Comics Will Break Your Heart
…. is the title of a novel I wrote, which will be published by Roaring Brooks!!! Yes, this is a real thing, and Comics Alliance has the details here. It’s my very first novel, and I’m so excited it’s actually going to become a published thing that people other than me can read. There’s no release date yet because I’m so busy with Nameless City, but I hope to start editing on the book really soon. It’ll need a lot of editing! As excited as I am that CWBYH will be published, I’m also a little nervous. I want it to be good! So, lots of editing. Lots and lots.
I’m going to write a bit about how this book came to be. Initially Comics Will Break Your Heart was a comic idea. I started working on it when I started pitching The Nameless City to First Second, as a back up plan in case FS eventually rejected Nameless City. Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and in two weeks you’ll be able to pick up your own copy of The Nameless City book 1. 🙂
Comics Will Break Your Heart stuck with me, though. I liked the idea of a story about two teens (Miriam and Weldon), stuck in a small Canadian town for a summer, who had a link to the history of comics. Years ago their grandfathers had created comic book characters (called The TomorrowMen) who were about to star in their very own $200 million dollar movie. (“It’ll be bigger than The Avengers,” one character says.) But Miriam and Weldon have different perspectives on their grandfathers’ creations. Mir’s family lost the rights to the TomorrowMen, while Weldon’s father runs the publishing company that still publishes TomorrowMen comics. The complicated history of comics creators and how a disposable, pulp art form has become a billion dollar movie industry is pretty fascinating, and I decided to use it as a backdrop for this story.
Once Comics Will Break Your Heart’s backdrop became more firmly rooted in the comics industry (initially it wasn’t about comics at all), I decided that doing this story in graphic novel format would be kind of incestuous, so I decided to try writing a novel. I’m pretty comfortable with writing, although I hadn’t written straight prose since university. I was rusty initially, but once I got past the 20,000 word mark, I started to enjoy myself. I wrote the book mostly on airplanes and in airports, stealing time away from comics to work on it, always feeling kind of guilty. I had no idea if the book was any good, or if it would sell. Taking time away from paying work to work on a project that might get you nothing in return is scary, but I liked my novel, and I liked working on it. Even if I’d get nothing out of this novel but the experience, I felt it was worth doing.
And now it will be published! Eventually! Someday. 😉 When I find the time to edit the hell out of it. It was a great experience, and I’m thrilled that I was able to stretch my legs artistically, and try a new art form. I might even write another novel when this one is done, who know? 😀