Mac McCool - Children's Book Illustrations and Graphic Novels

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Forum and Homes of Pompeii

The Pompeii forum, although in ruins, stands majestically and preserves enough architectural suggestions that the mind's eye can easily leap into what it once looked like. And the decoration of the Roman homes! Romans must have had armies of painters to adorn all their walls and structures.

How can you experience such incredible places without your story brain cells flying in hyperdrive?! Peeking inside Pompeii structures evoked the anecdote I once heard of Dick Tracy's creator, Chester Gould, telling another comic artist as their plane flew by New York City: "Behind every one of these windows, there's a story!" Well, in Pompeii, the creative mind sings, "every home, every room holds within its fractured walls stories of lives, joys and tragedies of humanity."

I'll let photos speak for themselves (click on the thumbnails below to see larger versions of the photos).

Thumbnails of 16 photos of the Pompeii forum, homes, paintings, and human casts

Forum View South
Forum View North East
Forum Temple
Forum two tier columns

Public Baths Entrance
Painted Walls in Public Building and Cast Bodies
Praying Cast surrounded by Amphoras

House of Poor with Balcony
Mosaics on Entrance Floor and throughout Atrium area
Elaborately Painted Walls Inside a Pompeii Villa
Painting of a Person in a Herculaneum House

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Walking the Streets of Pompeii

Enchanting, humbling, intriguing, huge, and entirely fascinating. Many such emotions impressed my mind and heart as I discovered for the first time the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum during a recent two and a half day trip near Naples, Italy. Pompeii, the Roman city buried under the ashes of the volcano Vesuvius in 79AD, was much bigger than I anticipated. It took me two long half-day visits to begin to appreciate the scope of the city and orient myself along the main streets and bumpy paved ways. So many remains of homes I only glanced at in passing. Some with paintings, other with mosaics, more with parts of stairways, eatery counters, pedestals, and many more details suggesting the life that was. If you look closely, you can enjoy some of those details, like shop signs, balconies, crossing stones, cartwheel marks in the stones, in this first batch of photos of Pompeii streets, starting with one showing the Vesuvius in the background.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Listening to Story Principles

For crafting graphic novel stories that share much with film, I have found some books by screenwriting consultants useful for proofing plot and scene structures, character transformations, and more. Even better, I enjoy the convenience and efficiency of listening to them via iTunes audiobook downloads (just type the names of the writers in the "Search" field). Besides one of my long-time favorites, namely Robert McKee's Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting, presentations by Christopher Vogler (Using Myth to Power Your Story) and Michael Hauge (Screenwriting for Hollywood) offer specific and meaningful tools to revise the elements of stories. Additionally, these three consultants' perspectives create a flexible mix of methods for exploring and reworking your stories.