Archive for February, 2011

How Things Are Going So Far

Posted in documentary, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 19, 2011 by applecorecomics

OOOoookay.  Sabbatical’s over.  Time to get REAL.

I think I did this panel pretty well.  It’s not finished.  There’s no background, I don’t like the font or the little marks signifying where the words will be.  But the character models, the composition.  I think it all works well.  The idea is to have 3 long panels going down the page in the “interview portion,” like this.  Then, there’s the “historical portion” (when a character talks about religious history) or just some different ways of illustrating what a character’s talking about in an interview.  These portions will be in 3 tall, vertical panels on the page.  That’s the basic idea for the whole layout.

Here’s a description I recently posted on the webzies:

It’s a documentary-style comic about religion in my town. I live in Spartanburg, SC and a friend of mine recently converted to Islam. It turns out we have a mosque, and after going there a couple of times I started looking around and finding some non-Christian places of worship tucked away out of sight. So I started trying to meet people who practice stuff like Buddhism and Wicca while simultaneously somehow living in the Bible Belt.

It’s been interesting. So far I’ve interviewed a Wiccan lesbian couple, a progressive liberal atheist who’s family goes way back to the first settlers around here or something (and they’re all hardcore Church of Christ people), a Muslim dude my age who’s also a doctor and has lived in the U.S. in the South most of his life, etc.

I’m not really trying to have a specific narrative per se, just presenting a side of the South that’s not seen much, I guess. It’s turning out to be more about me (a lot of documentaries turn out to be about the person making them, I think) in that I also grew up in the Church of Christ and only in the past few years became an atheist. I’m planning on having a part about Christianity as well, but it’s pretty much just going to be about myself and my family (my mother, who’s a devout Christian and also hardcore conservative Republican, doesn’t know I’m an atheist. But I do plan on interviewing her about Christianity and telling her. So that will probably be pretty dramatic).

I’m not doing it just for indie publisher fodder, but it does seem like a good idea to maybe get my foot in the door?

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Story and Art Copyright  2011 Kyle Draper

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‘Unicorns’ Update 2

Posted in documentary with tags , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2011 by applecorecomics

Very rough sketches.  I want a thick-lined, super mario-esque, Walt Holcombe style.  Here’s an example of Holcombe:

Right now I’m starting the long process of typing out the interview from the tape recorder.  I’d guess about 3 to 3 1/2 hours for one side of tape.  Then it’ll be time to edit and reorganize, then chop it down some more, then get some thumbnails for pages started, all while practicing with a brush (because this will be done mainly with a brush, which I’ve never used before).  I figure if I get the Wicca and Islam interviews illustrated along with some history behind them and some info about Spartanburg, tying them all together well, then I’ll have something I can send out to see if publishers are interested.

Art for ‘Unicorns’ Copyright  2011 Kyle Draper

Art for ‘Things Just Get Away from You” Copyright Walt Holcombe

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‘Unicorns’ Update

Posted in documentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2011 by applecorecomics

Islam interview:

 

I was pretty nervous going into this one.  Not for whom I was interviewing.  He’s a really cool, laid back dude.  I had just built this interview up in my mind quite a bit.  Some back-story for new readers: I’m researching and interviewing for a documentary graphic novel about religion in Spartanburg.  It’s split into Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Wicca.  Two months for each religion, give or take.  I’ve done the interviews for Wicca (though I’m hoping for some more developments in that area) and Saturday got the first one done for Islam.

The Islam interview has been gestating for some time.  I was a tad nervous about asking for it, because he’s the perfect dude for the job, and if he said no then I’d be back to square one.  But he didn’t.  And the interview went well!

I emailed him earlier this month asking for then interview.  Now, this guy’s a doctor and extremely busy (my age, by the way.  Makes me wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life) but said he had most weekends off this month.  So of course, this interview being important and me knowing the time was limited, I waited until the last possible second.  This past Friday.  Luckily he agreed to meet with me the next day.

I have nearly finished the “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam” but hadn’t read through the history of Islam yet.  I thought that subject might come up so I took the day off work and headed to the West side Library to read “Islam: A Short History” by Karen Armstrong (pretty good book).  After staying up half the night finishing it I typed up some questions and plugged the tape recorder’s rechargeable batteries in the wall (my normal interview routine).

We met at the Fuji at Westgate behind Hooters.  I don’t want to get into detailed information about the actual questions and answers.  Here’s some fun tidbits though.  When asked what my own religious affiliation was, I said I didn’t have one.  Now that’s not really a lie, since I don’t have a religious affiliation as an atheist.  I did feel bad when we got on the subject of atheism and he didn’t know I fell in that camp.  The reason I left that detail out is I wanted to save it for part 2.  This interview was more about his personal experiences growing up in the South as a Muslim.  Not so much about dogma and philosophies.  I have some pretty good questions concerning Islam and Atheism.  But I want to talk about them in the context of Islam’s beliefs and culture, more than his own personal opinion about it (because I’m fairly certain it would be the same as  a devoted Christian’s opinion).

Also I wanted to tread lightly because I knew there had to be at least one more get together with him.  Next time I won’t be as worried about whether or not he’ll want to talk to me again.  That sounds harsh, but in my opinion that’s the way you have to approach this.  Hmm, I wonder if there’s any chance he can find this article.  I think I have my website displayed at the bottom of my email.  I link to here from there.  Ah well, here’s hoping I haven’t written anything especially offensive.

Oh, and I heard some great stories and opinions about what it’s like being a doctor.  I honestly don’t know if he knew the tape recorder was on when he was complaining about patients.  It was though.  I’ve currently heard from two practitioners of medicine that the television show “Scrubs” is by far the most accurate portrayal of what working in a hospital is like.  If you’re a fan, that statement should fill you with nothing less than giddy glee.

All in all he was incredibly kind and humoring.  He told me some fantastic stories and gave me great insights and was indeed exactly who I was looking for.  Oh and he paid for lunch.

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