I’m embarking on a new personal project at the moment, it’s taking up most of my drawing time and will probably take up a lot more in future but I must admit to being quite excited about it. I’ve decided to write and illustrate some short stories about gambling/gamblers. I need to work on “narrative art” so I thought it would be a good idea to work on a comic/graphic novel type project because this will hopefully produce portfolio items as well as make me practice drawing things I may not have otherwise. I considered a lot of options in terms of what story to illustrate and finally set on writing my own about gambling for various reasons:
I’ve studied gambling or more specifically winning at gambling for most of my life. I’ve spent a lot of time in and around the environment and people of gambling and it’s always better to do something you know. I’ve decided to put some short stories together based on actual events - things that I either witnessed myself, was actually involved in or know for a fact happened. The stories are all set in the same British city, its casinos, pub card games and other settings and follow the fortunes of a small group of winning players. I’ve decided to title it “Sharp Edges”.
There is a lot of nonsense perpetuated by TV and movies about gambling, especially regarding the people who win at gambling consistently. Portrayals of clairvoyant poker players who can look into an opponent’s eyes and know what cards they are holding or fast talking, suited, ultra slick conmen – this is 99% twaddle. Usually everything on TV is fluffed up to make it more “entertaining” but what happens in the real world is, in my opinion, more entertaining, especially if you know it’s true. Feasibility and authenticity are very important to me. The storylines and events I have in mind are 100% feasible because they have actually happened – no fluff. The techniques the players in Sharp Edges use to gain advantage are real techniques that are actually used in real life to win money.
Anyway, over the coming weeks, months, probably years I’ll be posting work from this project. At the moment, I’m just working on ideas, drawing up characters, environments and general design. Here’s a draft of the foreword page which “lays out the stall” to some extent:
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