In fabulous amphibian fashion, this Lil' Me cartoon project does hereby officially transform into the shape of ... a comic book! Yes, seeing all the technological and other hurdles before me, and the inevitable complications of the task that are impeding this project's progress, while all my fab concepts, characters and ideas continue to chomp at the bit telling me to just hurry up and get on with it already, I've decided the best way I can get on with this in a way that will allow it to fruit into reality as close as possible to my vision is to create a comic book series instead. (how's THAT for a long sentence!! Take that, Mr. Dickens!)
All of the essential elements will still be there. The characters and stories can stay the same, and it works fine with an episodic format. the only thing that will have to be missing will be my fabulous theme song, which was the seed that started this whole project in the first place, but I will probably figure out some way to make that work in a comic book. Or, maybe I'll just sing it to myself while I'm drawing.
Best of all, I can return to the format I prefer anyway, which is the drawing on paper. In an instant I have erased all technological hurdles in my way!! And, even better, With me getting all my episodes out in comic book form, it will still be possible for them to be one day picked up as an episodic cartoon, with someone else doing all the fancy-pants work and me just letting everyone know the general idea of how everything should turn out.
I first started to think about this as a possible solution to my problem when I saw the movie Persopolis (which by the way is really awesome and I really reccomend you go see it if you haven't), most especially when I saw the DVD extra where they went behind the scenes and talked about how the movie began as a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, who also co-directed the film.
I've mentioned elsewhere in this wog that I've always been drawn to graphic novels and comic books, but have always felt a bit like a fish out of water whenever I was around them. My recent purchase and reading of Best American Comics 2008, as well as Lynda Barry's highly inspiring and wildly creative What It Is (which I am still in the middle of), have helped me find some more courage in that area, helping me to see this art form as a medium that might be just right for me, especially in the case of my "Lil' Me" story.
Then a defining moment came one day when I heard my sister, who works as a professional graphic artist, mention how much she'd really like a drawing tablet, which she does not actually have, causing me to look over at my dusty and paper-buried graphic tablet on my work table, considering exactly how long had it been since I had last used that thing anyway? And would I ever in fact be really using it for anything more than a glorified mouse before it became obsolete? Surely it could be put to better use by a professional who actually would use it everyday (i.e., my sister). This was in fact the most defining fact of the many facts I had brought myself to consider over these past several months.
Then on a recent visit with family, I found myself saying to my Grandma, who had just asked me what projects I was working on, that I was making a comic book of the cartoon I had told her about before. So there it was, I realized. I guess that's really what I was going to be doing, after all!
The last hurdle that was standing in the way of this official transformation was the purchase by me of some actual blank notebooks. Being a writer I have many blank lined notebooks lying around the house, but up until today I had no blank blank notebooks anywhere. Whenever I draw or "doodle" as I like to refer to it, I usually use either blank computer paper, or my favorite, sheets of white "typing paper" (or as they call it now a "writing tablet") which are quite nice for drawing on, but come in a tear-off pad, which is not very useful when trying to create a cohesive work of many pages that follow each other. I'm happy to say that I purchased not one but two blank notebooks today, of the size and binding I like most in their cousinly lined-paper forms, and am now officially ready to embark on the next phase of this woggy adventure.
I hereby rewrite my woggy to-do list...
Things Left To Complete This Woggy Project:
- Dig up my old plot and story notes, and my folder of character drawings
- Sketch out a plot for my introductory episode/book
- rough storyboard the book
- draw book #1
- admire fab new book!
- repeat process for several more books
- research publishing graphic novels/ comic books, including self-publish options
- begin sending out stuff/ doing whatever initial stuff i need to do to pursue publishing of first few books
- continue making more books
- consider creating a dedicated website for the books
- write more to-do steps