A Graphic Novel on #Bones – I Did It

In my head was this story of disappointment brooding for days. I wanted to write it down to get it out of my system. (By the clever use of the past tense you can hopefully tell that there is a ‘but’ in the air. It just takes some extra circles as I am not completely over the pre-but stage.)

Well, you know these childhood ideas that never quite go away? One of mine was to draw my own animated movie or at least a comic. When I was in my early teens I even sat down and worked on Rumpelstiltskin. However, you can’t imagine how much work it is and how hard it and how frustrated with yourself and your hands and the paper and the pen and the characters you can get and anyways. – I did it now and went all the way.

I had my play date with the characters of Bones already during Bones Goes Pop and knew I could make them do what I wanted. I had the storyline in my mind. And I felt I was ready for the challenge of taking the stylistic devices a graphic novel offers, the feel of a given set of symbols (what characters of a popular TV series really are) and my signature touch and mix it to something great.

  

It took me six weeks from the first line sketched out to the finished product – give or take a couple of days. Then I scanned and printed the pages, glued and sewed them to a booklet, put it in an envelope and shipped it to the series creator, producers, cast and crew in Hollywood. Why? Because it is awesome. Because I am a fan and this is my way of squeeing. Because I had seen Hart Hanson and other members of crew and cast appreciative of gifts. And most importantly perhaps – after the awesome fact of course – he and Dean Lopata had voluntarily and unexpectedly praised my art, retweeted even one sneak peek from the comic and follow me. I didn’t feel like I owned them something, more like they would like it.

So, I sent it off. In the days that followed I couldn’t think one coherent thought or sleep right. Once my tracking number told me that it arrived at the FOX lot a week later I became inseparable from my laptop. I switched constantly between Twitter and my email account and wore out the refresh button. It’s hard to get anything done when you are this occupied, believe me. That’s two weeks ago now to the day and nothing. Even though I gathered the courage and asked I still haven’t note that it reached their desks or anything. My excitement turned in disappointment.

BUT (I told you it would come and here it landed) when I thought about how to phrase this so I sound neither ridiculous nor bitter I realized that the most important thing of this story is that I created another piece of beautiful art telling a whole and important story and while doing so fulfilled a childhood dream. It would be amazing to find recognition through it and get another step ahead on my path. Yet, I DID IT.

Yep, I will show you what I talked about – soon, very soon. Hopefully on or around Halloween what coincidences with my birthday and hopefully connected with another donation rally in collaboration with Project Bones. So, stay tuned and be prepared for 36 pages that will blow you away.

A Tale of a Threshold Dweller

Long before I was born the world fell into darkness. It all started with the age of Enlightenment. Peoples awoke. Nations were born. The brains were freed from any chains they might have been bound with. They took their battles into every arena. And it was war.

People were caught in the middle of it. One young couple here. Their families had gathered over time a small fortune with their own hands work. Windows and doors, stairs and roofs – it was spread out in proud display over their city. Their houses, their city, their country, their nation, what could be better in the world? And shouldn’t the best rule the world just as the strongest rules in nature?

Same country, other places, other families there. Two families to be more precise, who had a lot in common though the distance between them prevented them from knowing of each other. Both families have children. They speak the same language like the young couple. Their dads fought in the same war – the one before this – on the same side like the dads of the young couple. They all belong to the same proud nation, or so you should think.

But no. Suddenly it matters that the kids’ moms pray to the same God in a different manner, the way their forefathers did. If they pray at all, since all of the aforementioned were never known to be awfully religious. Yet, is this really just a different religion or a different nation. And if it is a different nation, how could the members thereof ever feel loyal to the one, the best nation and not strive to destroy it?

*******

The weapons fell silent. Bombs had enlightened in some horrible nights the sky over the young couple’s city. This light might have even darkened the darkness in the young couple’s heart and mind as it heavily damaged their pride. Their wealth lay in ashes. Yet, they survived the western front and the fire and in the chaos they started to become a family.

The kids survived. Their families too. Mainly unharmed, but not untouched by what had happened. So a boy from the one family and a girl from the other went out into the world to help build the home of the nation they were told they belonged.

And then they returned as a couple with children to the nation they were born in and that was now split by a wall and guns and more enlightened ideas from completely unchained brains in constant competition. The returning couple choose their side – no, not by ideology, but as a case of family matters. They ended up behind the Wall just like the other couple with their children. They were in the same state again, speaking the same language, nominally standing on the same side. But what would be the chances that they would get along if they ever met?

