I fell about laughing at a recent catch-up with colleagues, as one of our party came to the realisation that I am not, in fact writing pornography! but rather, I am writing a graphic novel and graphic novels are not synonymous with porn.
In lay terms, a graphic novel is like a comic book for grown-ups. The one I am reading at the moment is 344 pages long. Entitled Persepolis, it is the autobiographical account of Marjane Satrapi, growing up in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. The one I am writing is going to be at least as long as this, and I hope it doesn’t take 13 years to finish. This is how long it took Art Spiegelman’s to complete his memoir, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.
In terms of sales, the graphic novel category is the fastest growing book category today, yet it is still relatively unknown to most people. I am sure that the film, ‘The Watchmen’ will do much to raise the profile of graphic novels. The movie is based on Alan Moore’s book, by the same name which made it to the Time magazine list of the top 100 novels. The category is growing rapidly online, the webcomic list alone provides a daily listing of over 13,000 updated web comics.
Overview of the untitled graphic novel
There are 5 main characters in my as yet untitled graphic novel… Slyder, Jon, Amelia, Helena and Isaac.
Slyder and Jon are from alternative realities at the same point in the future (circa 2800).
Slyder’s people have rejected the creation of new things and are defined by their opportunism and the way they assimilate technology into, and with the natural.
In the year 2800 cities as we know them, have long since disappeared. Slyder’s people live in underground spaces such as Derinkuyu in Turkey, a vast underground city. The oldest parts of Derinkuyu have been around for 10,000 years, it is some 18 storeys deep, houses thousands of people and is so complex that it has vented kitchens, a winery and even a stable. There are many cities in the area joined by underground tunnels a couple of kilometers long and wide enough for people to walk three abreast. Slyders people also live in the large salt domes under Houston, 500 of them, each 1 – 2 kilometers wide. In 2009 we store some of the most volatile substances on the planet in these salt domes, ethylene for example is stored here under 1,500 pounds of pressure until we are ready to turn it into plastic. Slyder’s people also live in nuclear waste facilities in Southern California and many other such sites.
In the first installment, Slyder gathers the crew together. Through an appropriated technology (we don’t know from whom), Slyder has the ability to ‘slide’ people through time in different ways and to fold places and time together.
In Slyder’s time… one of the salt domes is full, Slyder’s people break the shell, it explodes, sets off a chain reaction and people die. The people in the nuclear waste facilities become sick, and die. Slyder needs help preventing these disasters from happening. Jon will help… up to a point, he’s happy for Slyder to stop these things from happening, but Jon is going to make sure that nothing occurs that will place his own present, an alternative reality to Slyders in jeopardy.
The novel looks at possible future scenarios based on current real world situations. I hope reach a different audience from those that would, for example read ‘The World without Us.’
I am happy to entertain all ideas for a title, shame the Watchmen is taken!
I’ll post progress and pages as I go, the latter will be of far superior quality when I add a scanner to my technology suite (some way off unfortunately).
NB: The images are still very much a work in progress, they have yet to be coloured (slight colour only) and the lettering is only ‘penciled’ at this stage.