call to artists::two

As the ongoing project continues, I present the next instalment. The artwork is by Hector Menendez, who contacted me on that original post. While the first one of these I did was for a single image, this is for a series that I found amongst his drawings, which are what he recommended I use.

Anyrate, rather than go on and on, I’ll just post it here.

 

***

I’ve been dying to reach you. I’ve been ripping through Time to see you. I’ve been hoping to escape me.

I was born in a grey world, but I dreamt of color. Always dreaming of color. But for then, it was only grey. Always grey. I stared at my grey hands and my grey skin, looked at my greyself in the mirror, and saw a world of only grey.

And then: light! Glorious light! The wide spectrum of colors. A crack in the sky falling down. I reached out and touched the edge of existence and heard a voice

come to me

run to me

They were tears that ran down my face and when I wiped them away, my skin stained black. Black! So glorious to be black and not grey!

The colors bled and I washed my hands in tears, in black. But then the crack, it closed. No, I screamed. No, no no no no! Leaning against the world’s end, I wept and the tears were all grey.

Years went by and I heard your voice. I heard it in the cracks of Time and space. I heard it and I followed, washing myself in color. Always black, but I dreamt of others. Other colors in that prism of light ripping through the edge.

And then, today, I saw the hole opened, your voice whispering through, and I punched my fist through.

hector_menendez1

And now I’m here, in a world of color. Naked, running. Running through dirt and grass, running with lungs full of color and air and light, running and running and running.

hector_menendez2Time slows and the running stops. Tactile, the air, the land, the sea, and even the sky. I touched the sky and drank in its color. A myriad of hues blotching my skin. The sun, it stains me and the black is no longer a stain but the color of my skin. I found color and in that color I find blackness.

Years progress. I meet others, but none of them you. The whisper of your voice disappears and I search for it still. I wonder and fear that the voice only brought me here, to be alive in color. I suffered in the land of grey. I suffered because I walked alone, black through the grey. The grey lives in that grey world learnt to hate me, to fear me. And so I searched for you, but what if you were never real? Just the call, and now I’m here, black in this land of color, and I stare at the clouds, waiting for the sky to open again. But there’s no edge here. No stop to Time and space. I find nowhere that the world ends, not like the world of grey. No cracks or holes, but they must be somewhere.

I stare so long at the sky that my eyes turn blue and my pupils turn to clouds. In the mirror I find color and in my face I see that sky stained upon me.

But now, I walk alone in this land of color. Black but they’re not. Sky, but they’re earth. I came here for you but have lost myself somewhere in between.

Years go by and I lay down roots. I become a human of color, of blackness in this world of white humans. In this world of white, I find companions but they find me insane and know nothing of cracks in the universe or ways to move past them.

I leave humanity behind and search only for sky and sea. I find belonging here amongst the edges. The edge of land and air, of land and sea. Swimming through the deep, the clear and beautiful, the serene, and there I hear your voice.

I slip.

When I close my eyes, I slip through different lives and when I emerge from the deeps the memories flood my brain, expanding it. I stare at my hands, at the blackness of my skin, but when I close my eyes the skins turn and change. Reds and yellows and greens and blues, I take on the colors of other realities.

And it splits my self open.

hector_menendez3

Running. I’m running again, but now the realities and colors swirl through and around me. Rainbowed, I slide through existences and my skull begins to crack, to split.

My arms extend and spread. My fingers splayed in color transform and the skin breaks in many hues. The bones break, shift, become new, and wings sprout from the joints and my muscles and old bones dislodge, fall away, my skin flickering across the spectrum. My skull cracks open and I bloom through, and I see your voice calling, and I see your face smiling, and all the realities I bounce through converge.

I swim into you.

I found you.

the journey for graphic novelisation: a call to artists

Eddy Book cover full

As some of you know, I’ve been trying to make a graphic novel for a few years. Three, actually. I’ve written two, that are now unpublishable, except ¬†through me doing it privately, and for free. I’ve talked about this before. Many times. I made one graphic novel for the lovely Chelsea’s birthday last year using photography from Natsumi Hayashi. I made another one that’s much more dark and surreal using the photography of Kyle Thompson. In the first case, I was unable to get in contact with Natsumi Hayashi, presumably because I’m sort of no one, and she has an agent, and she’s Japanese. I think it’s mostly the Japanese thing, really, since I can’t get in communication with her. The second, Kyle Thompson, I contacted him about the project when I finished it and asked what he thought. He liked the idea but said he’s currently in making his own artbook, so he doesn’t want photographs he’ll be using seen in a different context. Oh, it should be noted, that I approached them both with fully finished products. I thought this would be better because it would show them that they needn’t do any work for this book to be made. They’d just need to give me permission.

It’s been sort of disheartening, to write two books that you’re pretty happy with knowing they’ll never see the light of day. Or maybe they will, when I’m famous and people want all the nonsense I’ve ever written, and people will pour through the archive of this site for all the random things I’ve written here about so many stupid things. Hopefully they’ll linger on the pretty things.

Anyrate. It’s been disappointing. I’ve been unable to get an artist attached to doing a project with me, either. Which is understandable, since producing original pieces of art is considerably more time consuming for them than it is for me to write 10 to 1,000 words in response to it. I should maybe say here that the first one I wrote with Miss Hayashi’s images is about 7,500 words and uses about 30 images. The one with Mr Thompson’s work is about 7,000 words and uses almost 100 images.

See, the idea, for me, is to write a book using text and images, but not really in the way a graphic novel is traditionally thought about. I don’t want tiles with a few words per picture. I want full page pictures on one page, and then text on the next page. So we have image on the left page, text on the right, and you view both of these at the same time. In many ways, I want it to be a showcase for the artist more than a novel by me. We’d be co-authors, of course, but I want the final product to be a book you can sell at your gallery opening. The images are there, and then, if you care, there’s also a narrative that goes with them. It’s a coffeetable book with hopefully a little more to offer, even if only a handful of people will read the text from beginning to end.

So why make this post? Well, I’d like to open it up to the world at large. Or, at least, the people who follow this blog. But what I want to do is make a graphic novel in any way I can, which, I think, right now might be easiest by opening it up to anyone willing to draw or paint or photograph an image.

That means you. Any of you reading this. Send me a picture. Any picture, as long as it’s by you, or taken by you, or whatever. It needn’t be of a figure or anything like that. It can be a photograph of a place, an abstract image of a feeling or sensation or memory, or even a tree monster sprouting babies from its limbs. Give me whatever you want or have, and I’ll write something specifically for you about the image, or in response to it. Then I’ll send it back to you and we can sing and dance.

Or, if you’re reading this and want to do a full book with me, please contact me as soon as you can! I would absolutely love to work with you, whoever you are.

But, yes, that’s my pitch of the day. Either write a comment below, send me a message on facebook, tweet at me, or whatever. If you’re really looking to get fancy, send me an email at ejrathke at gmail. Oh, also, if you want to see the graphic novels I mentioned above to get an idea of what I’m looking for, or at least what I’ve done before [I’m not looking to repeat what I did with them, but it should show you how I work on this sort of thing], feel free to contact me however you can.

I look forward to working with you. And if you know someone else who might be interested, share this with them. Hopefully I can get something going soon.