Today I’d like to talk about a graphic novel project currently on Kickstarter called Strange Wit.
The project is a combination biography and anthology of the works of author Jane Sydney Auer Bowles presented in graphic novel format.
Kickstarter campaign page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/katyrex/strange-wit-an-original-graphic-novel-about-jane-b?ref=category
Why I like it:
I’m going to take a moment here and say that I had no idea who Jane Bowles was until I stumbled on this Kickstarter page. She only produced one novel, one play, and a handful of short stories and while she wasn’t very well known in the mainstream sense, she was adored by a small and dedicated core readership.
Among her fans was Truman Capote (who wrote In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany’s), who remarked “My only complaint against Mrs. Bowles is that she publishes so infrequently. One would prefer larger quantities of her strange wit, thorny insight. Certainly she is one of the really original pure stylists”
Jane Bowles was part of the post WW2 American literature scene, some call them “beat” authors. Aside from holding a magnifying glass to popular culture after one of the most destructive events in human history this era of writing was also known for the character and lifestyles of these authors, usually the kind of lifestyle that involved a lot of booze, drugs, and counter cultural ideas. Jane Bowles was no exception and her life was filled with travel, drinking, and several relationships with other women even though she was married at the time.
Mrs. Bowles was a character, someone who led an interesting life that I would like to know more about.
Why you should donate:
If the above section seems a bit sparse it’s because this is a time period and genre of literature that I know nothing about. While I did enjoy reading In Cold Blood I was never really interested in these types of books. With that being said, I do believe this story deserves to be told as a graphic novel because of what it can do for comic books as a medium.
Strange Wit is a massive undertaking with art from around the world and the incredibly difficult challenge of working with established and publicized work. If you want to hear more about the project and the work and dedication that’s going into it you can check out the campaign video below.
What makes this work important is that all this time, effort, money, and passion is going into a comic that’s not about superheroes, science fiction, or fantasy, but about the life and times of a real life author and character.
The sad thing about comic books as a medium is that we as a culture tend to view it in a somewhat narrow sense. It’s not bad, it’s just that when many of us say the word “comics” we tend to think of this.
I believe that stories like Strange Wit can help expand the medium of comics and open it up to new and different stories that can be just as exciting and interesting as anything on the market today.
Kicstarter campaign link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/katyrex/strange-wit-an-original-graphic-novel-about-jane-b?ref=category