Sunday, February 05, 2006

Gooseland

I think, with me, it starts with titles. When I was much younger than I am today I wanted to be a cartoonist, a comic artist, but I really had no interest in drawing Superheroes or Science Fiction. This meant there was really no professional outlet for my ambitions and with no potential end result my natural laziness meant I stopped working at my drawing skills and began to let them atrophy.

Then I discovered Eddie Campbell and Dave Sim. Dave Sim proved it was possible to do your own thing if you were totally single minded and prepared to make sacrifices along the way. I thought he was a true artist because he was so single minded in pursuit of his vision. Fortunately I wasn't that crazy. Eddie Campbell on the otherhand........ Eddie held down menial jobs, had a life and relieved his creative needs by by transcribing a series of fictionalised autobiographical stories in his spare time. And more importantly he did it all in a scratchy pen and ink style that I could actually connect with on an artistic level.

Now.... titles. For several years, since first hearing Lester Young play the tune, the title "Round Midnight" had reverberated around my conciousness like a tumour growing in my head or a love growing in my heart. Eventually, over several years I turned it into 200 pages of intensely personal comics which I published in 50 page chunks and sold maybe 30 copies of each book. Ten years followed where I desperately wanted to draw another story but every attempt to create something crashed after a dozen pages. Then a title hit me, "Cowboy" and I worte and drew a short story about learning to draw. Now another title is setting up house in my head, "Gooseland". I don't know where it came from or what it means but I'm waiting to see.

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