Molly- a true crime analysis, a visual serial goes online January 15!

How do you escape from a convincing story?  After enough repetitions, the facts come to serve the story and not the other way around.  – Errol Morris

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I began working on this PASSION PROJECT in 2003 when I was a volunteer criminal profiler on the Babes in the Wood task force in Vancouver, Canada.  And I have been working on it ever since.

But I have come to a crossroads.

 Recall:

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That tap on the shoulder was a message.  I knew I needed to pay attention.  And I have been.

But hovering.  

Waiting.  

Feeling lost— thinking hoping the message was:

“Await the magic moment when a publisher responds, or that phone call comes from that lead down south…”

Sitting on the dock with lines in the water…

But no- I knew in my heart that my HOPE was actually blocking my ability to truly listen.

So I sat down with my main character the other day.

I asked Molly- what do you want from me?  

I raged at myself- walked the lagoon, again and again-

… sitting with the questions, still awaiting news from publishers, producers.

Awaiting the signal to restart the manuscript- its parts all laid out and ready.  Yet- feeling a nagging churning in my heart and gut that this is not how I naturally work.

Then- AH HA!  

Molly pushed me off the dock into the water.  

I AWOKE from my stupor!

Molly- who was an ACTUAL LIVING BREATHING HUMAN between 1924-1947, who reached out across time and space and grabbed my heart, asking me to tell her story, whose life I have pieced together from research, who seems to guide the show if I am willing to let go of what I thought it should look like- has made it so clear to me that—

 I need to start telling the story in my way.

AND NOW.

It wasn’t the right time before.  I have uncovered new things.  

But it is also no longer OK to wait.

Narratives are ubiquitous.  They are part of the way people see the world, part of the way people think.  All of us.  Myself included.  Without them we would be overwhelmed, with undigested, raw facts.  But that doesn’t mean that all narratives are created equal.  There is fiction, and there is nonfiction.  And one of the differences between fiction and fact is that a fictional character is controlled by its creator.  It has no reality off the page…  It is easy to confuse a search for revealing plot details with a search for evidence.  But there is a difference.  In one case, we are wandering through a landscape of words.  In the other, we are in the physical world. – Errol Morris

And so, me, the creator am controlled by the non-fiction character, Molly.

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Molly- a true crime analysis visual weekly serial

goes online January 15, 2017!

23 sections (two parts per section) released over 45 weeks.  

January 15-November 5, 2017

The work is presented in an experimental graphic novel form.

… a crime analysis to determine the general characteristics of the most likely suspect for the crime. – Henry Lee, Crime Scene Investigation (1994)

Vancouver’s ultimate cold case…

– Eve Lazarus, author of Cold Case Vancouver: the city’s most baffling unsolved murders

mulligan-report

Katarina Thorsen’s work Molly weaves empirical discovery and her own imagination. While many people know of the tragic deaths of the two children from the Babes in the Wood case, Thorsen introduces another tragic death in Vancouver history near the same time, that of a young woman named Molly, whose demise was a brief and lurid headline back in the day. It is a story about history and mystery, and how these two tragic stories intersect- or don’t- as the case may be.

–  Pamela Post, journalist, 2015

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THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS AND I WILL INCLUDE YOU IN MY JOURNEY.

AS MY MANUSCRIPT UNFOLDS, I WILL SHARE THE PROCESS WEEK TO WEEK STARTING WITH WEBSITE LAUNCH JANUARY 15, 2017 

THE 5-ACT SERIAL WILL INCLUDE TEXT, PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SOURCES, ILLUSTRATIONS, PHOTOGRAPHS, VIDEO AND AUDIO.  (AND MAGIC)

Anam Cara

It will unfold as it should in the only way I know how.  It will be workshopped, if you will.

“History is so subjective. The teller of it determines it. – Lin Manuel Miranda

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“Don’t figure it out. Create it.” – Maryam Hasnaa

Related:

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Daisy’s dilemma. 1947 and dark Disney imagery.

My current book project, Molly, is a creative non-fiction tragedy that centres around a suicide in 1947.

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Suicides were well publicized back then, often featured on the front pages of newspapers.

