North Rhine-Westphalia is not Wyoming and Germany not the USA. So why do a comic about a place so far afar?
Because I’ve been there.
In 2002/2003 I went abroad to the United States as an exchange student. While I spent most of my months in Buffalo NY (go Bills!), I had the opportunity to travel to some interesting places: Boston, Maine, New York City, Washington D.C. … and yes, Yellowstone!
With a bunch of other exchange students I witnessed the beauty of Yellowstone National Park: it’s Geysers and hot wells, Buffalos crossing the road, thundering waterfalls and high mountains.
Inside a geological museum I first heard about the sleeping supervolcano underneath Yellowstone. It was this danger of another eruption and what it could mean to the U.S. (and even the world) that captured my imagination. The first seed was planted.
Years passed. I went back to Germany, finished school and went to Münster to study English and History. Since tinkering with fiction is one of my hobbies (hello pen & paper RPG!), I sometimes went back to that Yellowstone idea. At this stage, there was no story, just worldbuilding. At one time, it wasn’t even science fiction but alternate history – 09/11 not as a terrorist attack but as a volcanic tragedy. Over the years one thing became more and more clear: It would be a story about a post-apocalyptic society. I didn’t want to tell a story about people escaping Armageddon but rather how Armageddon changed the surviving society. To compare it with Roland Emmerich’s movie “2012”: What happens after those well-armed, high-tech, western refugees get to Africa? How would the remaining Africans react? That’s what got me, not the other 99% of the movie.
This time it’s Dave (the artist of Yellow Stone) at the mic talking about his working process:
“Time to get this monster done. Yellowstone in the making, ideas becoming real.
Noah’s journey is my journey
Noah’s journey is also my journey. Our main character Noah, is in the move, and so am I. Moving and packing things is currently my everyday work. I’m in the move like Noah, reaching out to new adventures, trying to start a new life in another city, getting new inspirations.
The city is my studio
Storyboard and inking-time is quite fun for me. I get my inspiration in bars, cafes and other places I can sit and draw. My workplace at home gives me headaches, the internet is screaming for attention and it is quiet there. Drawing a comic whose main plot is about ordinary people we met every day needs to be done where people gather, in public. So if you want a quick glimpse of an everyday illustrator’s life, keep an eye out to spot them (or me) in cafes, bars or everyday places.”
Here is the news: I am doing a comic! 😎 So instead of reviews, essays and interviews you’ll see some texts and pictures about our “Yellow Stone”-project on this blog.
Our? At the end of 2015 I teamed up with Comic-artist Dave Scheffel (some of you might recognize him from this interview). So while I am responsible for the story and the script he is doing all the artwork.
Our plan is to put together a strong pitch that will attract publishers in Germany and abroad. (That’s where the switch to English is comic from.) But we are still in the early stages of the project.
If you can’t wait for the teasers – from time to time both Dave and I will post some sneak peaks on Twitter and Instagram via #YellowstoneComic.
Comic Con Germany
And if that’s not enough the Comic Con Germany (Stuttgart) is the place to be this weekend (June 25th & 26th). You can pay Dave a visit and look over his shoulder while he is doing character designs for the Comic. You will find find him at table 111:
Neben Hamburg, Karlsruhe und Düsseldorf kann man das Handwerkszeug zum Comiczeichner auch in Münster erlernen. Ich habe drei Studenten von der Fachhochschule Münster in der letzten Phase ihrer Comic-Abschlussarbeiten begleitet: Maike Venhofen mit ihrer Hypochonder-Charakterstudie “Rostblüte”, Udo Jungs Weltraum-Krimi “Slow Signal” sowie David Scheffel, der in “o.D.D.” einen kleinen Jungen auf Dimensionsreise schickt.