Avalon Moore is a comics artist based out of Nova Scotia that is releasing a few pages of her graphic novel, Between, online every week. Eve Nixen sat down with Avalon to talk about the creative process, relationships and finishing projects, no matter how challenging they become.
After learning more about the graphic novel genre through a literature class at Concordia University in 2012, Avalon was inspired to start a weekly webcomic, born on a tuesday scribbles. Although the themes of her comics are often light-hearted and quirky, they also tackle serious topics like gun violence and the need for democratic reform. What Avalon quickly realized with born on a tuesday scribbles was that the union of images and text gave her a more pure and direct translation of the array of things she is conceiving in her head.
In her last few years of university, Avalon was working on a story which was inspired by a character she conceived of a decade ago; but she decided to take her comics one step further and chose to explore the way images and a narrative text can be used in tandem. This eventually became the first ten pages of the story Between.
Anyone that has seen one of the hundreds of paintings done by Avalon’s grandmother can discern that a vivid imagination is something that runs in the family. But it’s not just about genetics. Producing Between was a hefty challenge for Avalon who was determined to finish what she started. Avalon explained to me how she mapped the major plot points in her head and would work in sequence, one page a time. She also described how she developed a complicated relationship with the project, experiencing a blend of affection, resentment, and deep commitment over the 15 months that she spent working on it. To help keep the momentum going on the project she gave herself a firm deadline of six pages a week. After completing each page in pencil she went over the panels with ink and then finished with greyscale watercolour, which helped to add a textural depth, highlights as well as moodiness to the images and story.
Between begins with two friends during the summer before they turn twelve, and follows them as they become “caught in the spaces between childhood and adolescence, reality and the imaginary, and belonging to oneself and belonging to others.” For Avalon it is also an examination of the paradoxical desire for both connection and independence, an intricate balancing act which she considers to be a part of every human relationship.
In a format similar to that of her born on a tuesday scribbles webcomic, Between will be released online, two pages a week. Her decision to release the book slowly online comes from her own tendency to burn through graphic novels; by putting it out one page at a time, the reader is given the time and space to explore each page before moving on to the next one.
Although Avalon does not have plans for writing graphic novels in the near future, she does feel like Between was not able to encompass everything she wanted to explore in one novel. In the meantime, Avalon just started her Masters of Education in Counselling at Acadia University and will be researching comics’ creation as a form of therapy for queer youth. For her thesis project, she plans to develop a therapeutic, prompt-based comics journal for LGBTQ youth and a website alongside it which youth could submit comics to. You can check out born on a tuesday scribbles every Tuesday and a new page of Between every Wednesday and Friday.