Coming soon: The Alvin Green graphic novel

OK, now I’m feeling bad about an idea I let slide awhile back.

Corey Hutchins of the Free Times brings this to my attention:

Current and former Columbia Free Timeswriters are teaming up to produce a black-and-white graphic novel on the bizarre rise and fall of South Carolina’s Alvin Greene.

Last year the unemployed Greene unexpectedly won the South Carolina Democratic Primary for the U.S. Senate, giving him the chance to face off against — and eventually lose to — incumbent Tea Partier Jim DeMint. Greene’s primary victory came despite the fact that he didn’t campaign, didn’t have a website, and was virtually unknown to the voting public.

“What happened in the summer of 2010 was the strangest American political story in modern times,” says Free Times staff writer Corey Hutchins, who gained national attention by exposing Greene. “It’s no wonder that it came out of South Carolina, the state that James Petigru famously called ‘too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum’ more than 100 years ago.”

Hutchins is teaming up with former Free Times staff writer David Axe and artist Ryan Alexander-Tanner to serialize the comic online beginning in early 2012, following with a print edition in the spring.

In order to secure funding for the project, they’re using the crowd-funding site Kickstarter to attract backers. As of this writing, the team is halfway towards reaching their goal of $1,000.

That’s pretty cool. Cool enough that it make me feel bad I never followed through on my own idea.

You know, I wanted to do a graphic novel about Mark Sanford back in 2009. I even had a couple of exchanges with someone with publishing contacts in New York. But when I didn’t find an artist who was interested right away (I felt like it had to be done immediately for readers to be interested), I dropped it. I was really busy job-hunting and stuff at the time. The images were key, and while I could have written the whole thing without them, I think it would have been an inspiration to see some sketches as I went along.

I had this one really vivid image in my mind as I tried to picture the visual style of the book. It was NOT of Mark Sanford, actually. It was black-and-white. It would have been an extreme closeup, taking about half a page, of Jake Knotts as he began the process of spreading the report that Sanford was missing, in his big bid to bring down his nemesis…

The image was inspired by images of The Kingpin in Spiderman (see this or this or this or this) … Only darker…

Anyway… I actually wrote a sort of treatment for my New York contact. I was really riffing on it at the time. I wanted it all to be told by a seedy, self-hating ex-journalist narrator, sort of based on Jack Burden from All the King’s Men. The narrator would be all conflicted and guilt-ridden, because he felt responsible for having created the central character. This would give his narration a certain bitterly ironic tone. (This character would of course in no way be based on any living former editors who maybe sorta kinda endorsed Mark Sanford in 2002.)

It had levels. It had edge. It had irony. Sort of Gatsby meets Robert Penn Warren meets “Citizen Kane” meets, I don’t know, “Fight Club.”

But now I can’t even find the blasted treatment. I think I lost it in that major Outlook meltdown of my e-mail.

But it would have been good.

6 thoughts on “Coming soon: The Alvin Green graphic novel

  1. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    I’m seeing a Roy Lichtenstein-type series of very tight close-up panels with the email’s juicier texts…

  2. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    Okay, more Benday dots, then!

    I was just talking to a friend about how Nikki Haley really needs a Jenny Sanford!

  3. bud

    This got me thinking about the best picture oscars over the years. I went back to 1970 and compared the Academy’s choice to what I would have picked. Here’s what I did for the years 1970 – 1974:

    Year Academy Choice My Choice
    1970 Patton Patton
    1971 French Connection Clockwork Orange
    1972 The Godfather Deliverance
    1973 The Sting American Graffiti
    1974 The Godfather Part II Chinatown

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