Searching online images “suicide, 1947,” the image that inevitably comes up is the photo titled “the most beautiful suicide“- a haunting and iconic image.

But as I scrolled down yesterday, I came across another haunting and shocking image— of Daisy Duck!  I just had to draw it!  What is happening here?  Daisy, are you OK?!

My Dad taught me how to draw Donald Duck when I was a kid, and those cartoons were some of Dad’s favorites.  I wish he were alive so he could discuss this heartbreaking, troubling and fascinating image with me.

I drew it from a screenshot from the 1947 animation: Donald’s Dilemma:

Donald’s Dilemma is a 1947 Walt Disney Studios animated cartoon directed by Jack King and starring Donald and Daisy Duck. It was originally released on July 11, 1947 in the United States. Although Donald is the official headliner for this cartoon, Daisy is the actual protagonist. The dilemma of the title is actually offered to her, not to Donald. – source

Daisy’s loss resulted in a number of psychological symptoms – she suffered from anorexia, insomnia and self-described insanity. An often censored scene features her losing her will to live and pointing a gun at her head. She decided that she would see Donald once again, at any cost, but failed to do so. That’s when she decided to go to the psychologist – and the flashback meets the actual time of the cartoon. – source

 

PHOTOSHOOT recreating October 5, 1947 #graphicnovel #Vancouver

On the anniversary of Molly’s suicide [November 6, 1947], I spent the afternoon with Jocelyn Louise and Jay Fisher recreating the mood of October 5, 1947– the alleged date of the double homicide.

I am so honored to work with these two- Jay is a master at styling the era, and Jocelyn channels Molly in a way that sends shivers up my spine.  We used the fur coat I ordered on Etsy.  Recall the significance of the coat.

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VANCOUVER CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

REPORT Coroners BRANCH

TO: –

THE CHIEF CONSTABLE

DATE April 20th 1953

SUBJECT: Re Skeletons in the Park

D.O.                                  Jan 15-53

EXAMINED BY

L. M. M.

At 10:00 am this date, with Det. Green interviewed Mrs. C at the home of her mother Mrs. S.  As a result took Mrs. C and her husband to Stanley Park where she directed us to the vicinity of the skeleton discovery and described how on Oct. 5th 1947 in co. with an Air force man she had been walking up a trail from Beaver Lake toward Prospect Point and had come upon a woman with two children. 

The woman is described as 5’3-4, dark hair, fair comp. (suggesting Italian) wearing dark fur coat, full sleeves, with a scarf or something blue at the neck opening.  As they passed the woman on the trail she saw the woman was holding a small rusty hand axe in her hand and against the bosom of her coat. 

She called the [younger] boy, who was ahead on the trail back to where she and the [older boy] were standing.  The [older boy] was described as about 7 years fair hair and pale face, wearing trousers that were drawn in at the cuff a light brown or sandy color.  The jacket of the suit appeared to be rather dirty but she thinks the same color.  The [younger boy] seemed more lively than the [older boy]… darker complexion and wearing a reddish dirty jacket and light colored pants.  Both had dark caps, which she thinks were the kind that fastened under the chin.

Mrs. C and her companion went on to Prospect Point and then returned to the area of the Rose Gardens.  This would be about 4:30 to 5 PM.  When they were at a point where the drive divides to go under the main road, Mrs. C. drew her companion’s attention to a woman, running from the direction of the bear cages toward the promenade and although it was rather a cold afternoon the woman had no coat, a light colored sweater and skirt and had only one shoe on.  She is positive that the one shoe was flat-soled because there was no perceptible limp.

Mrs. C did not connect this woman with the one who was accompanied by the two children until she saw the pictured story in the newspapers.

At the time she saw the axe the first thought was of cutting Xmas decorations, but she discarded the idea when she realized it was only October.  She describes the woman’s voice as low and soft.

 

 

 

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  That’s wonderful and very helpful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can donate via PAYPAL by clicking DONATE

Wartime rationing and the 1940s house #graphicnovel research

Source

‘Because of the pail, the scraps were saved,  

Because of the scraps, the pigs were saved,

  Because of the pigs, the rations were saved,

 Because of the rations, the ships were saved,

 Because of the ships, the island was saved,  

Because of the island, the Empire was saved,

And all because of the housewife’s pail’

– Ministry of Food

Supersizers Go Wartime

The 1940s House

Coal House At War

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  That’s wonderful and very helpful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can donate via PAYPAL by clicking DONATE

It’s all about the family tree intertwined with the timeline. #graphicnovel #Vancouver

PROJECT FUNDED on KICKSTARTER!

