When you started writing S.O.S., what did you find difficult?
I normally write novels. That’s what was difficult. A comic book is a very specific sort of style with a very specific word limit and no scope for vast descriptions of what’s going on or where people are. I’m used to writing eighty-thousand words of waffle and being in complete control of what my reader sees.
Suddenly I’m limited to dialogue. Just dialogue, no more than about 30 words a panel. I can give Joe direction about what the panels look like but ultimately it’s up to him, and if I’m not explaining properly, he can’t draw it, so it had to be clear, concise and easy to follow. In the end, what I see in my head and what Joe draws are going to be two separate things, and that’s hard. Luckily, I like writing dialogue…
What are your experiments with Son Of Songs?
My aim is to put my research in both visual storytelling and merging them with graphic design rules and practices. While some argue that the two are separate entity, I feel as though they share similarities, and the result will be how Son Of Songs continues to tell it story, in both comic form and in motion graphics form.
How did you create the world of S.O.S.?
Creating worlds is funny because sometimes they come to you fully formed and sometimes they take a lot of time. I can’t pinpoint how the idea really came up because I just started writing and things fell into my lap, which is normally how these things work for me. I knew it was set in space, and I knew that I wanted to look at different aspects of space, different cultures, different classes, different races.
I remember sitting with you on a sunny afternoon researching the Roman idea of the Genius and the Daemon and weaving it into the ideas I had already come across, building spaceships out of Lego, talking extensively about how everything worked and where everything fit. It’s a mixture of research, inspiration and luck. What you always have to remember is that the world must feel real.
If there is a question you cannot answer about the world, you haven’t done your job right. I find that if your characters are complete, the world builds itself around them.
What style will Son Of Songs have?
The style I want SOS to have is a very minimalist style. My original thoughts were to have highly detailed pages and lots of details in the art work. But my aim is to adopt a stylised, thin lined visuals, to contrast the characters personalities. The characters and world they live in the story are so immersive, I thought it would be impossible to create them realistically, and the the approach mentioned gives me freedom to push the limits of a illustrative style.
What do you like best about writing a comic?
I like that I can play with light and dark very, very quickly. In one panel I can have a death of a character and in another I can have a slapstick comedy scene, and I know it will work because of the nature of the visual medium.
My favourite scenes to write were those where lots was going on visually but the general atmosphere contradicts everything that the panel says – for instance, a very uncomfortable breakfast scene where the fruit becomes a plot device, or a scene where Jace says just the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time.
What do you like best about visualising the comic?
Honestly, the best thing about being a part of SOS is just to read it. I love the world you have created, and its such a treat to be invested in it! But the best thing of visualising the comic is designing the little things. From robot companions, to gadgets and weapons, buildings and ruins, designer dresses and bleeding noses. SOS is just choc full of the unexpected, and its such a great read.