Hello and welcome to my first official entry in what I hope is a long and fruitful endeavor!
It is only common sense that I should talk about the comic that started this whole thing…
But first a little history.
After graduating with a Master’s Degree with Honours in English Literature from the University of Glasgow, I was at a bit of a loss.
So I decided to finally finish a novel I had been working on throughout my University years believing that I would use the finished product to bombard publishers up and down the country.
It all started so well. The weeks immediately after graduation were spent huddled over a keyboard tapping away instead of the usual drinking to oblivion safe in the fact you don’t have to be at a 9am literary theory lecture the next morning.
Three intensive weeks and 40,000 words later I finished.
Since the early stages of the novel were written over three years prior I felt it would be safe to go straight into the editing stage.
My dream was crushed within 2 minutes of rereading the opening page. It was just so badly written no amount of editing could salvage it. Rewriting the whole thing was the only prescription. But then it dawned on me.
The first 60,000 words were written just as badly.
And just like that I realised that I had to accept that I wasn’t anywhere near good enough when I started and so the only course of action that would maintain my sanity was to scrap the whole thing.
A dark day indeed.
It left me a little angry at myself, so I turned to editing. It blew off some steam, and I learned a lot from several amateur novels I worked on.
One day, as I went through freelance jobs I noticed one for comic writing. It had been a while since I had written anything myself and the realm of comic scripts was a medium I had my eye on as I had began to flirt with a comic script of my own.
I had studied comics at University, and done my dissertation on them (to the joy of the head of Irish Literature who fawned over James Joyce at every opportunity). So why not? I applied.
A few emails and a lengthy phone chat later I was the writer of a brand new comic called… (you guessed it.)
Initially the comic was to be a marketing tool. Something different to serve up to potential investors or shareholders, to open the roads the marketing team could explore, to tap into a market grooming companies rarely take notice of.
So I was given a character (Percy) and his dog (Pedro) with their fully formed ideologies and asked to make a story about them.
So I got down to it.
But I didn’t want to write a story that pushed the company’s products to the extent the comic became nothing more than a lengthy advert. So I changed it up. I took inspiration from the great Hergé and his wonderful Tintin books, threw in a dash of other influences and built a world for a man and his dog.
Every character is an exaggeration, including Percy himself but that is what made it so fun to write! And now 15 issues later the comic has found success and is growing in stature thanks to being the first ever Instagram comic. Does that make me a pioneer? I’m not sure but on the eve of the second lot of issues being released, I am very optimistic about the future of that bearded man and his dog.