So a couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of helping Valia Kapadai out on a short comic she created. Valia, as I'm sure you all know, is the very talented artist of Innocent Soul and Twisted Vision as we've mentioned her many many times on the 'cast and on this blog cos she's awesome.
Anyhoo, I've been following her on Twitter for several months, where she often posts sketches and works in progress - really wonderful stuff - and she mentioned she'd written a comic herself but wasn't 100% confident of her English and said she thought she might benefit from an editor. Being a nosey git and wanting to see this undoubtedly fab comic before anyone else I offered my services. What she sent me was a wonderful short comic Gloomy Monday which she said she intended to submit to the Eagle Awards Initiative - "an open competition for unpublished comic creators across the world to submit an original story and to be judged by the industry's top creators. The winner will have their story published in print and digitally, in multiple languages, and have it available to anyone on the planet."
Anyhoo, I read through Gloomy Monday and marked out a few minor grammatical errors and suggested a few bits where the prose in the captions could be a bit smoother or colourful or whatever - tiny stuff. Valia took onboard my suggestions and she sent back the new version of the comic she had very generously added my name to it with an "edited by" credit, which I told her was a wonderful gesture but really not necessary as what I'd done was proofreading at best rather than editing.
I was replying to her email at about 2am Friday night/Saturday morning and in a weird burst of half-asleep creativity I also made a suggestion that - as Gloomy Monday was very strong visually but quite light narratively (captions and dialogue were quite sparse) - should she want to, she could beef up the written aspect of the strip by doing the captions in rhyme; which would also underline the fable-ish aspects of the story. To illustrate my point I bashed out the first few panel's worth of rhyming captions.
The next afternoon I got a very enthusiastic email back from Valia saying she loved the rhyme idea and could I finish it off? The catch being that the deadline for submitting the comic to the Eagle Awards Initiative was on Sunday (the next day!), but not to worry if I didn't have time as she's send it in as is and we could maybe print up our own rhyming edition later, bless her. How could I refuse? So I cracked on and a few hours later I had the rhyming draft emailed off. Sunday turned out to be quite an exciting exchange of emails polishing the rhyming script - Valia spotted a few mistakes of mine and, with fresh eyes, I spotted a few improvements myself - and Miss K worked up a whole new page of art to accommodate the extended script. Finally, late on sunday Gloomy Monday was completed and send away to the Eagles Initiative where it will be perused by an incredibly esteemed panel of judges.
Valia's put together a lovely little comic. The final credits read "Story & Art by Valia Kapadai; Lyrics by Lee Grice" which I am incredibly proud of.
I just want to thank Valia for letting me scribble all over her awesome artwork and say it was an absolute joy to collaborate with her. I really hope we can do another comic together again in the future when its not quite such a rush!