Great news- I’ve been accepted as a presenter at the 2019 International Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels in Manchester! I put together an abstract in my lunch break between teaching and submitted (way after deadline, super huge thanks to the organisers for their supreme flexibility). Here’s the abstract, next comes the work of finishing the comic, and putting together the paper/presentation. My first international comic conference presenting my own work- slightly excited.
Entwined: Reinterpreting Pantheistic Gods in Modern Comics
The graphic translation of gods, demons, and their progeny within the superhero genre is nothing new. A host of Marvel and DC Comic’s most popular characters were fabricated from these sources, and many other heroes are oft-cited as bearing mythic qualities. This presentation provides a practice-based approach to how these myths are reworked and retold in contemporary superhero comics, by detailing the development of the creator-owned Australian comic Entwined.
Entwined: A Recurrent Romance (re)examines mankind’s dependence on gods to make sense of natural phenomena, situating those gods within a modern world where humans have a fuller understanding and mastery of the previously unexplainable. Entwined is set in a world five years from now, populated with Art Deco architecture and advanced technology, a parallel universe where marvels are commonplace. Reinterpreted Aztec Gods inhabit a timeless and shapeless miasma of Platonic Ideals while seeking to influence events on earth. A crusader sent from the 1920s joins an aspiring superhero of the modern age, together seeking to understand the forces that bring them together, life after life, in order to take control of their destiny.
This presentation will delineate the steps in building a story world of competing and co-existing realities. It will demonstrate the creative process, from script, to visual research, design iteration, and through to finished pages, as a synthesis of artist and writer as joint world builders. It will demonstrate how a practice-based methodology assists in the refining of a broader cosmology via analysis of an evolving workflow and stylistic experimentation. The manipulation of the comic medium, from panel structure through to lighting, colour, and symbiosis of image and text, will be shown as integral in building, delineating, and clarifying these worlds.