I’ve been reading through Critical Inquiry: Comics and Media, edited by Hillary Chute and Patrick Jagoda, recommended by my friend and trusted supervisor Andi Spark. In it are transcriptions of numerous panels and interviews with some of the top dogs of the modern graphic novel and those who helped shape it. In one of the panels: Graphic Novel Forms Today with Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Seth and Chris Ware (moderated by Hillary Chute 2012) Chris Ware describes how he often starts a story without knowing where it will go. He lets it take shape in his mind during the creation. He says, and I love this:
“One of the advantages of drawing comics is that, as a cartoonist, you’re sitting in this almost hermetic environment, staring at this blank page and everything you draw, no matter where you think it is coming from- beyond, whatever- it is not, really. It is still always from within your mind. It is a part of your memory… and it comes out in an amazingly organised way, even if you try not to organise it. All of it is strangely connected in your own mind. .. I find that the more I try to connect things, the less it works. But if i just kind of let it come out the way it wants to, it seems to actually be more connected, and make more sense”. (2014, 168)
The image below is a page from my story, and quite similar to how this works with me sometimes. The story roils around in my head, seeking its shape. I only have vague ideas and the script to tell me what is coming next, and that is all subject to change, injections of inspiration, and harried frustration-fuelled edits. I look forward to seeing what the final outcome will be more than anyone else.