Have also begun rendering an essay by Craig San Roque "The long Weekend" into graphic novel form - it's an essay that was originally written for a collection of essays responding to CG Jung's concept of the cultural complex. Craig was living in Alice Springs at the time of writing so the essay describes what he sees, the surreal life of Alice, what is happening all around him during the weekend of football weekend when the people of the bush descend upon the town - who knows what might happen: some family business, some football, perhaps even a few fights.
The essay is divided loosely into three days - Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Friday sees Craig in his house trying to knuckle down with a theme for his essay, increasingly irritated at the guests sleeping in his backyard, until he realises that the cultural complexes are somehow best described by simply describing what occurs in such a town as Alice, where two (or more) cultures rub up against each other - revealing beliefs and behaviours to the other cultures that have their origins rooted in the mystical past.
Saturday Craig visits the hospital mental health unit to sees a young Aboriginal girl who has come in with a ganja-induced psychosis; petrol-sniffing etc. Craig writes about geographical sites, the meanings and stories that we imbue them with and their importance in our understanding of the worlds that we inhabit; this also goes for body parts. He visits the oft-referred to metaphor of the neural pathways for the song-lines of the Aboriginal people and their oral history and story-telling that they use to map out their world.
Sunday - Craig, his family, and friend Amos, inadvertently get dragged into going hunting with some of the women that have come to his backyard. Enters an extended discussion with Amos about how colonisation and its role in tearing people from their methods of understanding their worlds, their links to their mythology, eventually leading to their destruction.
Although the cultural complex is shown to be dynamic, repetitive and resurrective, Craig's observations perhaps lead one to believe that in central Australia the complex is somehow devolving and destructive.
It is a redolent essay, having lived in Alice Springs myself for three years, and struggled in my capacity as a mental health nurse with many of the strange and wonderful issues that face that particular hub of Australian cultures (which I strongly believe that no one person has many answers for) I found this essay to be somehow darkly comforting; if only for the its ability to impart in me the feeling that I am in no way alone in my confusion about what the hell was going on half the time. I also loved its ability to capture the surreality of every day life in that town and the region. Things just happen, you often can't force your own agenda upon the world there - it won't work - the spirit of the land have their own agenda, the complexes of human behaviour and understanding will move on with or without you.
I reckon this project may take at least one or two more years - I have roughly mapped out the story visually, soon to embark on the great unknown for me - typography. Luckily I have Nadine Kessler by my side - an expert in the field of letters and words ... and their place on the page. Hailing from Germany, and taught by the master Weingart in Basel, Switzerland, she will also hopefully agree to do the overall book design.
I hope to get some images of the work in progress up on this blog sometime in the near future - I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions for extended reading on these matters. The more the merrier.
Have once again in my life finished watching the entire Twin Peaks saga ... damn that was fun.