Well it has begun.
After umm-ing and ah-ing for some time I've finally begun composing and pulling together my comicified autobiography.
And it is so hard to do.
It isn't the memory challenge nor the research -- it's what to keep in and what to edit out. How to tell a story -- my story -- with all the boring bits deleted.
The other task is to decide on who to tell it to: to whom dust thou speaketh?
That helps heaps. It's the voice thing, you see. I'm telling my story to whoever. So I decided it would be addressed sotto voce to my kids.
I don't need self justification passages. But I need to reference the times. And I need a consistent coherent narrative that would serve anyone doing, say, an eulogy.
There's a thought: hand out a comic book at the funeral! Deceased limited edition. Maybe that's a business niche I can look at exploring:FunCom:Comics for Funerals:Death Comics
The irony is that en route I've discovered many stories, most of which I have to bypass. It figures I guess given the amount of time involved in living a life in past tense.
The way I see it I'm a monologuist and mine is a one man show. Friends, associates, partners and the like are gonna be second fiddle fodder and most won't crack a mention for the simple reason that I'm the only one that would care about them.
I am also the only one 'performing' so I have to do all the characters.
That surely makes the story egocentric, but then that's how we think back in time isn't it? We are always the star of our own show.
...and always on stage, like Mr Punch.
When I began this I thought it would be short and sharp to-the-point comic making but as I map out my composition I realize that this is a much bigger project than I had initially expected. I've worked out all the chapters but nonetheless see that these segments will take many strips to fill up.
I either do it that way -- chronologically -- or fall back on discursive anecdotes in the mode of American Splendour. Maybe once I've done it this way -- got it out of my system and learnt some new graphic tricks en route -- I can go back to particular times and places and explore the context from the POV of a more relaxed story telling with different audiences in mind.
But then I'd be a forever writing my own life story and anchored in a sort of time travel realism.
I'm not so keen on that....
But I wanted to do this, and it's too late now to turn back.
So warts and all, here I come. Blame Harvey Pekar.
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