Working on a Graphic Novel in isolation is lonely…at least for me.
In the northern winter of 2020/2021, I created a webcomic and I discovered I enjoyed the mode of sharing my storytelling even as I created it. That webcomic came from family research that had been like a small creek. It soon joined another wider stream of work, including a family gathering and the connecting of family and place. By that time, I had begun to write this story.
Sharing the workings of the project, online with friends is also a way to get their feedback. This will become a published story in book format and the story requires their input. I have them in my mind as I write and draw. So I want it to speak clearly, from me to them.
Writing for Many People
One of the challenges and beauties of my community and friendships is that we speak many languages and inhabit many cultures. We see things in different ways. We are scientists and artists, programmers and business people, doctors and teachers, homemakers, parents, children, and carers. We are children, youthful, middle-aged, and we are elderly.
Word and Image
A graphic novel for me is a work of art, where story, text, and image converge, like three strands of a plait, woven together into a fine and beautiful rope. Getting it right will be impossible because there are many forms of “right”! But at least, I can see how my work makes sense or doesn’t. Where ambiguity is beautiful and where it is frustrating. Where a word needs explaining, or doesn’t, where noise and complexity are necessary and when there needs to be simplicity and calm. This is the process, the joy, and the challenge of art making.
NB. Images are not in webcomic format i.e. they aren’t in a long format for scrolling on your phone (as I did in my last webcomic). I won’t apologise for this – I am designing for a book and for images to be taken in slowly, not for a quick hit on a phone!
Talk to me about this project here: Instagram @emmalouisepratt_ or emma[@]emmapratt.com