In my last post, I talked about a song. In this one, I talk about a song again. But this one’s been sung onto paper.
A Song for My Brother. A long-form comic book or maybe a graphic novelette.
A story about sounds that shape things, and change things, and even heal things. Sounds that are life, because to lose them is to waste away.
A story about siblings who threw away old homes and new lives for the sake of saving each other. Because to lose each other was to lose it all.
A story, sung onto paper by two sisters who wouldn’t have each other now, had it not been for music.
When I put it like this, it all sounds so… neat. Convenient, even. Siblings, music, healing, saving, yeah, I see what you did there, very clever… You don’t have to believe me when I say none of this was contrived, devised, or orchestrated. People say, write what you know. For me, it’s not an instruction, it’s a fact of life. I always write what I know, even if I don’t know it at the time, even if I don’t know that I know it.
Fiction is a much streamlined version of real life, where connections and symbolism are brought into the foreground in a way that makes the story make sense. But even in real life, certain narrative forces come into play now and again. Perhaps they are the reason this book exists. Perhaps they are the reason that this story, and none other, is our comic convention debut. The reason that a shipment of these books, printed, arrived at my sister’s doorstep exactly four years after I’d arrived there myself, flying in to attend the most important concert of my life.
Today marks four years since the day I met the man with the brightest eyes in the world. October 25, 2010. The day I, in my characteristically pretentious manner, like to think of as the day I was born as an artist. By deciding to be one.
Making this book took us four months.
Making ourselves into people who could make this book took us four years. And counting. Because unlike any piece of our work, we can never be done, complete, perfected to a solid state. Such is the beautiful tragedy of being an artist, nay, a human being. You stop when you die, and die when you stop.
But even if you’ve got the words ‘keep running’ tattooed into your brain, you’re allowed to catch your breath after a four years’ sprint… and take a look at the road so far. Speaking for myself, I’d say it’s all been worth it.
P.S. We’re going to see the bright-eyed man less than two weeks from now, and bringing the book with us to give him a copy. I hope he likes it.