For the past couple of months i have been writing my proposal and gathering all the necessary information i require to have a well rounded look at the comic book i wish to develop, or so i thought…
When i started my idea generating i was first looking at trying to incorporate my personal work with my masters degree so i could work on each of them simultaneously but after a few conversation with Sam Lovell, my course leader, i soon realised that this was n0t feasible because it lacked the final outcome and also from my personal opinion it did not excite me the way my proposal now does. so i went back to the drawing board and started thinking of other ideas and trying to work with my strengths. With my background being in animation and my talents being with drawing and telling stories through these that was the obvious conclusion, the only problem with this was my lack of interest in animation at that point.
When i was in my first year of my undergraduate degree we got given a task to generate an idea for 2-4 year olds, my idea was Wandering Brian this was well received by both students and the tutors but i knew animation was not the platform i wanted to produce this idea so i saved the outline of the idea and moved on with my other concepts. Now faced with coming up with my proposal i was racking my brain for days on what i could produce i stumbled across these very minimal notes, and everything started fitting together. My first thoughts where making a children’s book which would be illustrated by me and aimed towards 4-7 year olds. I then went off looking on the internet at illustrated stories and what other people had produced, this is where comic books kept coming up and i read something that stated ‘ i enjoy to tell stories through my sketches and comics allow me to do this ‘ and that was when i decided Wandering Brian would be an educational comic book series that would educate school students.
Critically thinking about this proposal i noticed some hurdles i did not think i was equipped to deal with, being dyslexic i would always steer away from writing where possible and so writing an educational comic book for school students just did not fit my abilities, BUT instead of shying away from this idea completely i would adapt this proposal further, more towards my strengths. What if i could tell a story written for dyslexic students in a way that i myself would understand? and thats when i raised the age range towards 16 years + and i was going to try to put my comic book into colleges and universities to give dyslexic students suitable reading material which is written with them in mind and at the same time as assisting them with there reading ability it would also be something aimed at there age group with real life situations. I felt this was important because when i was growing up and struggling to read i would be given books for 7 year olds when i was 12, the stories did not capture my imagination and they where childish.
Straight away i jumped into developing questionnaires for students aged 16 years + and parents to, this would be my big mistake! i rushed in because i was excited to get the idea of the ground and start to produce my comic book. To gain more understanding about dyslexia and comics i started my secondary research. The more i researched the more questions i had which i wanted answered so i went further and further until about a 6 weeks ago i realised my target audience was to high and my research suggested that my comic book would benefit secondary school students much more. by this time i had been getting a lot of positive feedback from peers and students and decided i needed to take my idea to someone in the dyselxia industry who works with dyslexic students and get there opinion on the age group.
I went into Dyslexia Association of Staffordshire and spoke to Louise Davies who is the manager there and i introduced my proposal to her and she was very excited about it and feels this is something that could really help students, i asked for her thoughts on the age group and told her my research had suggested 12 year olds and she agreed saying that this would help them with there reading ability and also there confidence to read textbooks in class. Faced with the big task of writing a comic book for School students i neglected to think i would need to gather more primary research to find out if the age group i am aiming this at actually like the concept and what there thoughts are on it. I was to busy and occupied trying to figure out how i myself who is dyslexic could possible write a comic book for dyslexic students. I did not want to give up on this idea or dumb it down to the point it did not fulfil what i originally proposed.
Speaking to my family about the dilemma i faced with this proposal and the obstacles that stood in my way my dad said to me that to be successful you have to realise your strengths and look for people who have the strengths you are lacking. thats when i had the idea to pitch my proposal to the creative writing students at Staffordshire university. I went to see my old lecturer to ask for advice on how to pitch my idea and how to get the right people interested in my idea, i took the advice he had given me and wrote my presentation for them, minimal words and lots of images. i now have working for me 2 writers Jack Grimshaw and Jack Fabian, an editor Carina Roots and a colourist Adam Sanders, i also have help from Jim Forsyth who is creating a unique font for me that will be dyslexia friendly. i also have the backing of Dyslexia association of Staffordshire and john Charles who has been a comic book artist for 15+ years and has worked for the likes of Marvel and 2000AD and he has agreed to be the colourist for the front cover of the first issue of my comic book.
With all the support i have already got and the words of encouragement from so many people i’m determined to make this comic book a success.