Rebecca Cottrell

Illustration +  comics

Work, info, instagram, shop

Displayed at RCA SHOW 2019 

Swatted is a series of short comics about a cheerful fly who dies in every story. The comics are driven by 8 rules which define aspects of the story and character.

Story physics is the idea that stories follow natural laws and have a natural, almost unavoidable structure to them. The term was popularised by Andrew Stanton of Pixar. An idea in story physics is to write characters with strongly opposite goals: this core conflict means it's easy to imagine other parts of the story. Really simplified, the fly comics are about the conflict between what a fly wants (to be in human spaces, eat food belonging to humans) versus what a human wants (to live in a house without flies, to eat food uncontaminated by flies).

Story structure is usually defined as between 3 and 5 acts, and the comics are 6 panels long. If each story ends with the death of the fly, each panel is approximately an act. Except I've messed with this a bit: one of the rules is an element of chance, in that the panel in which the fly dies is determined by a die roll. If the fly dies in the second panel, the rest of the comic becomes about the aftermath of the death.

1. Six panel stories.
2. The fly dies in every story.
3. A die roll determines the panel in which the fly dies.
4. The fly is relentlessly optimistic despite difficult and threatening circumstances.
5. The fly is unaware of his low status and undesirability in human situations.
6. Often, a second story is happening in the background.
7. The primary voice is the fly, who performs a monologue for the audience.
8. After the fly's death, there is silence, though events may still be occurring.

Fruit Bowl