Since I heard that there was little to no chance of promotion in, basically, the foreseeable future, I've been working on my graphic novel. I suppose it was easy to get lazy when I thought there would be growth in other areas of my life. This week I've completed two new pages.
It's hard, though. It's autobiographical and it's going to deal with some sensitive subjects, things that I may have spoken about to close friends, may have written down privately at one point, but have never illustrated for a wider audience. I'm realizing this is going to require more bravery than I had considered.
I think about the best graphic novels I know, which are about the author: Blankets, Persepolis, Stitches. All required the writer to be honest, revealing and to share. If you're not willing to go down as deep as you need to, what is the point? The story I want to tell I've been bullied into not telling. Oh, I've talked about it with friends, but never in any kind of public way. And when you make art, it's public. Because I'd want people to read it, it's very public.
Living with someone's alcoholism is a painful experience, but a common one. It usually involves being coerced into secrecy. Even being free from the drunk in question, you still somehow feel bound by their rules.
Writing this novel feels like being naked.