MOLLY- the graphic novel

 I know that my heart will be forever in this suspended animation, as I live entwined in [their] circumstance.[1]

To build the timeline and the family tree, I started with the original news articles and then proceeded to a variety of resources such as BC Archives and Alberta Archives, Pier 21 Society passenger lists, “Henderson Listings” (essentially phone catalogues that cross reference addresses with residents and lists the person’s occupation)[2], obituary notices, death certificates, special collection searches, etc.


[1] “Joy “(2001) Where is God in a Mental Hospital NAMI-SCC, the Santa Cruz, California, affiliate of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.  Retrieved September 8, 2006 from http://www.namiscc.org/newsletters/December01/myson.htm

[2] Vancouver “Henderson Listings” published by Sun Directories Limited, Sun Building, 500 Beatty Street, Vancouver, BC

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  That’s wonderful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can donate via PAYPAL here: DONATE

Thank you for making my dream come true via KICKSTARTER!


What is the truth? #graphicnovel #Vancouver

PROJECT FUNDED on KICKSTARTER!

MOLLY- the graphic novel

There are faint stars in the night sky that you can see, but only if you look to the side of where they shine.  They burn too weakly or are too far away to be seen directly, even if you stare.  But you can see them out of the corner of your eye because the cells on the periphery of your retina are more sensitive to light.  Maybe truth is like that.  You can see it, but only out of the corner of your eye.

Janna Levin [1]

 

I am reviewing my research preparing for the Family Tree drawing.  The truth is in there.  This project allows me the freedom to tell the story as I see it and though I am not inventing facts and timelines, I will fill in the holes.  But  I want to tell the truth.
 


[1] Levin J. (2006) A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, New York: Alfred A. Knopf

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  That’s wonderful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can do donate via PAYPAL here: DONATE

Thank you for making my dream come true via KICKSTARTER!


A visit to the @policemuseum #creativeprocess #graphicnovel #Vancouver

PROJECT FUNDED on KICKSTARTER!

MOLLY- the graphic novel

Video courtesy of Vancouver Filmmaker, Patti Henderson

This video is a ‘sizzle reel’ of DARK PASSAGES that Patti co-created and directed, featuring Karen Lam and DJ Ashba.  The show proposed to follow the hosts as they travel to different countries, exploring death rites and rituals, thereby allowing us, the audience, to explore how we choose to live our lives, based on our views of death.

In this video, they visit the Vancouver Police Museum and we catch glimpses of the window display that focuses on the Babes in the Woods (the cold case featured in my graphic novel, Molly)!

The items on display at the museum (from my notes during the 2004 visit with the task force):

Photos courtesy of Patti Henderson:

 

 

 

Thank you, Patti!

Patti Henderson

Patti’s bio:

As a writer/director Patti Henderson’s first drama, UP THE WALL (1997), was the FIRST Digital Video – 35mm project to be shot in Canada and financed by B.C. Film, while her Art Video entitled, FEAR NO ART – An Inquisition, had rotation on BRAVO!

Patti’s feature length, female action script, BENEATH THE SURFACE, won one of three prizes given through the Praxis Screenwriters and I.A.T.S.E. local 891 script competition.

For CBC, Patti directed and edited, SALMON CHANTED EVENING. A magic realism drama with a ‘touch of reality’ selected from over 350 scripts and produced in association with CBC and British Columbia Film; the film was nominated for seven 2002 LEO FILM AWARDS.

Patti has attended The Women In The Director’s Chair Workshop at The Banff Centre, as one of eight emerging women directors selected from across Canada.

Most recently, she Directed a ‘sizzle reel’ for a documentary series called ‘Dark Passages’ for Executive Producer Karen Lam, and is being pitched to broadcasters by Lynn Booth of Make Believe Media Inc.

