A Process Note
When I sit down to begin creating a poetry comic, I am always starting with the written work first. I need the initial poem to be solid, strong on its own, so that it can act as a ballast when I add the illustration. I will create sketches first, making a wireframe of how I want the comic to flow, and then I sit down to draw. There is something driving me to make these kinds of hybrid forms, and I think accessibility is one aspect of it: when I started my career in poetry, I quickly became aware of how inaccessible my work was to my own parents, my own brothers (especially since both my brothers had learning disabilities which made reading difficult for them). So I found that if I illustrated my poems, my family could more easily understand and enjoy the work. This was really important to me. So my creative process evolved from written word to a combination of language and illustration. I want to reach a broad audience of people – especially people who may feel intimidated by verse, people like my brothers – and include them in the experience.
Lauren Haldeman is the author of Instead of Dying (winner of the 2017 Colorado Prize for Poetry, Center for Literary Publishing 2017), Calenday (Rescue Press 2014) and the chapbook The Eccentricity is Zero (Digraph Press 2014). Her work has appeared in Tin House, Colorado Review, Fence, The Iowa Review, and The Rumpus. A comic book artist and poet, she has been a recipient of the Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, the Colorado Prize for Poetry and fellowships from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. You can find her online at http://laurenhaldeman.com.