Archive for November, 2012

Growing A Monster

Posted in Story Collider with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2012 by Paul Swartz

Last fall Lena and I contributed comics to an anthology put together by our friends at The Story Collider. If you’re not familiar with the podcast/live show/online magazine/burgeoning media empire that is Story Collider, you should absolutely go check it out. It’s a great source of science stories, as told by professional scientists and professional storytellers alike (as well as all kinds of other folks). It’s a great show and I’m proud to have done several illustrations for it over the past year.

The short comic below is called “Growing A Monster” and it comes from aforementioned anthology. It’s based upon a story by Erik Hofer, and is all about his adolescent obsession with carnivorous plants. The writing is all his, though I’ve pruned it down a lot. That was the toughest thing about this project, actually. The original audio piece is twelve and a half minutes long, which is a lot to try to cram into a four page comic. I did my best to whittle the story down to its essential plot points and pithiest turns of phrase, but it still feels a little choppy or staccato to me. Hopefully it reads naturally to you (before you listen to Erik’s unabridged version, that is). I’m pretty proud of my drawing here, and am pleased with my ability to adapt to the constraints of a black and white book. The treatment of the text, on the other hand, really gets to me. Someday soon I’m going to have to get serious about lettering. Anyway, heres the comic. I hope you enjoy it:

When the Story Collider gave us the run of their archive it was pretty easy to see which story I’d be working on. As you probably know, I love drawing monsters and, as you can probably guess, I feel a deep kinship to impatient, obsessive, and nerdy kids. I remember being eight years old when the first Jurassic Park movie came out and thinking that it was incumbent upon me to put out a magazine exposing and correcting all the film’s fallacies. In retrospect, I guess it was my first zine. Even in preschool I was always fuming over the ignorance of people who called me a “future archaeologist.” I remember thinking it was deeply upsetting that people who were unaware of paleontology were permitted to teach small children. Naturally, Erik’s story spoke to me.