The above probably requires some explanation. Today, I’ve been trying to write something for Commando, which, according to the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook accepts “Fictional stories set in time of war told in pictures. Scripts: about 135 pictures. New writers encouraged. Payment: on acceptance.”
Well, this was the first of my 135 pictures. I didn’t want to peak too early, and it seems that I haven’t. That said, I’m relatively happy with it, as an opener. My story is set in the Pacific by the way, probably in 1944. I know, heavy. The only slight problem I have with the picture is that one of my palm trees looks a bit like a carrot and is suspended in mid-air. But it was the Pacific, in (probably) 1944, a heady time. Oh, and one of my birds is blue which was sort of accidental but I’m hoping that the editor of Commando will think it’s a parrot.
Meet John, my main character. Now, I’m not at all happy with John. For a start he’s very small and despite my best efforts, I’ve been unable to make him bigger. John was supposed to be a grizzled marine who had been stuck out in the goddamn Pacific for too many goddamn years. This was going to be his last tour and I was going to have John get up to all kinds of business. Oh, the plans I had for John. But look at him. I know, it’s dreadful. John doesn’t look at all like a grizzled marine. At best, he looks like a kind of drag queen ghost thing. He does have piercing blue eyes, granted, but otherwise John hasn’t got a lot going for him; certainly not enough to sustain him over another 133 pictures.
So fuck John. Besides, as I was midway through drawing John I realized that the people behind Commando would probably be more interested in the British side of the war and they wouldn’t readily accept stories with the likes of John in them. Plus, I had painstakingly drawn John in oils, not my preferred medium.
Still, I persevered:
Meet Terence. Terence is a courageous, debonair flying ace. Those red bits on his cheeks are supposed to signify vitality and good health; he hasn’t been shot in the face. But to be frank, I’m not that happy with Terence either. In fact, I’m not that happy with this whole business. Just what the hell am I playing at? The above has taken me hours. Hours. And looking back over my artwork, I realize that perhaps I’m not cut out to write a 135 picture series for Commando. Which is a shame.
A shame, but bearable. What is less bearable, perhaps, is that I spent the morning writing a 1500 word feature about Pitching the World and having revisited some of my efforts over the last year and a half – as I have had to do – it appears that I’m not really cut out to complete this project either.
The weekend is going to be a thinker.
Thanks for all the love.