Their kids fell in love. The one a young soldier, the other on a summer job in a summer camp, they were paired up by their best friends so that the later could spend some private moments alone. The unlikely match-up worked. And the time of my birth should come.

*******

The world I was born in wasn’t mine. It was populated by people, what is a scary thing. I struggled to understand. And the world got topsy-turvy. And it was still not mine. And I travelled and I moved and I observed and I studied – people. I am never a match, never a complete stranger, but always a stranger between the worlds. I am me. I am unique. What do you expect, as this is my story?

Identity (poem)

If I started to forget who I was now, anyway
I would still be better than I am today.
Because I knew.
What?
That life hands you not only limes to make lemonade from them.
No, it yields as well an assembly of odd threads to you
so you get knitting.
It’s to become a unique pattern,
a thrilling, intricate, awesome storyline.
If I want it to be,
because it is my identity.

Where do I go from here?

What’s important to know before one can decide, where to go, is: Where am I at present. I am not speaking location. Even for a person with as bad orientation skills as mine this should be easy to determine. I look at this question more philosophically or psychologically? Where am I right now in my personal development?

I try to assert this by looking at prevalent emotions, questions and thoughts on the one hand and chosen idols at the other. I try to work out, what it is that makes the issue or character/person important to me right now.

Practically, that means I create 8 to 10 pictures evenly split between the two groups. I’ll deal with identity, being a stranger between worlds, yearning, and fear for the introspective side. I’ve decided to feature Angel, Spike, Dr. House, Sivah (NCIS), and Pink as the idols. The pictures will include poems or quotes, either written by me or belonging to the character.

That I chose mostly artificial characters from pop culture only has several reasons. Sure, I like each and every one of them. They accompanied me through the last year. And there are aspects about them, how they act and what they stand for, I can relate to or would like to incorporate into my life as well.

Yet on the other hand, like with most things in modern pop culture the decision to choose these kind of idols contains a danger. The characters are larger than life. They showcase a perfection in what they do that is beyond nature. Striving to become what they are becomes therefore an impossible task and might scare and inhibit you.

In the end however, these characters are created to be role models. They are sold to the public as what normality should look like and mingled into the mix of reality shows, real life news and social networks that blur the lines between reality and fantasy. It’s something I criticize but can’t elude from either.

This part leads me to a conclusive element in the art project. It will include only two pieces: a painted on sculpture/ piece of furniture to represent the reflection, and a collage of a blurred photo of my head hidden behind a painting of a peacock’s tail or just one feather. Peacock’s tail is the name of the final moment of the black phase of alchemy.

Psychologically speaking, during the black phase called nigredo you take your problems, strip them of everything superfluous and burn them down to the core. It’s hard work, very depressing stuff and therefore pure blackness. But once you get closer to the essence of your problems the blackness is brightened by all kind of colors the like you can find in a peacock’s tail.

These can be either illusions that your mind creates to escape the desperation of reality. They have the nasty habit of distracting you from your goal of getting to the core of your problems. If they succeed you loose and you are thrown back into the darkness of Nigredo (black as the added value of all colors when you talk e.g. painting).

But they can be as well created through alterations of you consciousness by real insight from you efforts. You have managed to get to the core of your problems and therefore you look at the world now with different eyes. You can deal and cope what makes the world seem brighter. You reached Albedo, the white phase (white as the added value of all colors when you talk light).

Peacock’s tail is neither black nor white but colorful like the spectrum. That’s there I see me right now. And so the outlook into the future is still open – either/or. So, in the end of the project I want to create a video installation meant for a black and a white room representing the core elements of Nigredo and Albedo. Though I have a firm idea of how the video for Nigredo is suppose to look like, I have even less of an idea yet, how to realize it, than with the sculpture part. But hey, I am teachable and maybe I even have friends with skills.

Stranger Between Worlds

Drawn by the music to sway in the rhythm, desperately waiting for the bite.
Gravitated to the reclusiveness of the night.
Desert, city, anything in between.
I am late – always; constantly ahead of my time.
Yet never there.
Given: I am the impossible paradox,
the spring that came after autumn equinox.
Residing on thresholds,
I am the stranger between worlds.