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Thursday, 14 June 2012

The Waiting Room

A mysterious tale set in the world between worlds

This story was conceived as comic strip about the space between fairy tales. What do the characters in the Grimmiverse do when they're not appearing in the stories?

I have often had corridors in my imaginary world; dreams & previous sketches, & I guess it represents the liminal space between the normal and the supernormal.

The characters I use are the wolf, the prince & the dwarf. there should be a cat around there somewhere too, but as usual, nowhere to be seen when you want her :)

I originally had the wolf as a upperclass type, but I chose to make all the characters 'real' personae to be diametrically opposite their normal, story-bound ones. This was weirdly inspired by Pam ST Clement's off screen behaviour being so juxtaposed with Pat Butcher's. Pam is terribly plummy compared to the brash Pat!

Thus, coupled with inspiration fro Alice Guile & the Why REVOLTION lead to wolfie becoming a peaceloving hipppy (like yours truly!), the dwarf getting some super long legs and the prince wearing a baseball cap and readin the Sun ;)

Early on I decided that I wanted to have the opening sequence in simple 1-panel frames, then have a larger picture as the 'reveal' pane.

I struggled to work out how to go from a 1-dimensional strip (echoing newspaper strips like dilbert, providing more mystery & claustrophobia) to a larger more complex image (necessitated by the intricacy of the image vs the skill of me as a linocutter!).

I was given a box of random art supplies by my friend Kia, amongst which I found an expanding map of Dublin (which opened out of an a6 booklet into a a4ish map using origami-esque folding).


Then followed a protracted period of distraction, after which I used the studio of pro lino cutter Louise Summers, spent a lot of time swearing and making a mess, after which I had 6 frames and the reveal panel.

I then joined the Oxford Printmakers Collective and hurriedly made a cover/title frame and 2 interstitial frames (one of which, I admit, is pointless) leading to the opening of the door to ...

The Waiting Room

I found it really hard to decide what to do next in the story. the reveal panel didn't have a message (I was hoping to get this text from visitors to the Work in Progress_ exhibition at OCVC Banbury).

Originally the right hand empty panel space was going to contain a poster of a frog + kiss = the prince symbol (you know, the doves cry guy). However, I didn't think enough people would get it, and I wanted to have something more pertinant to the fairy tale world up there.

I toyed with the idea of putting the flashing alert board for the charcters when they're called into the next scene in their story, but a grid of tiny icons was beyond me.

Oh, just had a thought, I've got two other linocuts which I used as info cards for the show... I'm going to try to add those to the image, cheating with GIMP ;)

BTW, faintly you might be able to read the weirdly unnerving phrase "would anyone like a nice cup of tea"

I ended up giving this prototype version to my mother for her birthday - so I used that as an excuse to challk out the printed black bubbl;e and poster space and add the HAPPY BIRTHDAY phrase, which actually makes sense in the context (although I know wish I'd put SURPRISE!)

In terms of continuing the story, I wanted to open it up to suggestions, maybe make a non-linear narrative. My beautiful gf (o 4 a term that really sums up our status!) Martine Votvik drew these gorgeously sinuous addenda, which I now see could be part of a story about a surprise party.

Martine's provided a great punchline to this tail (ahem, tale), what other tails, endings or continuations can YOU think of?

Props 2: The wood between the worlds (cs lewis) the bookworld (jasper fforde)

The Waiting Room, a set on Flickr.

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