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I was finally able to join an edition of Graphic Novel Weekend. I was informed about the first edition (Utrecht) by Valentijn Hamel, but I was organising a model sketch session for The Artist Guild during that weekend. I had too much on my plate when the second edition came to Haarlem and the Corona restrictions certainly didn't help. Anyway, nothing seemed in my way for the Amsterdam edition. And the location would be a few streets away from my company's office, what a Happy Little Accident. But we had did encounter a roadblock: a new lockdown. But this didn't stop the organisers: let's do it online! This has been cartoonified in the epilogue of the book.

No graphic novel without participants, I give you the team:
- Arne de Vos
- Arnoud van den Heuvel
- David den Ouden
- David Schieber
- Ellen Faber
- Erica Austmann
- Erik van Ophem
- Feroz Nazir
- Floris Oudshoorn
- Jan Raes
- Joost van Beek
- Laila Veerman
- Leander de Goede
- Marcel van der Drift - Maria van Driel
- Marjan de Vries
- Noƫlle Marres
- Olga Timmer
- Pieter van Rij
- Robert Pennekamp
- Tommy Ventevogel

I recommend checking all of them out. Comic wise I think will see Leander's name pop up a lot.

I look back on 3 intensive days. Working online had it's pros and cons. Working at home made it easier for me to put in more hours. On the other hand it would have been easier to communicate if we had worked in the same space or at least within walking distance. It took awhile to get the story on paper, but as I'm flippping through the book it was well worth the effort. I can imagine the frustration for those that only signed up for the illustration part. Luckily there were some things like the locations and other subjects that could already be drawn.

Part of the second day was a good workshop from Floris Oudshoorn. Very educational. I recognized losing interest to draw if you already know how the story ends. I've found a reasonably good solution by wondering what certain people's reaction and opinion will be about the story. Getting back to Floris, next to the workshop he also made nice contributions to the story and also by providing advice.

A shout out to Team Blauw (Blue): Ellen, Erica, Olga, Robert and me. Within a large team it can also be nice to form a smaller group. It makes it easier to focus and we have been able to help each other. I worked with Erica and Olga while keeping Zoom on, this came close to working in the same physical space. We laughed a lot. We were in contact with Ellen through WhatsApp while she went wild in her own studio. On the third day Jan Raes also worked with Olga in the same space.

I provided Robert's figures with a background digitally (Affinity). It wasn't planned, more like the way things went. But it turned into a nice contrast. The loose lines of the figures with the tight lines of my street. This has also been remarked by people flipping through the book. Originally meant as two more pages of the consequenses of propaganda I turned it into two pages of mourning after advice from Ellen, Eric and Olga. During the post-processing I was able to improve the background with tips from David den Ouden.

Third day, deadline day. Still exciting, but we made it. The most fun part was going through all the pages with the whole team or a least those would could still be there. Very glad to have participated in the nice project.

We got a considerable amount of extra time for the post-processing. I could nicely expand the Sarphatistraat. But it was the writing team sessions that took the longest time. Can you still call it Graphic Novel Weekend? I think so. The most important work, the foundation was done in thos three days. You owe it to yourself and your potential readers to make it a nice reading experience. At least I had lots of laughs with David, David, Arnoud and Tommy during these sessions.

On the 8th of May was the big day. During a fun puppet show the book was handed to Badman (Bathman) by Jan Klaassen (Punch) en after that all the participants in attendance got their copy. It was nice to really be in the surroundings where the story takes place and to meet most of the participants face to face. I got a nice surprise from an ex co-worker that came to have a look, Pieter Spoelstra. He's bought a lot of my previous work and this book will be a nice addition to the collection.

To buy the book please go to the GNWA2021GNW website and follow the instructions.

In closing you can view a compilation of my art work for this project. Graphic Novel Weekend 2022, here we come!