Before It Was This

There once was a scribe, a sad word-smith named Brendan, who toiled in obscurity, fashioning words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into pages, pages upon pages of words all in a row. But words alone, he felt, could not satisfy him. Words alone could not express everything he wanted to say.

Then, one day, along came a drawer of pictures called Fiona, who liked to sing badly and ponder what life must be like for a frog. She looked at all the words and said ‘I could make pictures, such lovely pictures, out of those words.’ But Brendan wasn’t ready to give up all his words. He jealously guarded the sentences he’d worked so hard to compile.

Fiona, however, would not relent. She showed him the pictures she’d done before. She showed him the pictures she’d done for exhibitions and artists books. She showed him the storyboards, the graphic design projects, the beautiful prints on aluminium sheets. She showed him old Punch Cartoons and films like The Canterville Ghost and Nosferatu. She said his words could become timeless (and mentioned she was a bit of a ninja). He conceded that pictures could be what he had been missing all along.

But he could not bring himself to abandon words entirely. So they came to a compromise. Fiona would take some of the words and make lovely pictures out of them but leave the best ones, the most evocative sentences. And they could reside together, in happy coalition, on the beautiful white pages. Oh and how well they coalesced. The words and pictures, together, became a heart-warming tale about an unfulfilled Grim Reaper, finding fulfilment, and penguins, so many, many penguins. They called it Death’s New Lease On Life and smiled. Or Fiona smiled and Brendan sort-of smiled. Because Brendan only ever sort-of did.

And now you can write, or draw, yourself into this tale by buying Death’s New Lease On Life right here.