Well, that was useful and not impossible to achieve. Now I’m going to edit it down to 15,000 words and start drawing the fucker.
Archive for the Magnum Opus Category
I’m spending this month writing my long-delayed graphic novel script, using National Novel Writing Month as an excuse. The aim is to pump out 50,000 words of unpolished prose in thirty days. I managed just over 1700 words this evening, although this stuff has been sloshing around in my head for so long I could write it in my sleep (and sometimes do).
There’s a bunch of encouraging local social events I should try and attend, although I’ve found writers to not be the friendliest people socially (especially when you tell them that you’re a cartoonist), and I think the regulars know each other pretty well. Graphic novel scripts don’t fit easily into the criteria for NaNoWriMo (technically I should’ve waited until April’s Script Frenzy) but I think I can make it to 50,000 words even though I imagine the finished work will only have about 15,000-20,000 words in it… after editing, that’s about the right length.
There’s a large forum (with 98,000 members online right now, and it’s 7am EST!) but to find other people writing graphic novels I had to go a few levels down to where it gets less reputable, away from the busy fields of steampunk dystopias and vampire fanfiction.
My brain appears to be the gift that keeps on giving. This morning I was able to get up and write for an hour based on what I’d dreamt during the night. It even fixed a few plot holes for me.
The main story on the Herald website today was the latest from the Bain trial. The main story on the Stuff website was a young Canadian offended by the concept of Eskimo lollies. Either Stuff think their readers are morons, or we are actually morons, or I’m a moron for mentioning it here.
Or, indeed, all three.
In news which may not be entirely unrelated, Stuff owner Fairfax is cutting 70 jobs. A good newspaper provides commentary and perspective for society, and exposes (or at least discourages) corruption and injustice, which is why there’s so much concern overseas about the increasing number of newspaper closures. If Fairfax continues along this path, we could see all the content of, say, the DomPost, imported from overseas agencies, and local news coverage reduced to sport and weather.
Would we notice the difference?
I’m not sure about continuing The Bad Sex Guide. I only wanted to do it as a warmup for the Brunswick graphic novel. I might just start working on that instead, there’s very little incentive to continue with a Salient cartoon.
I had a good first day of the year, despite waking up in Island Bay. I’ve arranged some inspirational books for my projects, including ‘If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller’ by Italo Calvino, ‘The Terror of St. Trinian’s and Other Drawings’ by Ronald Searle, ‘Ghost World’ by Daniel Clowes, ‘Hicksville’ by Dylan Horrocks and ‘The Unstrung Harp’ by Edward Gorey. Which is enough to be going on with.
Look! Pretty! A double rainbow over Wellington this arvo.
As part of my Magnum Opus research (aha! a post about something work-related!) I’m reading a book by Jack Zipes called Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion. It examines how the moral lessons of fairy tales have sought to influence children’s behaviour. This revised edition has a chapter about Walt Disney, which is hilarious – possibly unintentionally. It’s been a while since I’ve read an academic text. I’ve forgotten how seriously they take themselves.
And not before time, many of you would agree.
I was toddling down Courtenay Place, on my way to Te Papa for a fourth round of Rita Angus, and to witness Pippa’s gamelan prowess. It’s 10am, broad daylight. This guy who I have never seen before is coming the other way. He crosses in front of me, stops, looks me straight in the eye, winds back his fist, and-
You will be glad to hear my natural wit did not desert me.
“Good morning to you, too!” I roared with pain.
The drunk stops, weaving slightly, and considers this.
“Oh…. sorry, mate”. He then stumbled off, unconcerned.
Later I got to travel in one of Te Papa’s garage-sized freight lifts, and I also met the Indonesian ambassador. So it was a widely varied day.
I also read How to Write for Television, by William Smethurst. It’s a lot funnier than Writing Comedy. It includes this advice:
“An established writer on a soap opera like Coronation Street who also has income from previous programmes (residuals) might easily earn in excess of £150,000 a year. If you are a poet, however, and one of your published poems is read on television, you will be paid around £30 per half minute, and might well starve to death.”
A friend of mine tells me that she dislikes Jitterati and has never found it funny. But she likes me and thinks that I’m funny. I think I’d rather have it that way round. In the ’90s I kept encountering people who loved Brunswick but absolutely loathed me.
I’ve been asleep, which, of course, is when interesting people text me asking me to go out and do fun things.
I had another one of my extraordinarily vivid dreams where I was holding a published copy of my graphic novel. So I quickly flicked through it to get some good ideas. It’s not really cheating. Now all I have to do is make it reality. I’m not sure whether my subconscious was trying to inspire me, or just piss me off.
Interesting Grauniad article about why the Sex and the City characters are poor role models..
I’m spending this week scripting and sketching, despite various obstacles, including a sick friend, rotten weather, a departing flatmate and another flatmate who is incapable of keeping the bathroom floor dry.
Each week I spend on this project, the closer I get to achieving something. Just as each week our foundation sags lower. Water is this flat’s enemy, whether it’s flowing over the edge of the broken guttering or soaking into the century-old supporting piles.
I’ve been thinking more about my graphic novel. There are many problems involved with the production of a book, some to do with the physical construction and others with the content. I’ve been solving these problems in my head as I go, to the point that I can now visualise what it looks like. All I have to do is work to make it flesh, so to speak.