I thought some people would enjoy reading a bit about my experience adapting this piece. Well, maybe not enjoy … Anyway, here’s the unvarnished moment.
It’s an understatement to say that I love this comic, this work. Skyscrapers the Midwest is a story, or a set of stories, that has added a lot to my life already. And ha already done, even before I became involved with it in the creative way. And so it has been with great trepidation, in many ways, that I have appraoched the creation of this adaptation.
It’s a delicate relationship that we have to some pieces of art, and I knew that, in some ways, I would be destroying my relationship with this book in the process of creating something new. That sounds sad, doesn’t it? But it’s happened before and I know it will happen again. Hopefully though, other people will form new, helpful, moving relationships with Josh Cotter’s world and his work, and everyone will move forward enhanced in some way. I’ll be focussing on what I’ve gained, far more than I what I’ll lose.
(I’m imagining that he’s going to hate reading that paragraph, if he does. As a particularly thoughtful artist, he’s well aware of the risk at which we all put ourselves of becoming too precious or too matyred when we discuss things like pain, and loss, and our souls. As if The Artist is anymore damaged or unique than anyone else. No one wants to be aware of their own Christ complex.)
At any rate… (or insert your own poor executed transitional phrase)
I’ve been tearing the book to bits, re-arranged pieces, cutting out dialogue, mashing-up images, and even cramming some of Josh’s adult persona into the mix, turning into something that might even be less than what it is in book form, hoping that I get enough of it right that I don’t seem like a fraud in the end. Hoping I won’t make Josh (or anyone else involved) look bad. I mean, the guy’s parents are in the show, they’re gonna see this. Would you want the pressue of playing one of those roles? Some poor actors … alas and alack.
I suppose that would be something to aim for, to reach for, wouldn’t it? If we could make our interpretation true enough that it works, yet separate enough that it doesn’t spoil any of the books allure or mysteries. I guess one big indicator of our success will be whether I actually want to read to the book again a week after the show closes. It’s not that I think the book won’t hold-up, I just fully expect it cause self-recriminations when it serves to jog my memory about the show.
We’re probably adapting two more books next season, so I have those regrets to look forward to as well.
I know this hasn’t been excellent marketing, but for those who want a look into what goes on in someone’s psyche at a moment like this, here ya go. It’s a hall of funhouse mirrors. Minus the fun.