This is absolutely true. Forget hierarchy, cliquishness, stepping on each faces with big hard foul-smelling boots to get to the top and reach the prize.... Graphic novelists are the nicest bunch of people you could ever get together in one room. Park geeks, part homebodies, brilliantly gifted and wholly skilled, I count myself extremely lucky to be lurking somewhere on their fringes as 'just a writer'.
As just a writer, I need these incredible people to realise the tales I write, and complete the telling of them. So I talked to them about HOAX, about the poem, the graphic short story, the musical stage performance, the graphic novel, my brother, about the journey as a whole.... And the support that this wonderful community has shown me has been heartwarming.
Bryan Talbot, Rian Hughes, Mark Stafford, Hannah Berry...
"This looks really exciting! The music is so beautiful and sad. I'm really up for cross art-form collaboration plus I am a massive Mark Stafford fan. He's an incredibly unsung artist and an amazing storyteller/writer too. So yes - count me in. This looks set to be both moving and ground breaking. I tend to use shorter stories to try out more experimental styles (collage/sculpture/paper cut-out) but of course this will depend on the poem I get. Thanks again for thinking of me! xx"
and Julian Hanshaw:
"Straight off the bat, it sounds a wonderful project. I also love that the graphic novel/comic/sequential art (whatever it is this week we are calling it!) medium is breaking out of purely the bookshelf. I did a project last year, that will be installed in the spring, where I took 5 local aural histories: including a life boat disaster and the last letter home from a bomber pilot, and created 2-page comic spreads that have been printed onto ceramic tiles and will be installed on or as near the scene of the incident along the coast line where I live. Comics outdoors. Huzzah. I am deeply flattered to be considered as part of your 'Dream Team' and would be overjoyed to be part of the project. Count me in."
All on board. All offering their energy, calibre and care to the project.
I’ve still a few more illustrators to put in place, but for now I'll enjoy the thought of writing scripts for these particular, and particularly mindblowing talents right here: playing to their individual styles and strengths whilst also trying to push them just a little bit out of their comfort zone. It's what I love to do.