Hi ya! I'm all cheery today because the sun is out... Wait a minute - it's just gone in again... Damn - here comes a nosedive! Right, before I suffer one of my famed mental collapses I'm going to share with you what I have been up to of late. It is probably easier if I show you, but what it comes down to is manipulating, modifying and utilising a series of images my graphics-orientated collaborator Angela Fox (link over in the right hand sidebar) came up with quite some time ago inspired by my third book in the INSTITUTIONALISED series: A Continuum of Discipline. The idea had originally been for an illustrated version or even graphic novel, though that was before it bloomed into 250,000 words of course! But in some ways I can blame (if blame is the right word) the artwork for the expansion of the storyline, since each and every picture - though not necessarily perfect in terms of the idea I was trying to put over at the time (especially if not perfect )- more often than not triggered a whole cascade of new ideas, which in turn at times spawned yet more images. And the series I have been working on this week is a case in point.
The series starts with all those familiar elements, the straitjacket, the uniformed nurse and the nurse, governess or wardress's thin, whippy punishment cane close to hand. But in its modest little way the series seeks to go further - and in attempting that I think it well illustrates something of my approach and the different elements I seek to incorporate within my writing. In this case the story is caught in the act of developing beyond the usual accepted concept of straitjacket bondage within the context of institutionalised corporal punishment and discipline. For example, as the scene develops it gradually becomes clear that it is actually the humble window (which has taken me the best part of a day to get right, in its various incarnations incidentally) which is destined to take centre stage, upstaging the straitjacket, the uniformed nurse with her cane, the padded cell per se and the rest. But, you see, this was not necessarily the case at the outset when the original image was conceived (based on a moment in one of my books) but it is nevertheless the direction towards which the imagery has since propelled me; that was the way it worked, and still works. I am absolutely knackered and even these few images still need a lot of work - especially when it comes to the speech balloons, which have proved cumbersome, ugly and difficult to work with.
One glaring error can be seen in the very first frame. In subsequent frames I have adopted a convention of rendering the nurse's speech in white to help differentiate it, but have neglected to make the appropriate changes in that first frame - damn!
Anyway, Needless to say I'm laying these out to dry here to garner comments, tips, criticisms and ideas. So don't be shy, get writing / emailing!
But, hey; I am happy... I think...Hang on though; the sun's gone in again..........