Nov 22 2008
People often ask me which stage of the book creation process I enjoy the most. I have to answer that each stage has its own joys and difficulties. The design stage is the most creatively unfettered, but it’s very abstract, and sometimes I can’t nail down the designs I want until I get into the next stage, which is layout. Layout is where the comic medium really comes into play, as I make the million small decisions about which moments to show in each panel, how to compose those shots, how to arrange them on the page, and how they relate to the text.
When all that is done, it’s time to paint all the finished art. This is less creative, but more relaxing, as most of the big problems have been solved. This stage is the longest, and when I’m painting the verbal part of my brain is idle, so I often listen to audio books. All day. Five days a week. It’s when I get caught up on all the reading I haven’t been doing.
So here’s what I’ve been listening to in the last few months. You may notice that the list skews a bit YA, for which I blame/credit Alison.
Skin Hunger – Not too bad, but it has no ending, just cuts off in the middle of–
The Aeneid – Didn’t like it. Guess I can cross that off the list of classics to adapt.
Angela’s Ashes – Awesome. Depressing but funny.
The Glass Castle – Much like Angela’s ashes, but with quirkier characters who have less excuse for their predicament.
Airman – Didn’t like it.
Airborn – Story a bit lame, but great characters.
SlaughterHouse Five – Liked it a lot. Also interesting from a Zen perspective.
Little Brother – Cory Doctorow tells kids everything they need to know to be cool and subvert the Department of Homeland Security. Pretty good.
Sophie’s World – I already read this, and liked it enough to listen to it again, so obviously I think it’s good. It’s a novel which tells the history of philosophy (in a mostly fun and digestible way).
Cued up: Frankenstein, The Ranger’s Apprentice, The White Darkness, The Bell Jar.