Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Webcomic Wednesday: Introducing The Ballad of Roland Enola Artheaux

While I believe it is a distinct "third way" of creating literary art, I am a hearty supporter of what I once called "propago" (note: several of the links in that article are now dead) and what we easily recognize as comics, comix, graphic novels, etc. but less easily recognize as "visual poetry" as lauded by folks at Ubuweb, etc.. I have argued frequently that calling much of that work "visual poetry" is wrenching the language, but I don't deny its ability to exist as art--that is, an artifact that intentionally produces an emotional response in its observer. Here I use "artifact" as "a man-made work, taken as a whole."

To that end, I have been working for several years on poetic works that, while artifacts in and of themselves, are more properly intended to serve as scripts or libretti (is there a word for the text of a comic book?) for illustrated works.

While I am no illustrator, I have sketched out a storyboard for a work I've sent out to a collaborator for illustration. It is called "The Ballad of Roland Enola Artheaux" and will come in at twenty-two four-panel pages. Below is my unprofessional and rough sketch of the Great Roland.

After this Graphic Poem is completed, I hope to add more. For the moment, enjoy the ugly roughness and be glad I'm outsourcing the illustration.


  1. GM,

    FWIW, I'd vote for "graphic poems." On one hand, the "graphic novel" use is well established, and on the other, it seems like a good opportunity to make a defensive stop in the Sisyphean task of defending the meaning of words, without which every word in the English language will in due course become a synonym for "erotic," if not a specific sex act.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the full ballad. The collection of books that I have because you recommended them (Rough Gods, Olives, Sonnets) is a small but important thread in my reading.

  2. That suggestion alone is reason to change what I wrote.

    I'm glad you enjoy the books!

  3. and lonesome was his middle name... I look forward to the unfolding of this ballad. :)

  4. Don't forget that you can also spell "anole" with it. Maybe he's just a poor man's chameleon. ;)