Last summer my story “A Man Worthy of Your Attention” was workshopped by an amazing group of writers at Squaw Valley. During the class, I was given some advice that I at first didn’t know what to do with: make this a graphic story.
Arriving back home, I fleshed out a few ideas for how to make this happen, but was soon lost. Who would draw the illustrations? What direction would I give? How much of the story needed to be reworked?
I ended up shelving the story for a good six months, coming back to it only recently. I decided that even though the idea of a graphic story was intriguing, I would forge ahead with revising what I had and keep things in a traditional format.
One night while deep in the throes of revision, I logged onto Facebook and saw that my friend and painter Dana Ellyn had just created the most amazing book for the Sketchbook Project, called “Happily Ever After.”
Immediately, the excitement I’d felt at Squaw rushed back. What if Dana could paint something for my story that resembled her work for Happily Ever After? I shot her off a quick note and was elated when she said her curiosity was piqued. She agreed to read the story and tell me what she thought…a few weeks later, she forwarded the first of many illustrations. I’m so thrilled–and honored. I’ve been a fan of Dana’s work for years, and own many of her paintings. The fact we’re now collaborating blows my mind. Here’s one of the first images she completed…more to come!
I also want to thank the many friends who led me to wonderful examples of graphic stories, especially Jen Murvin Edwards, who knows a hell of a lot more on this subject than anyone else I know! Thanks, Jen!