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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Villette the Comic Book

It seems fitting that today's post should be about this little project of mine. It was begun nearly one year ago. It is the second work of the Brontes that I have attempted to illustrate in this way- the first was Jane Eyre which is complete. The Jane Eyre comic book was only published once online but has since disappeared after I became aware of how easily it could be pirated. Jane Eyre has been used as the subject for many comic books. I have a few of these, all are of questionable quality- one features a likeness of Mr Rochester which I swear is the Grinch who stole Christmas- only less green. Another has the novel packed with beautiful people, and Jane appears to fly at one point (my favourite part). In the frame directly following 'the voice across the moors' she cries "I'm coming!" as she leaps into the air, Wonderwoman-like, her blond hair waving in the wind and her blue super-Jane cape streaming behind her! I will have to scan this, for I don't think my words do it justice... In any case, I have not been able to find a comic book of Villette. It is possible that mine is the first but rather unlikely. If anyone has heard of another, please drop me a line either in the comments or send me an email at bronteana.blogATgmailDOTcom!

I intend to try publishing these as one book, once I have finished illustrating all of the Bronte novels. I began Jane Eyre on a whim late one night when I was tired and silly after studying for too long again. It was posted for my close friends but soon drew the attention of others. Someone suggested that I offer it to the Bronte Society but it is far too long for publication there, I think. Villette has been far less popular although those who do follow it are very enthusiastic (and cheer on their favourites, mostly Monsieur Paul and... Alfred deHamal! But only because he looks very cute as a line drawing- lots of snarky vows of admiration worthy of Miss Snowe herself). So far my reward is in forcing my friends to go out and read more of the Bronte novels. One of these had refused to try them, thinking they would be 'Victorian and dull' but after getting about a third into the Jane Eyre comic book, I recieved the instant message that it was 'all my fault' that she had gone to the library and is now completely conquered. I have complained long about how little known the Brontes are where I live. And it is nice to know that, even in my limited capacity, I am doing my part in changing things.

13 comments:

frankengirl said...

How creative and industrious you are! I love Villette - a much deeper, darker novel than Jane Eyre (and more courageous to write, I think). Frankly, I don't know why there are no productions of it (that I know of, anyway). Do let me know if/when you'll be making these availabe. I had no idea JE has been embraced by the comic book genre (but of course, why not?) :P to myself

Also (as you noted earlier) I'm very impressed that you and Thisbeciel are working on the transcript of JE '73 (I had been joking, of course, when I mentioned it!) As you say, Adele can become little more than a "doll" in productions and her relationship to Rochester as well as to Jane is glossed over. (I think Jane's own prejudices in writing of Adele are a fascinating aspect of her character.) But how can any version be perfect? (unless, of course, *we* were directing it - ;)

Brontëana said...

I have read part of a screenplay for Villette, but as far as I know there has only been one television production of it- made by the BBC in the 50s or 60s I believe. It hasn't been seen since. This year there have been at least one stage production of Villette in the UK, and of course, Paul Gordon the composer of Jane Eyre claims he nearly made a musical out of it, instead of Jane Eyre. But fate decreed otherwise ;)

I have a list somewhere of 'demands' from Bronte fans. Most are just silly but several are the honest feelings of frustrated readers. Adele having a French accent is one item on the wish list. My one hope is that Jane will put the fire out by herself for a change... The only version on film where she does so is the first talkie from the 1930s. But it hardly seems very heroic: she plucks the burning hangings, drops them and does a dainty little dance on them. It takes a few seconds for the danger to pass. In every other movie she is helped by Mr Rochester to some degree- or he just does it himself after she wakes him up. *scoff!* Yes, we should direct our own! ;)

Hope you have a happy holiday!

mysticgypsy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mysticgypsy said...

oops sorry if my previous post didn't show up..I hit the delete button my mistake..

Hi Bronteana!!!
This is FABULOUS!!! You are really really creative!!!!!!!!
I LOVE Villette..almost better than Jane Eyre...

