Saturday, September 22, 2012

Swan Song - The Full Story

Well, I had assumed my story was fairly straightforward, but that's what I get from assuming.  It can be really easy to take things for granted as the author when you've been so focused on getting a look down and the story seems natural in your mind.  But putting together a visual representation without any verbalization or captions is something that requires a bit more thought - and I apologize for leaving things so ambiguous.

So without further ado - I present "Swan Song" in it's entirety with featured director's commentary.



A young man arrives at his grandmother's house to help her move to a nursing home.  While packing boxes in the attic he comes across a photo of another woman - definitely not his grandmother as a young woman...someone very different.


He notices a change...the picture is having some sort of effect on him.


He's becoming the woman in the picture - and apparently she's some sort of singer.




Serenading the guests - the young man's grandmother and her beau - that would put the setting somewhere immediately in the post-WWII period.  A photo with the club photographer.


Serenading another guest - looks like she may have picked the wrong guy.


Looks like this other woman is the jealous type - and apparently she's got some additional talents.


A decidedly surprising change - and apparently not a particularly pleasant one for the singer - then she disappears.


Back to the future (our present rather) - a somewhat seedier establishment - in her transformed state - the singer continues performing.


Among the few patrons...a familiar face - the original photographer - recognizing her despite the changes and recalling a special night many years ago.


Apparently the vindictive woman with the glowing eyes wasn't the only one with powers.  Apparently the photographer's images also have some capabilities (of course including the photo that started it all).


Despite the change to color, we're not going back in time again, just realizing an improved reality this time.


Arriving at grandma's retirement home. 


The final performance - or "Swan Song" if you will - for a most appreciative audience.

Hope that clears up the concept and storyline a bit more.  Appreciate the feedback.  At least I know folks are following the story if I get comments like those.

Have a great weekend!


  1. That's... actually, that's heartbreakingly tragic. I mean, I love it in terms of process and art and so forth, but man.
    The story became about the singer and her plight almost immediately, but what about the guy who turned INTO the singer? Is his whole identity just... gone? That nice old lady in the last panel has no idea that he's standing right there in front of her with no familial connection at all. What's going to happen when she starts wondering why her dear grandson isn't visiting? She'll ask around, and surprise, he'll have vanished without a trace. She'll never see him again... neither will his parents, or anyone he knew or loved. No one will.
    This might be a (relatively) happy ending for the singer, but from the guy's perspective his entire life just got shelved and his friends and family are going to have to deal with his disappearance for the rest of their lives. He might have had a wife, or even kids, or at least a girlfriend. And they'll all have to do without him because he helped his granny move one day, and now he's... well, I guess he's not anyone's relative. This singer has no identity, no family of her own... she doesn't even remember the nice old lady who's weeping right in front of her. At least, that's what it looks like. Geez! This just gets sadder the more I think about it.

  2. Yeah, I think it's really just the TG bit that felt out of place in the story and made me feel like I was missing something. The rest of it fits together fairly well.

  3. Actually I believe what I originally had in mind was that she did still remember his/her grandmother - hence the visit at the end - although that memory may only have come back with the 2nd transformation.

    At the same time, it's also a fresh start of sorts - I mean you have a known figure who mysteriously vanished 60 years ago and then turns up again looking not a day older - his/her whole life ahead of her as well.

    Crying doesn't have to mean you're sad either - it can also be a part of a happy memory.

    Really though...I had a great visual of the transformation starting with the picture frame and worked out the entire framework from that ;p

    But yes, it's vastly more melancholy than the majority of my projects (comparatively speaking) and I think the variety certainly adds another dimension...I'm very glad I finally came up with something that provokes actual feeling in people.

    None of this would have been possible of course without Blackshirtboy's amazing artistic talent and character portrayal here - and I have to give him the lion's share of the credit for translating my textual descriptions to pure images with no additional contextual dialog.

  4. Just to let you know, I did "read" the grandmother's tears in #14 as happiness. My interpretation of the last couple of panels was that the photographer had suggested that she give a performance at the rest home where he lives, where the residents would really appreciate her, and it was kind of a coincidence that the grandmother was also there.

    To my way of thinking, being TGed into a beautiful woman with a good singing voice is actually one of the better outcomes I've seen on this site -- where are all the complaints about the people depicted on this site being transformed into bizarre human-animal hybrids, or being age-regressed -- or, for that matter, a complaint about all the minks that had to die to create the fur outfits that almost everyone ends up wearing? (Note: I'm not actually complaining about those types of material.)

  5. Well... I dunno. If we're assuming that an old photo can cause physical change on this scale, teleport a person through time while instilling skills and mental shifts, only to be shunted forward with even _more_ changes, before a final round of changes in the future...

    Frankly, it's not only entirely within the realm of possibility that we're seeing more a duplication than an abduction, it fits the theme of the story better. This is a tale about saving the singer ultimately, after all.

    Remember, at the point where the young man has picked up the picture, the events circa WWII have already happened. Somewhere out there, the singer is already stuck on a stage. We've got no idea how long she's actually there, only that she shows up at the nursing home later.

    My personal take is that the young man is duplicated, template-ed with her in a sorta fusion dealie, and then re-establishes the old pattern.