For this class we were given a choice of either rewriting the Gift of the Magi or one of our own flash fictions into either a screenplay or a comic. I chose to rewrite my flash fiction, Julie, into a comic. Julie was originally a very short piece about a character named John who lost his wife (Julie) and couldn’t move on. He went back to the woods where she disappeared and came across the monster that snatched his wife, ultimately he fell to the same fate.
What was tricky about this piece was keeping it short and writing about a creature which is generally taboo to talk about. I tried to shroud the whole thing in mystery and you either got it or you didn’t get it. Which, I learned, most of my classmates didn’t. I made the mistake of assuming most would piece together the clues and figure it out. It’s a regional monster that is out of Native American lore, and while lots of people where I’m from are familiar with them, I didn’t stop to think that people from other parts of the country and or world might not be and just assumed it was a popular (although taboo) monster all over.
With rewriting the piece into a comic, albeit an eight page one, I was able to expand on the story and the monster. I expanded on backstory, showing how Julie went missing and the state of John’s mind since his wife left. I also added in a side character to help move the story along, give John someone to talk to, and to provide some foreshadowing. I was also able to expand on John’s confrontation with the monster, though he ultimately met the same fate. This comic adaptation had it’s pros and cons too. I now knew I had to actually explain what the monster was, but I wanted to do it in such a way that still provided some mystery and would not be deemed offensive since, as mentioned, it is taboo. I made the secondary character, Ted, Native American as a clue, I also allowed him to piece the signs together and at the very end (reluctantly) name the beast (ultimately too late).
I think writing a spec script for a comic was really fun. I’ve always played around with the idea of wanting to make comics, though I’m not an amazing artist. This gave me a taste of what it would be like to do the writing for one. I enjoy writing novels and short stories so writing for a comic meshed with my goals as a writer very well. Most of our courses focus on writing screenplays and while I don’t mind those, they aren’t quite my focus. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this comic spec script. I don’t think there are any current projects that I have that I would want to adapt into comic, but I’d love to keep exploring that side of writing.
In my free time, I’m slowly working on a novel and I’ve often thought about how cool it would be to also turn it into a graphic novel series (as well as a game… and a movie… and an anime), maybe I’ll keep playing with the idea of turning it into a graphic novel one day.