CAT Magazine

CAT Magazine

VBTC: Guest Post with Author Charles Ducasse - Why Don't You Just Kill Her?

Charles Ducasse’s 5 Reasons to Write Graphic Novels

1. It lets you change minds and hearts. To me, graphic novels are about drama. Drama is about making people who experience it feel different about life than before they encountered it. Read David Mamet for a take on this. Think about drama in unusual places. Good examples of this are Cirque du Soleil’s works and Blue Man Group’s creations. It’s not just that these masters of drama in disguise let you see the world through a different lens while you experience their
creations - they persuade you below the level of your consciousness to carry that lens with you wherever you go in life. You learn to see magic in the everyday.

2. Speaking of Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group, notice how they achieve their results without the use of recognizable words. Should I point out that Cirque’s imaginary language seems almost musical at times ? This shows that the limitation and complexity of words in
graphic novels is not much of a limitation. You can achieve great emotional change in your audience with just a few well chosen words and a few well – chosen graphics.

3. A key step in achieving a deep emotional connection to your audience is to enter a conversation that your audience is already having with itself. You as the dramaturge/author are trying to achieve a oneness of audience and creator. To do this, ask a question while getting your audience to ask the same question, using techniques described in my other blogs. Then don’t answer it. Get closer and closer to the answer but never quite fill in the blanks. Respect the intelligence of your reader. Let them come up with their own answers.

4. Notice that intelligence and imagination are inseparable. Give your readers hooks ( both visual and dialogue – based ) to create images in your readers’ consciousness. As the reader experiences the drama at their own pace ( a luxury not afforded by the stage ) certain vaguely –
perceived emotions will intrude on the conscious mind of the reader. The reader will fill in the blanks with their own experience and their own drama from their own life to make sense of what their emotions are telling them. Many people have commented on the fact that people are guided by emotions – not facts – and that they select facts to fit an impression already formed by emotion.

5. Everyone has the ability to form their own mental model of what is going on in the drama. Never yield to the elitist impulse that only some people are going to “ get “ what you are trying to say. Realize that once you put your work in the public’s gaze, you have permanently lost control of your creation. The audience will come to its own conclusions as to what your creation is about. The best way to empower people to do this is with pauses – this is where a lot of
filling in the blanks occurs. If you leave out the pauses, you cheat your audience of the full impact of the experience you are trying to create. There is an art to stillness – it can seem at times transcendent, at times menacing, at times touching. Give your reader time to breathe.

I hope I’ve helped to broaden your perspective on graphic novels. Drop me a line and let me know what you think at :

Charles Ducasse

A woman (?) chases down a balloon and ties it down to a sign extolling the virtues of the story’s main villain. She passes the scene of a victim of crime, continuing to observe as one the hero’s past girlfriends makes a play for the hero (in front of the hero’s current significant others ).

He reacts with indifference to his ex’s actions, just as he tries to ignore a later spat between his current girlfriends. We start to wonder if anything can awake this man’s callousness when the victim of the first crime bursts in on him and slams down an article stolen from the hero by his ex. His two girlfriends finally pull guns from under the table and take up defensive positions ( at least somebody’s pulling for our hero ! ). 

But what does our hero do?

He grabs his retrieved property and drives off the villain and her henchwoman. He decides to intercede on behalf of the victim. ( Why doesn’t he just kill the villain ? )

Cut away to a scene of the grand opening of a theme park built by the hero, his two girlfriends, and the former victim. All is well until the boss villain is spotted sneaking in, bearing a giant battleax. One of the hero’s girlfriends alerts the hero and the former victim to this fact, and the newly formed team gets their defensive plan into action. In an act of personal courage, the newly – empowered victim stuns and trips the charismatic boss villain in front of her  mesmerized followers. Meanwhile, the hero dispatches his ex ( driving a Blood Flag – bearing bulldozer ) with carefully prepared defenses. The boss villain is suddenly seen as a double failure, despite her hype. In the turning point of the novel, the crowd turns against the boss villain. Was this part of the hero’s plan to save the victim from his self – destructive tendencies?

The novel concludes with the band of friends enjoying supper at the theme park’s restaurant. One of them wonders about the origins of what they’re eating. ( Think about the nature of all the characters in the novel. It’s grimly funny.) Finally, the victim asks the hero why didn’t he just kill the villain? The hero passes the article stolen from him to the victim with the words “ Pass it on“.

Finally, we have the answer. The price of the victim’s Liberty was the showdown with the boss villain. Without that confrontation, the victim would carry his victimhood with him forever. Now, the former victim has the chance to be a hero to some other victim later on, breaking the cycle of victimhood and starting a new, better cycle.

Charles Ducasse is a 3rd Year Microbiology student at the University
of Saskatchewan. He enjoys dancing, drama, and music. He currently lives
in Saskatoon, Canada but will be moving to Vancouver, Canada in the
summer of 2013. This is his first book. He can be reached at

Publisher :
Genre : Graphic novel / general
Release Date :
Print version : March 27, 2012
eBook version : March 06, 2012
Purchase Links :
Print Version :
eBook Version :

Follow The Tour -