Collaborations have been on my mind lately, mostly because if Chiral Mad 4 and how I’ve envisioned that book as being structured (as a completely collaborative anthology). I recently reached out to artist L.A. Spooner, with whom I’ve worked with on You, Human, At the Lazy K (a novella by Gene O’Neill), and Enso, a children’s book I wrote last year. I asked him, “Want to collaborate on adapting a short story of mine to help spark collaboration ideas for the next Written Backwards anthology?” We reviewed a few of my older stories from Scales and Petals, my first short story and poetry collection, and agreed that “Plasty” was the most ‘visual’ and would be quite fun to adapt.
So, I rewrote the original 1,500 word short story as a 10-page graphic/comic script (which for some reason grew to 1,600 words), sent the pages to Luke, and he immediately started working on the illustrations, both in black and white, and in full color. He even did the lettering. After some back-and-forth on our collaborative work, we agreed that black-and-white suited the story better, with some color added throughout for better flow, and to punch the reader in the face with some of the disgusting visuals. I have to admit, this story is kind of gross, but not really when you think about it… We even added an 11th page to help bring the story full circle, to visually represent the main character’s mental state as the story comes to a close.
So, here’s “Plasty” for you to enjoy, a collaborative effort between the multi-talented L.A. Spooner, and yours truly. We hope these pages inspire further collaborations between writers, artists, poets, etc. Work together, and have fun!