Saturday, November 5, 2011

Past Lives, Graphic Novels and Old Loves

I graduated from college in 1991, I was 21, broke and unsure of what direction my life would take. In addition to sculpture and painting, when in school I worked with an early form of computer animation. Back then I didn't own a computer, and there was no Internet like we have today. But I have always loved the idea of animation and visually telling a story.

I  eventually rented a tiny apartment with my house rabbit in a small town in New York state.  My only real furniture in the one room was my drafting table. I began writing and illustrating a series of graphic novels (comix) inspired by my rather cold and drab surroundings (winter in NY state seems to last most of the year).

Tired of the cold and lack of close friends I moved to Seattle in 1993 and continued to write and draw, inspired by my new city. After some long and frustrating attempts to get published, artistically I began to move in other directions. Eventually, I boxed up all the original drawings and pretty much forgot about them. Almost.

Not many people outside of Seattle know who the Bend are, but they are one of my favorite bands. Ever since I was the token roady for the now defunct band Ripley back in the late 1990's I've seen them play live many times and evolve over the years. Recently, something about hearing the song "Superpowers" from their album The Earth The Moon The Stars The Sun The Sky sparked a hint of an idea in my brain. I began digging through all my old graphic works - and quite extensive they are, several books worth at least - and felt like there was potential to make something out of it all. This was one of those projects that came together rather quickly.  Once I had the idea in my head, I ran with it. The finished work is the video above.

It's not a narrative of one of the graphic stories, rather an artistic reinterpretation using various parts of different comix. Yes, it is a departure from the work most people are familiar with. No rabbits! And yes, it is a bit dark. But it's still very much my art, and the short video represents literally years of my artistic life.

Will the old graphic novels ever be printed? The answer is a definite maybe. I still have about a hundred pages to digitally scan, process and get print worthy, and not much time to do it with all the other projects I am continually working on (like the newly finished Bluedgorsoe tarot for example). But it just might be time to make it happen.

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