Though artists will often portray themselves in their works (indeed memoirs are some of the most successful graphic novels), I’ve always made a conscious decision not to do so, even when a story has come from autobiographical beginnings.
With HOAX it was different, because the story is not about me but about my brother and the difficulties he faced with schizophrenia that ultimately led to his death. And so focused was I on Rob and his life, that when I was writing the graphic novel scripts I didn’t really think too much about the fact that I was present in the memories too.
Recently we’ve started receiving second-stage roughs from some of the illustrators, including some pages from our international contributor Leonardo M. Giron. I was fully expecting Leonardo’s work to be incredible, and it is. However I wasn’t expecting the suckerpunch that came too, when I looked down onto such clear depictions of me and my brother during those difficult years.
I should have expected it – I’ve worked with Leonardo before and his readings of my scripts are so good they border on the supernatural. But it was still a very strange sensation.