Found, Not Finished


Hey, where you been?

The story of my life: finding my own unfinished works. 

The good news is that I found the sketchbook that I was looking for; the one with a half finished graphic novelette in it that I’d packed away in 2012 without giving it a second thought. It crossed my mind a few weeks ago when I was rifling through my memories in search of useful characters for a new story that I’m working on. 
Meet Lou:

Hi, Lou.

Lou owns a gas station in the middle of nowhere. I needed a character stationed in the middle of nowhere who could fix a flat tire, so I dredged Lou out of my memory and wrote him into the new story where he fit just about perfectly (the new story takes place in Colorado and Lou was originally from Wyoming, but… You know, details). In this new story, Lou was a minor character- walking on and walking off in a single chapter, but having brought him back to the surface of my mind I was suddenly overcome with the impulse re-read that unfinished story in which Lou was the hero. 
It was a week or two before I unearthed the box of old sketchbooks where the story lived, but I finally managed to haul it to the surface:

Yes, the last time I worked on this MySpace was still a thing.

The good news is: the work stands up pretty well to the test of time- I like how the story builds and the artwork still stands up in layout and execution. I only winced once or twice reading it, which for an artist is pretty good since we tend to be our own worst critic. The bad news is the story cuts out abruptly just as it is approaching the crisis. In other words, I’ve done all the heavy lifting of building a world and introducing characters then quit before actually telling a story. Worse still, I have only the faintest memory of where I was going with it. 

Thanks, Lou, you’re a mensch.

The back of the sketchbook offers a few notes, which may be enough for me to recreate my thought process, but I may have to just feel my way through the remainder of the story page by page. There are worse ways to work: after all, the project began when I decided that I was going to draw one page each day on my commute home on the bus. And here I am, one again commuting by bus. Maybe this is where the muse lives. 

So I’m considering finishing the story as best as I can. Once I have a complete arc I’ll share the whole thing here… But at the rate I work, it might be another ten years…

Sorry to keep you waiting, Lou.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 19, 2017.

One Response to “Found, Not Finished”

  1. Exquisite sketches and preserved art supplies? Talk about bookends (we so are).

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