Why use seemingly unrelated vintage photographs as sources for a true crime story?

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There is no end to the inspiration I get from looking at vintage photographs- through immersion comes awakened imagination.

The central characters in my graphic novel are real people but as I am doing an artistic interpretation of real events, I revel in the freedom to flesh out the central characters using old photos as a starting point.

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There is no harm in imposing appearance and character on the brothers and sisters, so long as we regard this as a mere device for solidifying Will’s physical background.  We are entitled to visualize him as a boy eating, singing and sleeping in the house on Henley Street, and its convenient to have him surrounded by something thicker than swathes of ectoplasm with name-tags.

– Anthony Burgess, Shakespeare

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Inspiration taken from the photographs of Vivian Maier

A great source for vintage photos in Vancouver BC is Salmagundi West

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Molly- A Graphic Novel Trailer

Editor, cinematography: Julian Bowers

Writer, researcher, illustrator: Katarina Thorsen

Molly- a graphic novel and the 5-act structure. #showyourwork

I have been intuiting to structure Molly into 5 sections.  I scratch on the back of books, in their margins, in my journal, on napkins…

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It’s a fascinating process to try to organize the research and fit it all into pertaining sections.

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Eyewitness, in the park 1947, comes forward 1953
Eyewitness, in the park 1947, comes forward 1953

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My friend, writer Matt Roy, suggested I look into the 5-act structure of Shakespeare:

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It’s proving to be very helpful:

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Family secret
Family secret

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Molly- A Graphic Novel Trailer

Editor, cinematography: Julian Bowers

Writer, researcher, illustrator: Katarina Thorsen

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This poem, this city, closing its doors, barricaded, almost empty… #graphicnovel #inspiration

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Inspiration taken from the photographs of Vivian Maier

9:09 in the morning,
the taste of liquor and cigarettes,
no police, no lovers, walking the streets,
this poem, this city, closing its doors,
barricaded, almost empty,
mournful without tears, aging without pity,
the hardrock mountains,
the ocean like a lavender flame,
a moon destitute of greatness,
a small music from broken windows …

a poem is a city, a poem is a nation,
a poem is the world …

Charles Bukowski

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Molly- A Graphic Novel Trailer

Editor, cinematography: Julian Bowers

Writer, researcher, illustrator: Katarina Thorsen

Molly installment 1

We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery, rumors of death, beauty, violence. – Annie Dillard #graphicnovel #inspiration #forest

I long to fully immerse myself in Molly, to give the project the attention it needs.  Yet at the same time, I suppose, I am fully immersed in it because I am infused with it, even when working on other things and just living my life.  I trust the project has a life of its own.  As I build the rest of my career I am feeding Molly, knowing that once I release the first instalment, I will be releasing it to a larger audience.

I think what I love most about working on my graphic novel- besides the fact that it is a Vancouver story that appeases my hunger for historical research and deduction- is that it forces me into the forest.  The story begins in the forest so I often find myself in the forest, like yesterday afternoon, observing, listening, allowing.

No doubt, one of my favorite writers, Annie Dillard, teaches me how to be in the forest fully.

“I am a fugitive and a vagabond, a sojourner seeking signs.”
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.”

― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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“It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance.”
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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“Push it. examine all things intensely and relentlessly.”
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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“We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery, rumors of death, beauty, violence…”
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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Molly- A Graphic Novel Trailer

Editor, cinematography: Julian Bowers

Writer, researcher, illustrator: Katarina Thorsen

Molly installment 1