In The Beginning...

This strip was an created merely as an exercise in that I did not write a script beforehand. I wrote it with pictures, just letting visual ideas take their own course, spinning off laterally, literally, associatively, metaphorically and nonsensically. By not having any story in place to start with - that is, no beginning, middle and end, I was at liberty to allow this story to go wherever it wanted. There was also the risk that it would go nowhere, as previous experiments to do the same have done.

It was intriguing that the chaotic first few pages with their plethora of symbols, quotes, clichés and text-as-image soon settled into a story about a priest who no longer believed, and the path by which he came to that point. The last four pages in particular are very dense, containing five tiers of panels that would have been better spread out over twice as many pages, so if I reprint it, I may well lay it out that way. It was also interesting to note how the influence of producing The Sacrifice, and then researching and writing The Fight in its original form, shaped my storytelling with its historical setting in the 1950s and 1960s. 

This creative methodology is one I find myself using more often, especially with short comics, but also opening me to considerable improvisation with my long works. That entails more risk, but also lends freshness, so it is a battle to keep it under control and still aim to an end. As it is, I am very attracted to comics using images that say a lot via the use of symbols, metaphors, clichés, text-as-image and forcing the reader to work harder to decipher the content, even if they don't get it all. The reader always completes the work, bringing to it themselves, so in that sense, I give them more or less to play with. They will either like it or not, which is not something I can control. 

 


Type: Short Story