PADDY LYNCH recently nominated me to partake in The Writers Blog Tour. The idea is that everyone answers four seemingly innocuous questions about their work and process and then nominates several others to take up the baton. Here are my answers.
WHAT AM I WORKING ON NOW?
Hard to say really. I have an army of ideas floating around in my head but none of them are really making me happy or inspired. I have started and stopped a number of projects over the last few months as I just can’t seem to get into them fully.
One of the major obstacles I can’t get over is the whole “What’s the point?” wall. It’s very hard to get motivated when you know that ultimately only a handful of people will read it. The amount of effort and time that went into THE HOLY NUMBERS and THEM is just not justified by the interest that they generated.
Now I’m not saying “Boo Hoo, I deserve to be more popular”, far from it. I obviously don’t deserve to be more popular or I would be. I always read and believed that if you truly write the story you want to tell, be as honest as possible and produce work that shines from your soul then the world will recognise you and thank you for it. Turns out, that’s not the case and I feel more than a little dumb for having thought so.
The Holy Numbers and especially THEM, is as good as I get. They are exactly how I wanted them to be (bar a few panels here and there). I am so happy and proud of them but ultimately the questions that must be pondered are: Is my best just not good enough? Perhaps I just don’t have anything worthwhile to contribute and what if I am never going to get “there”?
Hard questions to answer honestly without giving up some part of yourself or for things to seem hopeless.
This year marks my 8th year in comics. My very first comic THE END sold pretty much exactly the same amount as my last comic THEM. That has to be looked at with and seen for what it is.
Yes, you should only write for yourself and all that, but if that was the case no book would ever be published. Every writer wants to be read, every artist wants to be seen. It’s communication and talking to yourself is quite boring after awhile.
So yea, what am I working on? Mostly on finding a reason to work on something.
But look, I’m happy, life is (mostly) awesome and all that, don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying all this because I was asked the question and I felt like being honest. I just never expected to be 36 and still wondering “What the fuck am I going to do with my life?” [smileyface]
HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?
I guess comics are mostly known for Superheroes. I’m not a superhero guy at all. I wish I was, it would probably make it easier. My comics are mostly about two people talking in a room, very little action, boatloads of symbolism and a splashing of the occult.
WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
I guess it must be the same for everyone. I write the way I do because it’s the only way I can write. I write stories and characters that interest me. I write comics to try to change some aspect of my thoughts or life, almost like a sigil. I write to clear out broken parts of my soul. I write about things that don’t normally come up in day-to-day conversation.
HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
I spend months walking round outside my house smoking too much and drinking too much coffee until I have a decent grasp on an idea. Then I try my best to stay out of the process as much as possible and let the story and characters speak for themselves. I usually have 2 or 3 major beats that I work within but am totally not precious about them and am very happy to be lead somewhere else.
I nominate Andy Winter, Gavin McCumiskey and Walter Shuler.