Here’s where the real fun of being an artist comes in; your best work is done in the midst of personal tragedy. When painful things happen, you get really good ideas. What a crappy deal. So I had a personal tragedy in my first year at NAU; my girlfriend dumped me and it sent my life into a downward spiral. Little did I know that my larger problem was medical, not personal; I had undiagnosed clinical depression from the age of 11 that would go untreated until I was nearly 30. While this means I had a naturally sucky life, it made for great creative surges.
Anyway, that very night I threw myself into creating a new world. Like an intern god with a cranky boss and a six-day deadline, I slaved away on my personal computer to make what would become the world of Jayde and the city of Portshia as a game setting for Dungeons and Dragons. Because I am so anal and fixated on details, I also began a private study on ancient cultures, medieval life, architecture and various other disciplines. Unfortunately I was at college trying to learn Graphic Illustration. It’s so hard to attend classes when you have so many other interests.
The desire to make a serious graphic novel was kindled a few years earlier when I worked for the Phoenix Public Library, where I discovered ElfQuest. The artist and writer was a woman, which alone made it a stand-out book, but the artwork and emotional story were simply beautiful. I thought, why not combine these interests? I had drawn comic books from an early age, and story telling was rather fun. Why not make a comic book out of this world? It seemed like a good idea at the time. I even had an idea for a dramatic storyline; a girl becomes a warrior with the help of her lover, whom she then dumps. Why? Who the Hell knows? That’s what I was trying to figure out.
I was inspired to write a heartbreaking, exciting and heroic tale. Yay. Now I just needed to come up with an approach. How does one start a story? How do you introduce a character for the first time? How do you even make a comic book in the first place?
Man, this was gonna be a lot of work.
More to come….