A possible collaborator (sounds so Cold War) asked me about working again on a graphic novel project. This galvanised my thoughts around Engineeress, which I'd originally conceived as a short graphic novel about ten years ago. I couldn't find those pages when I looked recently - and it's probably just as well.
Working with the comic format over the last few weeks has been a revelation. The story as I wrote and re-wrote it isn't suitable for a comic. Comics let you communicate a great deal in a few words and images, like poetry. Yet they also have a lot of the same constraints of short stories. How do you get from one scene to the next, or to a new point in time - namely, plot. My little story, as I originally wrote it, was almost a prose poem. I've written in new scenes and plot elements. Because comics is a much more developed medium than what I had had in mind - a shorter short story with a few images - I'm able to explore areas that are pertinent to this story that I thought couldn't be part of it.*
On the risky side, this is a long undertaking, and longer than what I had already had in mind. I would really like to finish a major art project. I haven't done that in many years, I guess since I wrote my book of short stories in 1999.
Everything I need is in front of me. The story, the pictures. But I don't have much knowledge, time or technique. It's hard not to be discouraged. It's also one thing to do the planning and thumbnails with my bits of time sprinkled here and there. But inking and painting happen at a desk.
If you want to follow the development of this story, all related posts are labeled The Engineeress.