Anyway, down to the nitty and indeed also gritty.
I'm quite proud of the Andru/Esposito book. I've been told it's a bloody good book, reflective of the amount of time I spent on it - nearly three years. I spent a good 18 months working solidly on it, and the last 9 months of those I worked on it full-time, every day, 7 days a week. However if there's one flaw with it (and I'm sure there's several) then it'd be that there's not a lot of actual writing from my side of things. I transcribed tapes, reconstructed conversations and, in a few places, invented dialogue without changing the course of events, or the feel. Sometimes my dialogue worked better than Mike's and Mike agreed with me. After that amount of time I knew Mike's voice so well that I could (and still can) construct dialogue that sounds all the world like he said it. I found his voice.
The book is mainly interviews though, and comments from other people. At times I felt like an editor, or a facillitor, just putting it all together in order. Not overly satisfying, but don't get me wrong, I'd not trade the entire experience for all the world. The book started at a time when my life was reasonably settled, went through a period of utter turmoil and chaos, and it ended with me being happier than I've been in decades. I'd like to think the book reflects all of those time periods well.
For me the book is my version of U2's October. it works, it's good, it has it's highpoints, but I can do far better. And I have done far better.
I've been writing anbout Terowie for a while now, I'm gonna knock that article together, just for fun, in the very near future. It means a trip up to the town, but I'm sure the other half won't mind a bit. Wait for that one.
Now, where does that leave the Mooney book? Well that book I want to win awards with. I'd be happy to win an award for the Andru/Esposito book, but I'd be far happier to win awards for the Jim Mooney book. Why? Because the Mooney book is my version of The Fly.
For those who don't know. The Fly is a U2 song. Released in 1991 it stunned the world of U2 fans who were expecting a rather tepid follow-up to their 1988 album Rattle & Hum. Rattle & Hum was a parent friendly album - everyone loved it, even if they did get sick of it. Nice, radio friendly tunes that your mother liked. Then they released The Fly. Fueled by a guitar riff straight from the gutter it lurched along with a violence that the band hadn't even hinted at in the past. People everywhere hated it - I LOVED it! Couldn't get enough of it. It was nasty and more importantly it was something new from someone who was set in their ways. It was growth.
I want the Mooney book to lurch along with the same violence and energy. I want the book to reflect what I already know - underneath the surface of Jim's brilliant art lurks a dark side. You can see it in his sketches. Have a look.
Here's an original Mooney Batman sketch that I had the brilliant Norm Breyfogle ink.
It's beautiful. It's dirty and oozes a violent energy that lifts it up from the usual preliminary art that I've seen.
Here's what Norm did with it.
Norm took it and added polish to it. He's made it into a brilliant work of art, maintaining the feel of the Mooney original at the same time as stamping his own unique style onto the page. This is why we adore Norm.
I want the book to reflect both sides of this. I want it to explode with the energtic approach that Jim brings to his work, and I want it to have the smooth, professional polish that Norm can add. I want the world in other words.
I've written more in 54 pages in the Jim Mooney book than I've done previously. Actual writing. And I think it's slowly getting there. I'm enjoying it. I want an award for this book so I can then give it to Jim for making it happen. It's his life, his book, I'm just happy to be part of it.