Cloudbusting is a graphic novel by Helen Dearnley BA (hons). Set in the city of Lincoln and also inspired by Eric Drooker's Flood.
The working title for this graphic novel is “Cloudbusting”, it is written and illustrated by Helen Dearnley BA (hons) Fine Art & Illustration University of Lincoln.
The full synopsis and first pages are uploaded on this blog
The concept occurred in a dream after going to sleep reading Eric Drooker’s "Flood". Entirely conceived during the 2012 UK floods. The story documents real events that occurred to the illustrator and single parent, graduating at the time of the 2008 recession, conflated with actual dreams, following on from previous research interests. It is a wordless graphic novel.
The starting point of the graphic novel begins with a dream in which the female protagonist was working with a male colleague. Re-appropriated imagery (ref: Cindy Sherman and Candice Breitz) from Kate Bush's Cloudbusting video depicts a female "professor" and a male colleague working together, heaving a large, heavy, covered object up a hill. They appear as small silhouettes.
The characters in Kate Bush’s original video have been re-appropriated to place the female protagonist as the “Professor”, and her male colleague working together.
The pair are torn apart from each other at the point after the government come to destroy the research at the end of Kate Bush’s video. The style of the illustrations at this point change specifically with reference made to Andrzej Klimowski’s The Depository; the female protagonist finds herself trapped in a vitrine in The Depository. The storyline then conflates numerous sources, including Florence And The Machine’s "Cosmic Love" and Lowell’s "The Birds", blackbirds in place of the book angels fly across the city skyline to communicate in dreams.
The female heroine's adventures through grief, homelessness, false accusations, and DWP jobkill depict scenarios that Eric Drooker knows all too well, and eventual reunion with the male protagonist lead to a very different ending.
Although this is set in Lincoln, its appeal is more widespread - Eric Drooker's "Flood" is definitively located in New York in the 1980s, as that's where the illustrator lives, and experienced the scenarios that were included in that novel. Yet his experiences are conveyed and shared with readers that identify with his character, and learn from those experiences as any narrative. Although illustrated from a female perspective, this aims to be read by a broad readership, to share challenges faced by single parents so that others may learn from those experiences. It follows a similar narrative as Jane Austen's "Persuasion", but it isn't meant to appeal only to women.
Anne Elliott said "Men have every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands."
The aim is for this to be completed and published in 2017 - I will require a publisher that perhaps specialises in graphic novels, and it's of interest to Eric Drooker himself when it's completed.
Cloudbusting Flood remix by Helen A
The music for the video samples Pxl's remix of Kate Bush's original Cloudbusting song, edited with vocals courtesy of Apparatjik and "Everybody Is One Bar". Vocals by Jonas Bjerre and Guy Berryman. Original Cloudbusting music and video remain the intellectual property of Kate Bush.
Funding requested is for some of the costs of producing the graphic novel. As a considerable amount has been illustrated already, with additional income earn the through after schools comics workshops and zero hours contract teaching work, the goal is set as a proportion of costs in the hope to raise more, and / or follow this up with another funding pitch. The full costs of labour would be impossible to raise via Kickstarter in one month alone.
All funding covers labour, printing / publishing costs, shipping and Kickstarter fees. If funding goes over the limit, further additional rewards will be added in, such as Dearnley's Tea-O-Meter etc.
Helen Dearnley aka "Blackbird" is an artist and illustrator based in Lincoln, UK.
Her first self-published comic "The Unreal God And Aspects Of His Non-Existent Universe" documented real and imaginary adventures with iconic comic book band A-ha.
"I want one! Great job Helen! congrats! I think you're VERY talented. Congrats again! xx " Carlos Macia
Helen always thought it would be quite funny if she met Morten Harket and illustrated a photo with him. In 2010 she was awarded funding to go to Oslo as a delegate at the conference "Living A Boy's Adventure Tale: Musical Interactions In The Decades Of Postmodernism" and exhibition "Hunting High And Low: 25 Years With A-ha" at the National Library Of Norway, where she saw original illustrations from A-ha's Take On Me and The Sun Always Shines On TV videos. Her Nobel Peace Centre wish came true a couple of months later in Sheffield, where Helen met Morten Harket, and gave him one of the original copies of the comic as a retirement present. The resulting illustration is the pride of her portfolio. Helen has been commissioned to illustrate "Move To Oslo", a book about an A-ha fan's adventures written by Lina Nordmeer and Ildiko Karpati.
"I have written the novel „Move To Oslo” not just by mere accident… everything that I have experienced through this book was driven by fate. This is how I met Helen by a lucky chance – first I was thinking about asking Stian Andersen to sell me a nice photograph of Morten, which he was more than willing to do, even for a quite reasonable price. But then I saw the lovely drawings of Helen on Facebook and I decided rather to take that for my book – a portrait of Morten and myself. Helen made two sketches and I instantly fell in love with one of them. I am very grateful for the lovely artwork of Morten and me and would like to thank Helen for the great cooperation. She is a true artist, indeed, and I wish her enduring success !" Lina Nordmeer, author "Move To Oslo".
Helen also works with Magne Furuholmen as a fine artist, and in 2012 returned to Oslo to see him perform with Apparatjik for the opening of the new Astrup Fearnley Museet. Whilst there, Helen discovered the graphic novel work of Norwegian illustrator Hariton Pushwagner, and his graphic novel "Soft City". Helen's work with Apparatjik contributes to the music for the promotional video here.
Risks and challenges
The project will be funded, as Andrew Graham Dixon said in his lecture at the University of Lincoln in November 2015, that as robots take over most other professions, being creative and working with your hands will always mean you have work, and #payingartists says that artists should be paid accordingly for their time, talent and skill in producing work.
Austerity is a false ideology that does not exist, and therefore #payingartists is a direct act of rebellion against this.
Included in the video is an image of Van Gogh's The Potato Eaters. Even Van Gogh was subsidised to produce his work, although he never sold a painting in his lifetime. Similarly, the graphic novel illustrator Pushwagner spent years as a homeless drug addict in Oslo before his graphic novel and other work was discovered and shown. I have absolutely no intention of being made homeless, destitute, or blow all the funding on drugs, nor to slave away under the threat of George Osbourne's next form of financial abuse.
Once this funding campaign is successful, if more funding is required, or backers would like specific products relating to Cloudbusting - who knows? 3D printed action figures, comic con event promotion, Cloudbusting may go on tour, so we may need to produce further material to make it even better!! It might become an animation or be developed as a computer game, which would be really cool. And when this is successful, I'll then work on my next concept / comic / project!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)