Currently, Patti is putting in funding applications for her Dramatic and Documentary projects, working on her feature film script, MOVING MOUNTAINS, and applying to direct lifestyle/Documentary programming.

Patti is also a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 891’s Script Supervision Department and Editing Department. A few select credits as Script Supervisor include RV. With Director Barry Sonnenfeld, EIGHT BELOW, for Director Frank Marshal, FRINGE, SUPERNATURAL, SMALLVILLE, DARK ANGEL. A few select credits as Editor include Feature Film DREAMING OF JULIA with Harvey Keitel, THE SPACE BETWEEN, Directed by Chad Lowe, starring Hilary Swank. Comet Post Production. Credits include such projects as, Hard Core Logo, Kitchen Party, Taillights Fade, Twighlight of the Ice Nymphs.

As a result, she brings creativity and understanding of all aspects of production to all her positions.

Patti lives and works in Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Specialties

art, broadcast, directing, editing, features, film production, journalism, newspaper, photography, production, publicity, research, television, writing,

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  That’s wonderful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can do donate via PAYPAL here: DONATE

Thank you for making my dream come true via KICKSTARTER!


Research and inspiration. #creativeprocess #graphicnovel #Vancouver

PROJECT FUNDED on KICKSTARTER!

MOLLY- the graphic novel

It is important to my creative process to immerse myself in research and objects that evoke the era.

 

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the project.  That’s wonderful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can do donate via PAYPAL here: DONATE

Thank you for making my dream come true via KICKSTARTER!


Updates on #Molly, the #graphic novel! @Kickstarter @annatfabulous

PROJECT FUNDED on KICKSTARTER!

MOLLY- the graphic novel

UPDATES

1. I will be contacting backers soon for their info so I can fulfill the rewards.

2. Supplies have been purchased, including a shoulder-strapped portfolio, so I can work on the novel downtown in situ at various story locations like Stanley Park, the Vancouver Police Museum and Mountain View Cemetery.

3. The medium will be china marker on newsprint for this look:

   

4. Regular updates will be posted on the Kickstarter site and this blog.  Please let me know what kind of updates you are looking for as well!  Feel free to comment here or on the Kickstarter site, or Email me!

5. Art event planning will happen in the new year as we approach self-publication!

6. More on-location photoshoots for illustration resources will be scheduled soon!

7. Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the project.  That’s wonderful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can do donate via PAYPAL here: DONATE

Thank you for making my dream come true via KICKSTARTER!


Funding successful!!! THANK YOU EVERYONE INVOLVED FOR YOUR SUPPORT! @Kickstarter @annatfabulous

PROJECT FUNDED on KICKSTARTER!

As of this moment we’re 100% funded!  WOW!!!

A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE BACKERS!!!  I’M A EXCITED TO MAKE YOU PROUD OF BEING PART OF THIS PROJECT!!!

So, the research is done.  Funding is in place.  Now it’s time to start  the illustration and writing process and apply for more funding grants as we go along!

I will update you regularly both here and on the Kickstarter site!  And I look forward to sending out the rewards!

Spring 2010 will be launch party and art event time, hosted by none other than project producer,

ANNA T FABULOUS!

The original drawings will be displayed.  There will be interactive art, auction, presentation, book signing etc!

Thank you!  Love, Katarina

To help fund this graphic novel go to KICKSTARTER!


The year was 1947. #graphicnovel #Vancouver @Kickstarter @annatfabulous

PROJECT FUNDING in 5 hours on KICKSTARTER:

As of this moment [September 11, 2011], we’re 100% funded!  WOW!!!

You still have approximately 4 hours to be part of bringing this incredible story to life!

A huge thank you to all our backers so far!

Raising more than the goal is OK, though!  More than OK!!!

The TIMELINE of the story ranges from 1891-1968.  The main event in Stanley Park occurred in 1947.

Time to draw the story!  Thank you everyone!  Will blog about the process and stay tuned for an art event/book launch in Spring 2012!

To help fund this graphic novel go to KICKSTARTER!

Note: All backers will receive a mention in the book (if they so wish).  Take a look at the fun rewards available for various donation levels!  In addition, backers who donate $100 and above will receive a signed copy of the book when it is published!  All backers who donate $50 and up will appear in the graphic novel in a cameo role!