The Graphic Novel...

People keep asking me about the graphic novel, and since I'm getting a little tired of wheeling out the "300 pages..." gag when someone asks me what it's about, I thought I'd just write this post and then direct people to it. Whether anyone will actually read this is another matter entirely, of course, but if I want to be a writer, I have to have a healthy line in self delusion.

The Basics...

The GN is called Babble. It's an original, creator owned book, scripted by me with art by Bryan Coyle, due to be published by Insomnia Publications, an independent publisher based in Edinburgh.

Bryan and I struggled for a quite a while to find a publisher on both sides of the Atlantic, but being unknowns with no proven track record other than a handful of short stories in anthologies, we weren't initially successful, until Insomnia took pity on us.

(I've had several questions about what went into the submission package, too, and I'll no doubt post something on the Babble blog with all the gory details when I get the chance, but it's fair to say we tried to cover everything with the submission.)

So, as it stands now, Bryan is working on the first chapter of the book, and I'm hammering away at the second. In fact, here's a couple of work in progress pics from Bryan just to prove that we're actually doing it:






And, hey, just because I can, here's some script pages...


See? We're working on it!

So, What's It
About?

Well, one thing both Bryan and I agree on is that at this stage, we need to keep an air of mystery around the book, and we've managed to do it successfully so far (although it's probably more to do with a complete lack of interest in it). Even though we've got a blog set up for it (www.babblecomic.com), we're trying to keep that purely for production at the minute until we're further along with the book. Hopefully, we'll start putting out bits of promo art and some "behind the scenes" stuff up there when we're ready.

For now, though, there's not much to report on. The basic outline of the story - or the only one I'm prepared to share at this point - goes something like this:

Carrie Hartnoll is a girl lost in a life going nowhere fast, but a chance meeting with an old flame sets her on a path that will change the world as we know it forever…

Yeah, it's not much to go on, but what do you want?

So, You're Happy About This, Then?

When I've told people about the deal, face to face, the one one thing that I kept hearing was: "You don't seem too pleased about it."

The honest truth is that I am. I'm over the fucking moon with this. When we got the offer, I was grinning like the fucking Cheshire Cat for a good few hours afterwards - I thought my jaw was actually going to crack because of it. We've poured a lot of hard work and time into getting it this far, and, personally, I could not be happier.

I'm pleased Bryan's on board, too, because, after seeing some completed pages (yes, we have some!), I now couldn't imagine anyone else doing this. Bryan brings a much needed edge of realism to the story that fits with the more down-to-earth script I'm trying to write.

So, yes, I am fucking ecstatic. Everything is slotting neatly into place and I think - I hope - we're going to produce something good.

The problem is that we signed the deal a good couple of months before we actually "officially" announced it; we used that gap to give us some breathing space to finish our other commitments. I managed to get the decks cleared completely so I could have a clear run at the script for Babble, but then the panic set in...

See, for me, Babble is something of a departure from what I've written before. Not only is it a long form narrative, but it's me trying to write something with realistic, three dimensional characters rather than falling back on the stock character tropes that most comics use. On top of that, there's a lot of research to do, to try and help give it that more realistic edge (research into what, I can't tell you or it'll give the game away), and, again, that's something that I've never done before on this scale.

So, yes, when I talked to people about this, I came across as less than excited about the deal simply because I was stressed and panicking as I realised what I was going to have to do and the scale of it all. Now, though, I've got more of a handle on things, and I'm not as stressed or panicked as I was. In fact, I'm becoming more and more focused on this, and I'm pretty damn sure that I'm going to finish it to a decent standard. Whether anyone will agree with that statement when they read the finished book, though, is another matter.

So, there you have it. That's about all I can tell you about the book so far.

Now be off with you!

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