work has earnestly begun on Playing Out - the short story I've been meaning to start for a couple of years but never quite made myself start. I'm not calling it a graphic novel as it's not going to be novel-sized: at the moment the rough plan has it at around 48 pages. I can't imagine it being any longer than this - lots of the Asterix books were this long and were very satisfactory. In fact I'm modelling the format on this European album style - A4ish, paperback, but black and white inkwash.
The story itself is all mapped out, so now I'm going through structuring and planning out each page and scripting as I go. Nothing happens really - it's just Jamal (12), Kieran (12) and his brother Connor (10) knocking around Manchester City Centre, getting kicked out of places and looking at stuff. All pretty gentle - edgier and far more realistic than Crab Lane Crew, but still no swearing or filth as I want to end up with something that can be enjoyed by adults and children (10 years upwards I guess). In the rough page above, the lads are bewildered by how anyone would think it's OK to be one of those living statues - something I think many of us will relate to.
So far I'm really enjoying it - nearly 2 thirds are roughed out and I'm about to have a go a creating a sample finished page. The whole thing will take me ages - it always does with me, but I want to do a good job of it so won't be rushing if I can help it. Once it's at a presentable stage I'll begin showing it around various publishers, but so far there's not nearly enough down on paper to do it justice.