Speaking of projects, just two weeks ago I had to do a final narrative project for my drawing class and I made one on Villette. Of course..no one in the class had read it and my professor was baffled when I told him about my choice.
But basically I made 6 drawings and compiled them into a pop-up-ish sort of book. The sketches tell the inner life of Lucy Snowe..going from an invisible woman to a formidable presence...

In any case, I felt good doing something for Lucy. I love her so :).

I dont' have the pictures of my project or I'd love share it with you here or on my blog :D

Happy Holidays!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm really impressed. So many interesting projects at the same time ! Do you sleep at all? :P

M. (BrontëBlog)

Brontëana said...

to mysticgypsy:

I saw your previous post! :P the poetry was really interesting and reminded me of two things: Jane's 'iron shroud' (which he speaks of contracting around her when she was with St.John), and Lucy's name, which is ironic if she is 'burning'. Pity you don't have any pictures of it.

Brontëana said...

to M:

Good question ;) Actually, the Villette comic book has been so neglected by me. I cannot remember the last time I worked on it. It's in my nature to be creative- if I don't write, paint, or draw something I get out of sorts.

mysticgypsy said...

Hi Bronteana!
*blushes*
I am surprised (and glad) that you did get to see that post after all LOL!
My project is currnetly with my Prof(in the process of being
graded :P) so once I get it back I
hope to get some pics.
As for the need to do something creative..I so hear you. I was wondering..do you ever fear about losing your creative abilities? I am tormented by this thought all the time...like what if I suddenly stop liking art?
What if I suddenly stop being inspired by things? To me such a life would be like death.

sorry..I was rambling there...but I was curious if you or anyone you know have ever felt this way.
No one I know understands what this means.

Brontëana said...

As far as I know, that is really common for artistic people. Charlotte feared she would lose her gift as well. Most of the artists I know fear losing their skill- I do sometimes. Writing is more precarious for me. I am primarily a visual artist and have a really deep love for it, but my writing comes after getting over the fears of writing badly ;) (I still throw away everything I write, only to find it later and admit that it isn't all that bad at all ;)

mysticgypsy said...

Hi Bronteana
What you said really made me feel better. I didn't think it was normal to feel this way..and the only time I intimated my feelings to a Prof,he kindly adviced me saying, "well, I am sure you'll find something that holds your interest even if it is not art"...which wasn't really that comforting....because the one thing I did not want to lose was "art".

Its comforting to know that this is common with artists.
And as for writing...I can relate. I am such a procrastinator when it comes to that task...because I am too critical of my own work and I think nothing I write is as good as I want it to be (the perfectionist in me is to blame for this no doubt...and yet, I don't find this as much of an issue when it comes to the visual arts. At least I am not that paranoid when it comes to drawing..)

Brontëana said...

This year I spoke to a poet who came in to talk to the editing class and I told him my own personal problem with writing- that I love it, then hate it and thus cannot ever finish things. He said: "you need to tell your inner editor to 'shut up'. Tell it to go outside and wait until you're ready." He also said that, if you know what your problems are that's the best thing there is, because you understand your writing and can start to work around those problems.

As for the art anxiety, I forgot to mention that I haven't met anyone who actually DID loose it. College made my one friend loose her enjoyment of it, but I think it is just that she sees it as work now rather than something that frees her. I think it's perfectly normal! :)

frankengirl said...

Dear mysticgypsy:

Forgive me for jumping in here - but in my past experience, working with successful playwrights, artistic anxiety is very common (though we may all express it differently).

One playwright (whose script was later turned into a film) told me that he had to write 500 words of crap for every word he kept!

As adults, it's not always easy to savor our baby-steps or mis-steps, but any new project is like a child trying to find its feet. So - I applaud your effort - :)

(If CB hadn't written The Professor, we might not have gotten Jane Eyre or Villette!)

mysticgypsy said...

Thank you for the advices Bronteana and Frankengirl! :)
I really appreciate it!