Most of my novel stories have lived in my head since the 1970’s. I began recording the ideas in a notebook that I called the libretto. I drew illustrations to solidify the characters and some of the plot elements in my mind. But the basic natures of the characters and the style of my artwork grew from these original artistical notations.
I got better at art over time. And the characters benefited from my teaching experience in that I was able to depict numerous characters with nuances and details gained from students and other people I hadn’t met yet when I drew these pictures. Dorin Dobbs, for instance, is based in large part on my eldest son, who wouldn’t be born for another 18 years when I drew these pictures (He’s the yellow-haired boy in both of the first two pictures.)
Francois, the singing sad clown from my book Sing Sad Songs, is based on a student from the 80’s who was actually Spanish speaking and of Mexican-American descent.
I drew this picture of him in 1976.
I taught the boy in 1983.
I wrote and published the book in 2018.
The inter-dimensional traveler, the Man-Cat, is an idea from a story I have not written yet, and probably never will.
Disney-Michael Stewart and his gang of Milk-Lovers is another story I haven’t written yet, and though more likely, is still probably a novel I will never get to.
Invisible Captain Dettbarn and Francois ended up in separate stories from this picture. The other three boys in the picture were babies or not yet born when their stories happen.
So, today was a chance to look at and re-evaluate the past. All of these drawings were done in the 1970’s. All I did was scan them with a good scanner and crop them a little to make them better compositions. And they allow me to keep track of where my mind has already been, that I might successfully chart the future of where it is going.