(By Tom Brown and Bryn Colvin)
When we write short stories together, we do it like this – with skype on to talk and typing in the chat box, and we end up with just one voice. It’s both different and the same, when we collaborate on the sequential art stories. A very natural process, not unlike a dance. Inspiration flows back and forth between us, leading us both to create things that are not at all what we would have come up with on our own. Better, and richer (frequently stranger and wilder) than what we could arrive at individually. A sort of, third artist is created between us. We call it Copper Age. Sometimes we are enough on the same wavelength that we type the same things, at the same time.
(Insert note from Tom. Just now for example!)
We play very well together, in short. This involves large amounts of trust and respect (amongst other things). Out of surreal and wandering late night conversations come all kinds of story ideas, including zombie morris dancers, and the bottling of cat spirits. It’s a good defence against block as well, because usually one of us will have enough ideas to bail the other one out.
(another note from Tom – Now, for instance)
The process has brought us down some strange roads (in a creative sense). No doubt there’s more to come in that regard. Not least because, while it’s easy enough to trade words across the Atlantic, we can’t do the same with the art. (Yet). No doubt also that once the annoyance of the (pesky!) Atlantic has been dealt with, the process of collaboration will include the visual art as well. Which will be, to say the very least, very interesting! (in a the-world-is-by-no-means-ready-for-this sort of way). While Tom is very good indeed at drawing things such that they look like things, Bryn isn’t. She favours abstract stuff. How this might work out if combined on the same page remains to be seen.
(Bryn thinks she could be safely left to paint in the sky maybe.)
(Tom grins and rubs his hands together)
It is also very much a learning process. We’re constantly exploring new ways of working, new things to try. There is no end in sight. Which is as well. There’s a strong friendship grown out of the working together, and if we didn’t have such a good excuse to talk most days, we would of course have to make one up.