Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Firoozeh Dumas

Hello and happy October everyone!  I want to take this opportunity for thanking everyone who has commented so far, or made comments to me non-virtually.  I promise I'm not trying to pester people-- I just really appreciate feedback.  Keep the comments coming!  

Now, onto the topic of the day.  It seems that the universe is conspiring for me to meet all these inspiring authors this semester.  First it was Marjane Satrapi (see the entry a couple weeks back).  Today it was Firoozeh Dumas, an Iranian-born, American-raised female author of the books Funny in Farsi (which is now being optioned as a sitcom by ABC) and Laughing Without an Accent.  My English class, called Reading Gender and Sexuality in the Arab World, had a Q&A session with her today, and she was wonderful-- very bright, very personable, and very funny.  Though she is not a comic writer, she is a memoir writer, and had some great things to say about the writing process, inspiration, and writing from your own experiences:

"The thing I love about memoir is that you can write about any memory that is at the forefront of your mind."  (I found this quote especially relevant, because my graphic novel is a kind of memoir that jumps through memories not in chronological order, but based on memory triggers and related themes-- or, to put it another way, whatever is at the forefront of my mind at the time.)

"I try to be sensitive to my subjects." (This is an issue for me because I am telling stories that involve real people in my life, and I have to be cognizant of the fact that they will also become characters and be portrayed to people who don't know them.  It's a funny thing for me to draw my own family and friends.)

"No matter what you do in life, there will be people who criticize you."  (This one's not just relevant to me, but I thought I'd share it because it sure is true.)   

"If any of you ever writes a book, the independent bookstores will be behind you."  (I include this quote because one of the goals I have writing this graphic novel is to eventually attempt to get it published by an independent comics company.  She really spoke highly of independent booksellers and how they stand behind new talent, so this gives me some hope for the future after this process is finished.)

"I bet everyone in here has at least one thing that's happened to them that would make a really great story."  (Let's hope so!  Because that's exactly what I'm attempting to do.)

"If you have an eye for life, there are so many tales you can tell."  (I just thought this one was inspiring.)

And here she is.  Well, a sketch of her at least.  I did this during the Q&A so all I had was my spiral notebook, hence the blue lines in the background of the paper.

So now I'm off to work on my layouts for this week, which I will hopefully post something on later in the week.  Thanks again for the comments, and tune in next time!

1 comment:

  1. ah, yes: 'whatever you do in life, people will criticize you'. perhaps you should keep that in the back of your mind (i.e., the opposite of the 'forefront')the next time you're enduring CMD 450 critique. firoozeh would find something to laugh about in such a situation; perhaps that would help you, too?