Hello internets, and welcome to the website for Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong! NCPGW is a graphic novel adapted and drawn by me (Faith) from an original Young Adult novel by Prudence Shen. Pru and I (with the help of my alarmingly competent wordpress savy web guru Lissa) will be running Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong as a webcomic until its publication by First Second Books in May 2013.
If you’re someone who’s familiar with my work, like, say, when I ran Friends With Boys, my previous First Second graphic novel online until its publication in February 2012, you’ll know the drill. Pru and I will be blogging our way through NCPGW, offering author & cartoonist insights and various other nonsense while the comic updates, so come for the comic-y goodness, stay for the blogging. And please, Dear Internets, spread word of the comic and its existence far and wide! I would totally appreciate it, y’all. The comic will be updated Monday through Friday with a page a day.
(Click the read more to discover how Pru & I ended up working on this project)
So, how did this comic happen? It’s a magical story, full of flying puppies and kitties with lasers shooting out of their eyes! … actually it contains none of those things, but I still think it’s pretty magical. Back in 2010, I had finished writing and drawing my second graphic novel for First Second, Friends With Boys, and was eager to move on to a new project (after I’d spent several weeks catching up on sleep. Comics are hard work). I’d pitched First Second a new graphic novel, but it wasn’t for them, which I was actually not surprised about at all! Seriously, this was a super weird graphic novel … XD Maybe I’ll make it someday, but for the moment it remains lurking in the back of my computer, being super weird.
My editor at First Second, Calista, emailed me a copy of Prudence’s novel, which at the time was called Voted Most Likely, to see if it was something I was interested in adapting. It was August and Halifax was in the clutches of a brutal heat wave, with tempuratures reaching several degrees above freezing. O THE HORROR. Lacking air conditioning in my apartment, I printed out all 200+ pages of Pru’s novel and headed down to the nearest coffee shop, where I spent the next three days, drinking lemonade and reading Voted Most Likely.
I discovered it had … potential.
Potential is really awesome. I love looking at a story or an idea or a random thought and seeing the potential of it, how it could potentially be made into a great graphic novel. There is something uniquely thrilling about potential. I liked the characters in Voted Most Likely (except Nate, because he’s a jerk at the beginning, but … well, you’ll see ;)), I liked how the story twisted in ways you didn’t expect, and I liked that it was a different take on Jock and Geek relationships.
When I went to New York Comic Con in October 2010 (my very first trip to New York!), Calista and I talked about Voted Most Likely, and we agreed that it had potential. Potential to be an awesome comic.
Later that year, I started work on adapting Voted Most Likely into comic form. If you’re interested in my opinions on adapting a prose novel into comics, I did a long ramble on it on the Friends With Boys site, and expanded a bit on that in a guest post for Comics Alliance. Adapting a prose work to comics is a unique challenge, and I’m very grateful Prudence was okay with me hacking my way through her lovely book and turning in into a graphic novel, one that I’m very proud of.
And I hope you, dear reader, will enjoy this comic! Please feel free to leave comments and pass along word of its existence to your friends, families and fans. The next few months are going to be super fun.
And now that Faith’s said hi, it’s my turn. HELLO, this is Pru, your friendly neighborhood writer.
I wish there was some glamorous tale to tell about how this story came together, but it really does begin and end on a dirty futon in a railroad apartment under the BQE. Anybody reading this with experience moving to New York as an impoverished, just-graduated liberal arts student will know this story: I was subletting a room in “East Williamsburg,” Brooklyn. Summer and all the halcyon dreams of my late teens seemed a million years away, and hiding in my shady bedroom watching battlebots on YouTube while writing madcap romps seemed a better option than braving the New York winter.
In college I just barely dodged getting an English major, so I’ve been forced to read a lot of Important books in my life. I may have learned to appreciate and respect them in the manner of medieval princesses bartered off for a political marriage, but I never loved them. The books I keep and thumb through and have hauled via extortionate sea freight from New York to London and back again have always been the books that made me laugh. And when I was sitting in that crummy apartment that crummy winter working my crummy hours, all I wanted to do was to write a story that might make someone else laugh as badly as I needed it then.
Nate, Charlie, the cheerleaders, and the robotics team have lived through multiple drafts through the years, but they still make me smile. Even better, I can see them smiling, too, via Faith’s wonderful adaptation, her marvelously bloodthirsty renditions of robot warfare and the sly, winking humor of her drawings. Their faces, this story, and the amazing art all remind me of hazy hot August afternoons and having adventures, and I hope you will love making poor life decisions and abusing weedkiller with Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong’s crew as much as I enjoyed transcribing it.
Anyway! Stay tuned and tell all your friends. We have lots more shenanigans yet to come.