Tuesday, August 21, 2007

On famous editors, and editors-to-be

Today I gave a couple of talks at Chisholm Institute of TAFE, on the subject of making and reading graphic narratives, with reference to Gatsby.

The audiences were all students of professional writing and editing, and it was an absolute pleasure to talk with them. They all seemed so engaged with things like graphic narrative devices and the process of adaptation, which are topics dear to my heart, of course. And because they were also studying editing, it was the perfect opportunity to mention one of the best books I've read in a while: a biography of Fitzgerald's editor, the extraordinary Max Perkins (Max Perkins - Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg). This book actually gave me more of an insight into the creative processes behind The Great Gatsby than anything else I've read. And more importantly, it was a wonderful, fascinating look at a very private, very understated man who had the subtle-but-great talent of nurturing and shaping the talents of others.

More recently I've been reading some other graphic narratives (comics, graphic novels, whatever - I am way too tired today to buy into the "what do we call them" debate!): Eddie Campbell's beautifully painted, super-suspenseful and texture-filled detective story, The Black Diamond Detective Agency and French-Canadian Guy Delisle's Pyongyang, which was fabulous, funny /sad and a truly eye-popping peep at the weirdness of life in North Korea. Guy, Eddie and I will all be on a panel together at the Brisbane Writers Festival... I am pretty thrilled to be in such illustrious company.

One of the things that really grabbed me about Pyongyang was that Mr Delisle must surely take the prize for using the fewest possible lines to create incredibly relateable (and funny) facial expressions. I laughed out loud quite a few times, and was irresistibly carried along on the character's strange travels.

Mr Campbell has very kindly written a piece about Gatsby on his blog today, and it seems that he shares my passion for bizarre-looking monsters. But then - what's not to love about monsters?


Karahtif Tamingstone said...

Thankyou Nicki for sharing some of the wonderful parts of your Great Gatsby journey at your talk at Chisholm today. You have such an informative and inspiring voice that was a pleasure to follow through your pictorial expertise. Thankyou for supporting 'us newies' as we learn the trade. I believe your valuable time was very well spent today. Thanks from Karahtif Tamingstone, Visual Artist with Picture The Write Word

Nicki Greenberg said...

Thank you very much, Karahtif - really glad you enjoyed it! I did too.

Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

Hi Ms. Greenberg,

I especially love your seahorses. They are perfect. Perfect! I can't even draw a straight line or write an interesting sentence. But, by God, I'm a hella good reader. (grin) So thanks from someone who just loves to read and look at really cool little monster-like thingies. Please don't stop! (and thanks for the comment response on the lovely Mr. Campbell's blog)


Nicki Greenberg said...

Thanks so much, Grace. That is a lovely thing to say. Glad you like them. There are lots more drawings on my website (in the Links), if you fancy looking at them.

All best,

scootergrrl said...

Gosh! I had no idea the amazing art in From Hell, which I picked up a few weeks ago, and which is on my To-Read list, was homegrown! (A yank mate of mine recommended the book to me)


Nicki Greenberg said...

Yeah, he is a superstar!

Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

Just saw the layout on E.C.'s site -- I love the picture of you and your slug. :-)

Stacey Ryall said...

Hi Nicki,
Thanks so much for coming to Chisholm that day. It was very inspiring and has motivated my own writing as well as my graphic work. I would love to have chatted with you, but I'm a shy petal, plus I had a terrible cold! Nevermind, another time! Thanks again ;)