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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 686)...

    The premise of your graphic novel THE MAN WHO GREW YOUNG is that the forward flow of time in the universe has come to the end of its string and is "rewinding" itself like a yo-yo. Was it difficult to write a book in which all the action is running backwards?

    ...and the response:

    When I first conceived THE MAN WHO GREW YOUNG, I tried writing it as an ordinary prose novel -- and found it couldn't be done (at least by me). By "ordinary" I mean naturalistic. To give you a small example of the difficulty: Early in the book, Adam Taylor works as a journalist; he sits at a typewriter and with each keystroke REMOVES a letter from the page. When every letter has been removed from the page, he takes it out of the typewriter and replaces it with another page that is full of type to be removed. If you were to see this being done on a motion picture screen, this would be fun. If you see it spelled out on a page, it's pretty boring.

    I tried writing it as a screenplay and was pleased with the results (but was told on good authority that the chances of seeing it produced were close to zero). Next it occurred to me that it could be done as a graphic novel. Tim Eldred, a friend and fan of my work, is an accomplished comic-book artist, and he was enthusiastic about the idea of our collaborating on the project. He worked from my screenplay very much as if he were storyboarding it for a screen production. Oddly enough, THE MAN WHO GREW YOUNG is actually under option to one of the production companies under the Universal umbrella, so it could actually reach the screen (though if this happens, it probably won't resemble the book very much).


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