co-writing morning & brain landscapes

I spent the morning with writer and illustrator David O’Connell (tozocomic) working on a picture book manuscript that’s gone back and forth to David Fickling about five times. We already have the contract for the overall concept, based on a comics jam we did (like Airship, but a different one), but we’re still doing a lot of fine-tuning. We sent off two more draft options today.

Here’s Dave at his desk, which I almost had to mess up a bit to show off some of his stuff, it was so tidy.

Here’s the desk I came back to, which is a bit chaotic:

I love writing with Dave, his brain works absolutely nothing like mine, so he constantly surprises me with the ideas he bring up for our story. I saw one of his panels in Tozo and thought it was a bit like how his brain would look if it was a room: very airy, large and spacious, with clean parallel and perpendicular lines. (‘You mean, empty,’ said Dave. ‘No!’ I said, ‘just very ship-shape’.)

The closest thing I’ve ever drawn to the inside of my head was a picture way back in 2006 in art college. I think the landscape of my brain is like a darkish swamp with glimmers of light peeking through in areas, and lots of strange plants growing closely together and intertwining, with not a straight line to be seen anywhere. It’s very easy to get lost in there; if you make a map, the terrain will soon overgrow and shift about. And you have to watch your footing, it’s very boggy in places.

What would the inside of your brain look like? How about drawing a picture, or making a map?

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