Sunday, 7 January 2007

“When I was a kid, if a guy got killed in a western movie I always wondered who got his horse.”

The Black Diamond Detective Agency (that's my next book, see previous two posts.) It's 144 pages , in full painted colour, which I wrapped up in july '06, to be released June '07. That's a whole year of waiting. The year I spent drawing it I was also waiting for my Fate of the Artist to come out. There was a comfort in knowing that if Fate was too pretentious and complicated for everybody, I had this more straightforward action-adventure waiting in the wings to redeem my reputation.

It's based on an original movie script by Charles Gaby Mitchell, who has a co-writer credit, I see, on the new movie, Blood Diamond. Everything he touches turns to diamonds.

Film Producer Bill Horberg has been working the BLACK Diamond property for some time. I'm presuming it was his idea to get a 'graphic novel' published, based on the script and preceding the possibility of a film. It appeared to be understood from our earliest discussions that a 'graphic novel' was necessarily a completely different thing from a movie, and that not everything that works in one can be expected to work in the other. So I was able to approach the work quite at liberty to imagine it as an Eddie Campbell book. The first thing I liked about the script was that it was about the arrival of the twentieth century, of the optimistic and shiny modern world. Except that it arrives with a huge bang,

and in the ensuing confusion everything is out of whack.

Nothing works.

The opening line of my Fate of the Artist is : "One day the artist wakes up with the disquieting feeling that it has all gone wrong." Black Diamond is an action adventure, but at the same time I've been able to carry my own theme over into it. In fact my version begins:
"The day it all went wrong
started out fine..."

* * * *
The quotation at the top of today's post is from George Carlin. I found it while looking for something else. It reminded me of a bit of business in Black Diamond. In the movie script he cuts his hoss loose before jumping a train for the city, which might be interpreted as a big symbolic gesture, but later when he's grubbing about in Chicago I was trying to figure out the finer points of where he could get some ready cash, to buy meals and stuff and the obvious occurred to me. He should have traded in the hoofs. Now, I don't know what the animal would have been worth back then, with there being so many of them around, but I figured you could live on the proceeds for a couple of weeks or more, so I went back and inserted a scene where he sells it.
I don't know from horses. they're so long ago.
Well, I don't know from cars either, and they're only last week . First car I ever bought was for 35 quid, which is a bout 60 bucks, a piddling amount in '80 as now. We poured two pints of water into the tank and watched it all come out of the exhaust pipe.

Ah! Nothing works.

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Blogger spacedlaw said...

Not true.
Your books work.

7 January 2007 at 09:59:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Damien said...

I think that's a great and simple little addition. So,e forethought and planning on the part of the Hero, as it were.

Definately looking forward to it.

7 January 2007 at 10:21:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Robert Smith said...

Just ordered FATE OF THE ARTIST.

7 January 2007 at 22:21:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like The Thomas Crown affair might have got a good work out for reference.

7 January 2007 at 23:19:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

Hemlock, James... Every time I link to my pulisher's fate page, i think to myself, everybody must be getting sick of me doing this, if they wanted the book they'd have got it a long time ago...

best to you!
and everybody else.

8 January 2007 at 00:39:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Hawthorn said...

Actually, I've taken to compulsively ordering your book every time you link it. My wife is fit to kill me.

9 January 2007 at 19:31:00 GMT-5  

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