Saturday, November 7, 2009

Atlas: One More Try

Poor Eddie Willers, Ayn Rand's closest approximation of an "Everyman," tries one more time to convince boss James Taggart to take action. A waste of time indeed. The characters (and I) have spent 14 talky pages trying to save the Rio Norte Line of the mythical Taggart Transcontinental Railroad. By the way, no railroad that I have ever heard of is named for the people who create or run it. All railroads that I know of are named for the places they go, at least until Amtrak.

I have a few pages left to go in this opening scene, which is typical of the pace and thick dialogue of Rand's book. Even with editing for clarity and fitting into word balloons, a comic book adaptation of ATLAS SHRUGGED would be hundreds and hundreds of pages long. I plan to do one more scene following this one and then move on to other things, graphic novel projects that I have been doing slowly for many years. I may return to Rand for illustrations or graphic sequences in the future. I like doing sequential art (comic books, in popular terminology) more than any other type of art, except perhaps architectural art.

I can't imagine that in our big world no one has tried to do a sequential art version of ATLAS. Interestingly, according to Rand biographer Jennifer Burns, a graphic adaptation of Rand's FOUNTAINHEAD was created in the 1940s for serialization in newspapers. I would love to know whether it was still extant, it would be great to see it.

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