappreciated by the Philistines We’ll see what happens.