For a while now I have been vaguely contemplating adapting one of my specs into a graphic novel. I say “vaguely contemplating” in its loosest sense, pretty much the equivalent of a tortoise flirting with the idea of possibly entering the London Marathon before he gets too old. I’m not sure where the idea first came from, probably just evolved from countless industry-related stories absorbed over the years, certainly not born of any desire to emulate any graphic novels for the simple reason I’ve never owned or even read one* so I presume it’s just a case of head over heart.
I loved traditional comics as a boy and religiously read The Beano and The Dandy, along with some ancient Marvel and DC comics handed down from a family friend (which are still in my parent’s house… mmm, aren’t those things worth stupid amounts of money now?) but as I erupted into my teens and began devouring novels as fast as I could lay my hands on them, comics soon faded into the befuddled mist of childhood memory.
So, while attending the Selling To Hollywood panel discussion, it was with growing interest that I listened to Andy Briggs pushing the idea that graphic novels are definitely worth considering as a serious route to getting an original story picked up. It’s all well and good me thinking I already know that, but it’s an entirely different matter hearing someone enthusing about it as passionately as Andy. As I listened, my dormant vague contemplation rumbled slowly into life, like the stomach of that same tortoise awakening from hibernation, and it dawned on me that one of my specs not only fits Andy’s take on the current US market vogue for mega-bucks commercial projects, but also involves a character who could easily drive a graphic novel franchise. Cue light bulb moment...
I hung around after the panel discussion and hijacked Andy for a quick chat. He was very friendly and offered some great advice and support, after which, armed with my new and less vague plan of action, I trotted downstairs into the expanse of exhibitors to seek out the graphic novel stands and investigate what is it about these famed man-comics that makes so many go geek at the knees.
After walking around for what seemed an eternity and failing to find anything that remotely resembled a graphic novel, despite walking past all the graphic novel stands several times the previous day, I opted to repair to the bar (a decision made much easier as I was passing it for the third time) and there set about my newest plan of finding a map of the exhibitors arena. Armed with directions from the friendly French barman, and a nerve-steadying beer(s) coursing through my veins, I set off in hot pursuit of my destiny.
A surprising development of considering this specific story existing outside the screenplay format is that I now sense a growing exciting possibility that this thrilling spec script could also give birth to a fantastic novel sans drawings. A tingle and glow rears up at the bifurcation of the novel. The future might still be bright, but maybe not so glossy, with no drawings and lots of words instead.