This is the second incarnation I have seen of OUTLAW EFFORTS. The first time I read it in 2002, it was in screenplay form. Natalie asked me to lend my experiences "on the road" to the story and then Direct it as a feature film. Destiny had other things in mind. But, seeing the story now, (seemingly) fully realized as a graphic novel, put a smile on my face. Because I could see more than just the pages Natalie sent me. I saw her muscle.
The thing that strikes me about the graphic novel, is not the experience of being dragged by the hair into the van to go on a rock n roll tour. It's the sheer brute force of the book's creation. The desperation, the need to tell the story. Natalie didn't get to tell her story as a film. It can be a hell of a battle to get a film into production. But did Natalie settle with that? No. She shifted gears and found another way to tell her story.
This is an awesome graphic novel. That brute force approach is what happens when you absolutely have to tell your story, no matter what. It reminds me of Jurassic Park, when the Chaos Theorist said "you can't control nature, Nature will find a way." And the "all female" dinosaurs began breeding. It's the instinct to survive. Scratching and crawling our way out of the creative primordial soup to find our expression. Its what we do, and "the how" doesn't matter, as long as we get it out. That's what Natalie did here. She adapted, survived and she got it out.
OUTLAW EFFORTS morphed from screenplay to graphic novel, Natalie found her way. When I was in art school, I'd sit down to draw. I would put the pencil to the paper thinking "I'm gonna draw something great." I was driven to draw and I didn't care what it was, it could be anything. So when I began a drawing, I really wasn't sure what it was going to be. I just knew it was gonna be the best drawing yet. So I'd say to myself, "I'm gonna draw a Duck." But by the time I was finished, it turned out to be a Horse. It was a really amazing horse and my classmates commented, "man, that's a great horse. You really know how to draw horses." I responded, "thanks but when I started, I was trying to draw a duck."
That is the nature of art. So when you look at OUTLAW EFFORTS and read the story of these gals scratching their way to make something of their lives, just realize that this awesome graphic novel, was meant to be a duck. And it looks like it may end up as a duck, someday.