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July 18, 2011

True Confessions

from the desk of Carla Jablonski


I have always been a voracious reader. I vividly -- and viscerally -- recall the victory of recognizing “the,” “who,” and “and” in Horton Hears A Who. (Hey, you gotta start somewhere!). But I stopped reading comics when I started spending my allowance on eye shadow and lip gloss instead of Betty and Veronica on the way home from school. That changed when I was asked to write novelizations of Neil Gaiman’s Books of Magic series; to turn comics into novels for young adult readers. As with most of my projects I started with research. First on the Gaiman oevure, and then on comics in general. I was plunged into a far more intriguing world than the one I had left, one that wasn’t limited to superhero stories or assumed the readers were boys.

Soon the playwright in me (I’ve had a number of plays produced) began analyzing comics in terms of story-through-dialogue and gesture. Through what is conveyed by the stage (or page) picture so that text isn’t required. I stepped up my education, and that voracious reader got fed a steady diet of a wildly different comics and graphic novels. When it looked like Resistance was going to be a “go” I even took a drawing class -- not because I thought I’d be able to draw the story myself (I’m no fool), but to train myself to think more visually.  

Now I’m hooked. As a reader and a writer. And now when I have a new idea I have to not just figure out if it’s a prose piece or a play, I also have to decide if the story would be better served as a graphic novel. Which I have to confess is a really exciting problem to have.  

Defiance, the next volume in the Resistance trilogy, comes out tomorow.


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