Soap Opera

SimpsonEdward Thornhill Simpson doesn’t pop up in a puff of smoke through a trap door under a green spotlight like a pantomime villain but, for the purposes of my Waterton comic, he comes as close to that as I can manage within the historical context.

minions
Simpson’s minions at Walton Soap Works.

I keep thinking of the Dollars Trilogy as I stage my action and, as I draw, find myself concocting unlikely scenarios for a three-way shoot-out by introducing Waterton’s other great rival John James Audubon. It would be more dramatic than the long legal battle that ensued but we’ve got to stick to the historical facts.

I’m probably getting drawn into the imagined world that I’m creating a bit too much for my own good but I think that I need to keep improvising, varying my approach, to bring the story to life.

My set design for the Walton Soap Works scene.
My set design for the confrontation between Waterton and Simpson.

When I’m designing a set for the local pantomime I sit halfway down the hall, look towards the stage and sketch the scene that I’m conjuring up in my mind. Although I want to be historically convincing, it’s important to keep that element of light-hearted improvisation.

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