Here’s another page from one of the opening chapters of my book loosely based on my experiences in Turkmenistan (the presently untitled book loosely based on my experiences in Turkmenistan as I mentioned in my last post). The story focuses on the friendship between an American named Joe and a Turkmen named Azat and builds to Azat’s wedding. The plot is completely fictional, but a number of the incidents in the book actually happened. Including the one on this page where the taxi driver decided to pop the top on a hot radiator and it exploded in his face. Taxis were the quickest way to get from place to place even long distances (this trip was about 900 km). There were buses, but they were slow and always packed. For the most part the taxi drivers knew what they were doing, but this guy had no clue.
Here’s another page from my book about Turkmenistan. At the moment Terry and I are discussing the title of the book. In my head I’ve been calling it The Golden Age, which comes from the former totalitarian leader of Turkmenistan Saparmyrat Niyazov a.k.a Turkmenbashy (which roughly translates to “the grandfather of all Turkmen”). He declared that the 21st Century would be the Golden Age for the Turkmen people. All the propaganda showed Turkmen living in an wonderful utopia, but the reality was far from that.
So I like The Golden Age as an ironic title. But then again, for someone who has never heard of Turkmenistan or Turkmenbashy, it’s a bit uninformative (and this being a comic they might be thinking it’s something about the early days of Superman).
The book is about Azat who believes in dreaming big, getting rich, and marrying the prettiest girl in town, but sadly he lives in a totalitarian state where dreams have a habit of not coming true. It’s told through the eyes of an American Peace Corps volunteer named Joe.
Titles: An American in Turkmenistan? Joe and Azat? Two Years in Turkmenistan? Turkmenistan? 130 Degrees in the Shade?
So the name still isn’t settled, but the book is coming along nicely. I’ve got a big final wedding chapter and a little epilogue piece and then some editing and redrawing to do. I’m shooting to be done in March.
So, I just got back from three weeks in California and Oregon (and a night in Philadelphia when my flight got cancelled), and I didn’t draw a thing the whole time. Now, it’s back to work. I’ve got a little more than a chapter left and I’m hoping I can get it done pretty quickly.
Anyway, here’s a page from the beginning of the book. It comes right after the page I posted back in November. It’s from the first chapter and introduces Turkmenistan and what life is like there. I’ll be posting more in the next few weeks.
Hope everyone had happy holidays and a good start to the new year.