Been back on The Project a bit more in recent days, mixing it in with various physics thoughts, projects, physics related duties, and so forth. More on some of that later. I’ve been writing some new pieces for the work, and have been flowing nicely at times. I write both in words (scribbling in my notebook in H pencil) and images, this being the point of some of what I’m up to. (See my discussion about the nature and intent of the whole business in earlier posts collected here.) So I write words, but also think about how the reader’s eye will move around the page, communicating intent, story, emotion, and concept, and so the words are supplemented by -and often guided by- little “thumbnail” images I scribble as well. (Actually, this is not so different from how I do my physics research, and I know that this is quite common. We think and reason using a mixture of words, images, equations, and so forth, and looking in my notebooks on physics will show a lot of commonality with my notebooks for The Project. Part of what I hope The Project will achieve is to help the general reader learn that this happens, while also benefiting from it by reading the form/medium they are reading…)
In the more familiar language of film, in my job as writer and “artist” at this stage, I’m directing the action as I write, and sort of doing the first pass at editing too, keeping in mind also things that will be taken over by my director of photography, costumer, editor, set designer, and so forth. Oh, those are also me in this case, since I draw, ink, and paint all the stuff right to the end, as you’ve learned from earlier posts. (I am always a bit reluctant to use the language of film for explaining this, however, because I am trying not to help you fall into the usual pitfall of thinking of graphic novels and comics as poor cousins of film. Perhaps just a bunch of movie stills. That’s not at all a good way to think of the form. However, since film and the workings of film are familiar to many, it is sometimes helpful to use the analogy to explain the present process.)
But all that further production stuff comes later, on the current stories I am writing (see the collection of posts for examples here). I am writing them fully, and fleshing out the thumbnails for every page, and then typing it all into the computer and building a script with all my directing notes clearly written out. This will be useful when I pass them to myself at a later stage as penciller, to do the large 11×17 drawings of the next step. Things that seem obvious to me now in scribble form might be distant confusing memories a month or more from now. I do not know when I will start on next step for each story, so best to make careful notes to my future self.
Images left. Bits of thumbnails from the Dialogues story with working title “Experiment IV”. (Click them for slightly larger view.)