Kolin is a 120-page comic book story draft that I never completed. And I will probably never complete it. It takes a lot of time and effort to tell a story with drawings. Revision is especially time consuming since when I create a comic book story I create it as a comic book story. It starts with images and words together. I do not write a script and then illustrate that script. So to revise the story, I have to revise the words and pictures together. This is not very efficient, but it is the true way of creating a sequential art story.
It is not worth the effort. The benefits do not justify the hard work. (Self-satisfaction of completing a work is not a practical benefit to a creator and I am well past being satisfied with simply creating something.)
But telling a story using only words is much simpler. It is much easier and much more efficient to revise and improve the work. And once it is done, it is much easier just to create a handful of illustrations for the story and voilà ... an illustrated children's story ready for publication.
And a children's illustrated story is easier and cheaper to print than a comic book. An illustrated children's story is also more acceptable to agents and publishers and reviewers and parents and booksellers. Illustrated children's story is more marketable because the market for such a story is bigger and thus the potential benefits are greater.
That is the reason why I don't intend to complete any of my comic/sequential art stories, including the two scroll stories. Not in the comic book format.
That is not the only reason. As I've gotten older my appreciation for comics has dwindled while my appreciation for words has increased. I would like to translate two or three of my stories into prose. Both Kolin and Little Superheroes can easily be transformed into prose. So can Adventureland. Translating the two scroll stories, Welcome, Weclome, Wocleme and Oomalooma, would not be as easy. Or at least not without eliminating the essential element of how a reader experiences those stories. The scroll format is an integral part of them.
Telling a story using only words is a little scary for me. I never had much interest in it (though I love to read) because I never thought I could do it. In school I always hated writing essays and reports. I use images to help me overcome this. But doing this blog for a few years has taken the fear out. And maybe it has given me enough experience and confidence to be able to string a bunch of words together in an interesting way to tell an interesting story.
Maybe, maybe not. Be that as it may, here is the beginning of Kolin translated into prose. The comic book draft is not broken down into chapters, but it seems useful for me to do so when telling this story in words. The following should be considered a draft and not a finished chapter, I suppose, since it is my first attempt at using only words to tell this story. I should also explain that I see the story to be for the kind of readers that like reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Kolin does not have the surreal, dream like whimsy of Alice, but the length of the story and the reading level will be similar. And it is an adventure story.
CHAPTER 1: Daily Flying Practice
Once upon a time there was a dragon who could not fly. He could walk. He could run. He could even jump. And that is what Kolin was doing right now, jumping.
He was jumping off of a rather small grassy cliff, a baby cliff really, but a cliff nevertheless. He was jumping while having a plump yellow pillow stuffed with feathers tied around his waist. He needed the pillow because every time he jumped off the cliff, rather than flying off into the sky like a proper dragon would, he was dropping down into the ground like an overripe apple falling off a tree.
And while the grass that he was dropping onto was tall and luxurious and very, very green, it was still only grass. Kolin needed the pillow and all the feathers inside it. Not for the flying, mind you, but for the landing.
He began dropping off the little cliff well before noon and continued to drop off the little cliff until well, well after noon. By that time, his pillow was soaked with sweat as was his face but he was no closer to flying than he was before he began his jumping and dropping.
Bouncing is the closest Kolin came. But dragons, real dragons, do not bounce. They pounce. They pounce at their prey from the sky. And to do that, to pounce from the sky, Kolin needed to fly.
So he continued jumping and dropping, jumping and dropping, jumping and dropping until what was a very soft, plump pillow became a dirty yellow-green rag with only few feathers left inside it. The rest were now drifting silkily over the field like butterflies, grateful for their freedom.
While Kolin jumped and dropped and jumped and dropped and jumped and dropped, he did not notice Talon and his two best friends staring at him with bemusement.
"Are you ever gonna give this up, Kolin?" asked Talon. "You can't and you won't and you never will, fly."
As he said this, Talon's two friends giggled and nodded, their heads bobbling stupidly.
Talon was a bully. Kolin did not like him but he was not scared of him. He was annoyed and irritated. That is because Talon could fly. And so could his two friends. And they all liked to point this out to Kolin whenever they met. Actually, Talon liked to point this out to Kolin. The other two just liked to giggle and bob their heads in agreement.
What made Kolin angry is that Talon was right. Kolin can not fly and for all the jumping and dropping he did, he was no closer to flying today than he was yesterday.
And a dragon who can not fly is like a fish who can not swim, a rabbit who can not burrow, or a spider who can not web. A dragon who can not fly is not a dragon at all. He is useless creature.
But being useless creature did not concern Kolin. What concerned him was that until he learns to fly, Kolin will not be able to do what he most wants to do and what he most wants to do is to explore the world beyond Dragon Island. He wanted adventure.
So the next day Kolin bicycled to the doctor. Kolin can walk and run and jump and drop. Kolin can ride a bicycle. But he would gladly trade all the walking and running and jumping and dropping and bicycling for flying.
Next up, "CHAPTER 2: Visit to Master Alcofribas, Doctor of Aeronautics."