In my younger days
Some time ago looking at some Flickr accounts showing material created by Second Life or other virtual worlds I’ve came across a project that combines graphics, literature and virtual worlds within a very “dark” and usually underdeveloped theme as that covering the eroticism in its most extreme side. Promoter of the project which since the name of the blog recalls facets of the story of “The Great Gatby” is Skin01. It is inspired and draws on an original story and artwork by Stina Edman, a girl present in Second Life since 2007. Intrigued I asked some questions about the project to Skin01 and here are the answers. Happy reading!
Skin01: I think I first came across Stina Edman's work in 2010, when browsing on the web. She had some intriguing and very pretty galleries showing feminisation and sissification of males. She clearly liked to see the taming of males and turning them into sissies. Stina’s profile led me to her blog of “In my younger and more vulnerable days” (IMYAMVD). At that stage IMYAMVD was in a rather different form, it consisted of brief sections of narrative text interspersed with pictures. I liked Stina’s version of IMYAMVD a lot and we started to correspond. Stina was quite active at that time in Secondlife. Amongst other things she was a ponygirl herself at times and very skilled at completing pony courses. “In my younger and more vulnerable days” was a deliberate reference to the opening lines of Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”.
Stina liked putting literary references in the titles of her work, like “A Tale of Two Sissies” (from “A Tale of Two Cities” of Dickens), “The Old Man and the Sissy” (from “The Old Man and the Sea” of Hemingway), “Sketches from a sissy’s life”(from “Scenes from Clerical Life” of Eliot), “To bi or not to bi” (that recalls the soliloquy “To be or not to be” of Shakespeare’s Hamlet), “Sex and the Sissy” (from TV series “Sex & the City” of Candace Bushnell), “Diki Leaks” (inspired by WikiLeaks site of Julian Assange), “A day in the life of a Shemale Secretary” (that refers both to The Beatles’s song “A day in the life” as well as Solzhenitsyn’s novel “One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich”).
I suggested to Stina that I thought there was potential to develop IMYAMVD into more of a comic book type story. Stina was busy with other projects and was quite happy that I do the comic book development myself. As I developed the story, I shared each chapter with Stina checking for her approval. I started to post the completed Chapters, in addition, I began to develop some of her other picture sets into little short stories. Again, I always sought Stina’s approval before posting / publication. Like Stina I was rather unhappy about the lack of response and comments, lack of feedback was always a major issue for Stina and it caused her at times to withdraw and take down her galleries. Having got up to about Chapter 7 of IMYAMVD, I also became very disillusioned for a variety of reasons and took down all my accounts at the end of 2010.
LP: Why do you start working again on the project?
S01: During the first half of 2011 I again started to look at Flickr and found that Stina had returned and was starting to post again. After working on one specific project with her and discussing others, Stina “disappeared” in late summer 2011. She closed her various accounts including e-mail. Sadly I do not know what happened to her and nor do any of her other former contacts. I was concerned that Stina’s work might be lost and never find the audience it so richly deserved. With that in mind, I determined to complete my reworking of IMYAMVD and post it in the manner of a series. I wanted to this to be a bit like the publication of Charles Dickens's original stories as magazine serials. I am now nearing completion of posting IMYAMVD. When this is finally complete, I am planning to build a Stina Edman archive with her collected works and adaptations. If people have samples of Stina's work, I would be very grateful if they could send them to me for inclusion in the archive (to contact Skin01 send a mail to skintwo01(at)gmail.com, ndr).
LP: How was that you start to collaborate with Stina Edman and now that she retired how do you think to develop further the project?
S01: I’d developed a dialogue with Stina and had first suggested turning “In my younger and more vulnerable days” into more of a comic book style. Little did I realize how much effort this would take nor how much I would eventually end up adapting and developing the storyline. Whilst starting to adapt IMYAMVD I also did some short storybook of versions of some of Stina’s picture sequences. I was pleased when Stina approved of these, albeit she always wanted higher resolution graphics if possible. Stina developed her own comic book style using (I think) ComicLife as the formatting software. We were both interested in ponygirls / ponyboys. She was also interested by a relationship I had as pony-sissy with a Stable Girl. I suggested to her that we jointly produce a story and the title “A portrait of the Artist as a Young Ponygirl” (from James Joyce’s “A Portraint of the Artist as a Young Man”). The most ambitious collaboration that we discussed was “The New Curiosity Shop”, a reworking and updating of Dicken’s “The Old Curiosity Shop”: I developed a full story outline but we never started due to Stina’s other commitments notably “Young couple wanted as Butler and Maid” which, though incomplete, is probably her best work. Due to the scale of “The New Curiosity Shop” we discussed Stina providing illustrations to a book form narrative rather than use a comic book style. Again, this would be consistent with Dickens’ original work.
LP: What is the ultimate goal of the project itself: is it a literary work, a cross-media one, of just a way to have fun and share interests on the web?
S01: Initially, my goal was merely an experiment and a bit of fun just to see whether I could transform Stina’s original into comic book format. However, as I turned my attention to it, it became a project with a heavy time commitment. Therefore it's been heartening to receive feedback, especially from those familiar with Stina’s original, approving of the adaptation. The comments on the blog have been a real motivation to keep going. One of my goals was also to lighten some of the cruelty that seemed to run through Stina’s text and make Peter's transition to Pattie rather more natural by showing how she started to derive pleasure and comfort from her existence, and then learn to respect and then love Mr. Stern. However, a consequence is that I made some aspects of the ending even harder. When I’ve completed posting the fifteenth and final chapter, I will provide a post-script regarding some of the discussions Stina and I had about a sequel.
LP: Talk a bit about you if you like and give an advice to our readers if they should like to try to develop their own project in the field of graphic novels.
S01: I’m a professional, married male living in England. I am predominantly hetero-sexual although I have both TV and bisexual tendencies. I like shemales as well as girls, and feel comfortable myself in high heels and certain feminine attire. However, I am not attracted at all to males, I have a couple of cyber relationships with very nice sissies. I’m relatively inexperienced in the field of graphic novels, so doubt that I can offer much valid advice except to make people aware of how hard the work can be. I lack graphic talents myself so am interested in collaborators. I’m rather inspired by the work of Alan Moore and would like to develop collaborations with different artists covering a variety of stories, albeit all with sexual or erotic themes or undercurrents. After the interest shown in “In my younger and more vulnerable days” I would be interested in developing some of these for eReader formats which handle graphics.ShareThis