At the beginning of the year, QueenSpark Books invited submissions for the lesser known historical events to be put into a fictional story.
The Brighton Writer’s submission was a tale called, Dead Famous, about one young man’s desire to be famous, being granted by a couple who’s knowledge of Brighton’s murderous past, who were only too willing to help.
However, at the second group meeting, QSB’s mentioned that there were no tales representing the LGBT community and would anyone like to change their story line. As a tumble weed blew across the room, I volunteered, thinking my story could be used for another project, more of that in an upcoming post.
Given the limited space in which to tell a story, I quickly decided to write a story around gay men. I tried out several ideas, a jaded young queen on the scene time traveling back to the clubs of old, to gathering stories from the scene and turning these in to a running strip.
Taking a step back, the idea of using Brighton drag artist came to mind, as visually they make great visual character’s for the graphic novel. From this, the ideas came thick and fast. Thinking of the 1970/80’s show, Charlie’s Angels, I created, Brighton Angels, with David Raven aka Maisie Trollette, Dave Lynn and Stephen Richards aka Lola Lasagne as the three main angels.
After setting up meetings with David, Dave and Richard, I formed some questions, ranging from their previous jobs, how they got into becoming drag artists, the creation of their characters, who had influenced them and how their chosen career had changed their lives. It was during these interviews that I got given some essential information that helped me create my ideas.
For example, Lola lasagne first hit the scene with her trademark Marge Simpson wig, but as Stephen Richards told me, “It was too big for some of the smaller nightclubs, so it had to go.”
It was with my conversation with Dave Lynn that he said, Lola’s the one for false nails, I can’t get on with them, tired it once and they ended up all stuck to my pants when I went to the toilet.”
I also leant that Dave Lynn uses false breasts (nicknamed chicken fillets) as part of his act, while Maisie Trollette, prefers a flat chest. Lola wears short skirts, Dave Lynn, likes a slit up the side of his, as does Maisie, along with his feather boa and elbow length gloves. All these little details had to be listed, along with photos of each character; all of which was to be passed on to my artist partner, Emily Majarain.
And so the project was on it’s way. Within each fame I had to source photo references for Emily, detailing what was in each frame, positioning of characters, objects and colour scheme. To help, I also created my own storyboard.
Next came choosing some historical events.