Attention, Artists! Seeking Illustrator for “We Have Each Other: Stories from Palestine”

Writer seeking an experienced and committed artist to illustrate a graphic novel entitled “We Have Each Other: Stories from Palestine.”  The artist will be hired to draw, ink and letter a 130 – 160 page graphic novel at a negotiable per-page rate.  Artist will first complete a short sample which will be used to secure a book deal from an interested publisher.  If the project is not accepted by a publisher, I will seek crowd funding for the project.

Story: When the Israeli army demolishes her family’s home, Um Salman says to her sons, “You know what happened to me. Remember the village where I was born? In ’48, the Israelis came and forced us out of our homes. Destroyed everything. Now they say my village never even existed. We can’t let that happen here. We’ll lose more than our land. We’ll lose our history – and each other.” Standing in the rubble of their family’s house, she admonishes her sons saying, “Find a way to stay.” The graphic novel “We Have Each Other,” tells the true story of one rural Palestine village’s struggle to stay together on their land in the face of Israeli military occupation. It takes the form of five interlocking short stories told in first person by a diverse group of village residents. I developed this script in consultation with my friends in the village, based on the stories I heard them tell visitors over the three years that I lived and worked in beside them. This graphic novel is my loving tribute to the resistance and resilience of this community and aims to support their struggle by bringing their stories to a wider audience.

Desired Style:

I’m looking for an artist with a realistic, warm style and a gift for capturing emotion.  My own artistic inspiration for this work include Joann Sfar, Alison Bechdel, and Craig Thompson’s Blankets.

Requirements:

  • A realistic and evocative style
  • Lettering ability
  • Ability to capture complex emotion through facial expressions and gestures.
  • Ability to illustrate real-world violence respectfully and without sensationalism, in a way that advances character development and plot
  • Commitment to respectfully portraying true stories featuring real people.
  • Must be willing to complete the entire project within one to two years (negotiable)
  • Must be willing to work collaboratively with the script writer
  • Ability to work from reference photos/video
  • Ability to set and meet deadlines
  • Preference given to artists willing to participate in the process of querying publishers, crowd-funding, and marketing of the final product.

To indicate interest or for more details: email jubilus@gmail.com with a short, informal statement explaining your interest in the project and your comics experience, and provide a link to your portfolio. If you are Palestinian or have experience living in rural Palestine, please indicate so.

About the author: My name is J.M. Ellison. I am a writer, comics creator, a teacher and scholar, and a grassroots, community activist. I am interested in using stories, both fictional and true, to build community, document social movements, and imagine a liberated world. I spent three years working in At-Tuwani village, supporting Palestinian unarmed resistance. I believe that storytelling is integral to healing, transformation, resistance, and survival. My website: http://jmellison.net

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