Mythology is absolutely necessary for our happiness. It’s been used for centuries as a way for human beings to make sense of this world, and can offer a framework by which individuals can live their lives to a certain moral code—and ultimately, in peace.
Superheroes are a big deal today. When I grew up, superheroes were a huge deal. I realize now that I lived by those mythologies, and they kept me on track in my life. It’s not historical fact that we often need but fantastical metaphor. The desire to find an exciting and believable modern myth led me to create GIANTS.
‘Playing god’ is my main theme in GIANTS. One of the main characters plays god by controlling people by force, another plays god by setting people free. But there’s another force to deal with in this story: God itself. This ‘god’ is my representation of an element that is bigger than us, one that we cannot and should not understand but – like a natural disaster – one we must simply endure the effect of. It’s not something we can fight and win, the best we can do is escape its wrath. This highlights how much we don’t actually know, and cannot know—raising further questions about what might be in store for us once this life has run it’s course. How exciting!
In my visual storytelling, occasionally I’ll have a big wide establishing shot or dramatic background shot. But just as my characters dictate their own environment, they also dictate the nature of my compositions. Characters who have the strength to change the tone of their surroundings are those who are also well worth telling a story about.
I believe in finding the look of my characters through artistic exploration on the page. The script describes the actions of a character, and also puts forth a ‘feel’. How should we feel when we see that character? This feeling is a core piece of information, because as I work through various ideas for shapes and forms of the new design, I’m attempting to really feel the spirit of that character. Once I do, then I have the design. But until I do, the process must continue.
As the characters build, and the dynamics between them become richer, the world in which they exist begins to truly come alive. If it’s real to me then it can be real to my readers. If I’m inspired by it day to day, then perhaps the story offers a useful metaphor—and if for me, then why not for others?
Creating new, engaging and worthwhile mythology is a massive challenge. Our lives deserve challenge, and we need our mountains to climb so I aim, in my work, to inspire readers to have the courage to climb their own personal mountains and manage their expectations of the journey. We are not perfect. My characters are far from perfect, and it’s often the flaws in our characters (both in fiction and in reality) that put us in the most difficult situations, presenting us with our biggest challenges in the form of crisis. Crisis forces us to face real danger, but it also represents opportunity – by giving us no choice but to take action – and it’s that very action that we take at crisis points that ultimately defines us and builds each of our characters. This is true of our lives, and true of the characters I attempt to write.
GIANTS is a story about us. Our lives, losses, victories and reflections when faced with a crisis of truly epic proportion, wrapped in a fantastical metaphor of words and pictures. Myth-making is a centuries-old tradition that I’m proud to have a part in maintaining. It’s also a lot of fun—you should try it!