Why ‘Brief Cases’?

Every good story is a thriller.

You want to turn the page; you want to watch after the ad break. When the action moves away from a set of characters, you scream ‘Nooooo!’ and when it comes back you curse it for doing so – because those other guys are still trapped with the Necronauts in the afterlife ship, with barely any oxygen, and the pterodactyls are right outside!

A good thriller grabs you and doesn’t let go. It also keeps you guessing, which brings us to, “What’s in the box?”

A well-known plot device, a MacGuffin is an object that links a story together. It may or may not be integral to the story; it’s all about keeping the audience guessing. In film, the MacGuffin is often a briefcase…

When I wrote The Example in 2005, it was the beginning of my professional writing career. The success of that one 10-minute-play about a briefcase on a train platform gave me the belief I needed to be a professional writer. The Example has gone on to win a heap of awards, it’s been produced in four countries, it’s been studied at Melbourne University and the University of Southern California, it’s been on at the Sydney Opera House and been in the Edinburgh Festival. Yet none of this compares to the first time I saw it illustrated by Colin Wilson.

When I first saw the Example illustrated, I knew I didn’t want to be a professional writer anymore… I wanted to be a professional comic book writer.

The Example is the first story in this collection. It’s fitting; it’s been the start of so much. The Example will be joined by some other great stories, some also adapted from award-winning plays, like Falling Praying and Believe, and some brand new ones, like Status Quo and Mystery Flight, and all of these stories will be linked together by great artists and briefcases.

Being a comic book writer is not an easy thing to aspire to, in this country especially, but thanks to fine publishers like Gestalt Publishing and fine people like Wolfgang Bylsma, this is becoming a reality.

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