by anders pearson Thu 25 Oct 2007 00:55:38

At some point a while back, my little meditational abstract doodles started occasionally getting boxes around them. When there were several of those on a page, I noticed that they sort of resembled the panel layout of a comic. I kind of liked that so I experimented more in that direction, playing with deliberate panel layouts and borrowing from the vocabulary of comics and sequential art while keeping my subject matter abstract. Now I've got a fairly large collection of these abstract comics and it's a style that I think is still interesting and rich for experimentation.

Lately I've found myself in several conversations with friends about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The executive summary if you're too lazy to click the link and aren't familiar with it: you give yourself the month of November (30 days) to write a 50,000 word novel. It doesn't have to be good or make much sense or anything, it just has to be started and finished within the month. I've always thought it was a cool idea. A bunch of my friends have attempted and at least one has even successfully completed a NaNoWriMo.

As a writer, I'm not really interested in writing fiction so it isn't something I'd be up for myself. The idea continues to intrigue me though so I've decided that this year I want to try to do an abstract graphic novel NaNoWriMo style. A "NaGraNoWriMo" I guess (calling it a "NaAbsGraNoWriMo" would just be taking it too far.)

Obviously, I can't use word count as a metric for my graphic novel. Laying out, drawing and inking a full page of panels I've found takes me about three to four hours with the level of detail that my style involves. The notion of "a picture is worth a thousand words" I think actually works out pretty well for my purposes. 50,000 words = 50 pages = 1.67 pages per day = about 6 hours per day of me drawing for 30 days. I think that's a similar magnitude of challenge to what other NaNoWriMo writers are attempting.

That's the goal, anyway. I've got a lot of other things going on in November so it's not going to be easy to find all that time. I'll try to post the pages to flickr as I go, but scanning and posting takes time that I could be drawing so that will be a lower priority than finishing.

If you don't see me outside my apartment or hear from me next month, now you'll know why.

[Yes, I know that someone else has used the term "NaGraNoWriMo" for something similar. Their approach was to write a "script" for a 175 page graphic novel. I honestly don't know quite what a script for a graphic novel is but I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't work for an abstract one. I like my idea better.]

TAGS: art nanowrimo book shameless self-promotion comics graphic novel


This is a good idea. I think I may do the same, and since I just recently aquired a scanner from the dumpster, it's the perfect time.

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