This strip was hard for me … partly because I was sick during much of its making (a stomach bug that wiped me out), but also because I’m getting into “the story.” I’m having a hard time getting my bearings with the narrative—shaping the experience so that it reads clearly, as well as compressing emotions and events. It’s not something that’s entirely comfortable, is it? But I suppose that’s one of the issues I’m taking on here. I didn’t compose that version of myself out of changing newsprint without reason. It’s strange … becoming text. Writing yourself into story but then letting that story take on a life of its own.
It’s funny, too: I don’t think of “her” as “me” once she’s on the page. In fact, I’m very aware of the things that I’m putting her through … and it gets to feel just a little sick and twisted. I feel a little like I’m punishing her for what I went through—making her go through a grief that is so concentrated and intense. I do want to be careful not to end every segment with her on the ground immobilized! Good storytelling is hard. Being honest with your experience plus good storytelling—very very very hard.
Sill, I am enjoying it all immensely (though I realized I prefer cutting to drawing!—at least this week I do …).
Three pages. A different narrative thread from the last … but I have an idea of how they will connect. I think the only “word” too small to read is on the first page. It says “MZZZZ” (but you can click on “permalink” from within the gallery to make the image bigger if you’d like). For maximum effect, say all UFO sound effects out loud!
Found it very difficult to provide a bird’s eye view of the trees. Any suggestions? I think maybe if I had drawn and then traced and then cut them out, I could have anticipated the “look” a little better. Still, hoping I can get away with a lot for setting the story in “magic-land.” Also, at some point I will stop writing elaborate prefaces.
Thanks for looking. :-)
Here are four pages that I’ve been working on—in some ways. a translation of the introductory post (click on the first image to open up the gallery). I’m trying to see if it will work to have my more “real” memories portrayed through drawings and then do the more magical/escapist/fictional/metaphoric/current narrative in cut-outs (and sort of have the two interweave).
I’m making the cut-outs from the morning paper. I have never before been so attuned to the ridiculous amount of space devoted to the lamest ads—though am super tickled to be able to re-purpose the rich and varying shades of grey in them. Really fun, too, to cut up photos of urban landscapes, politicians’ suits, and cloudy skies. I’m taking my own photos of the process along the way. Maybe will post some of them later?
I’ve had a couple of dreams about my mom in the last couple of weeks—the first I’ve had since she died in which she wasn’t sick and that weren’t nightmarish. Do I think that this creative process has something to do with the shift? Yes—there seems to be something to taking the traumatic images and memories that have been hiding in my head and putting them “out there” for others to do what they will with them. So here you are!