It’s taken over three and a half years, but writer (and Jeopardy!-winner) Andrew Rostan has finally gotten his OGN, An Elegy For Amelia Johnson published this week through Archaia. During C2E2, Rostan was visibly exuberant to have his work out in the wild, telling MTV a little about its journey from initial concept to finished product.
The story is about the titular Amelia who, upon finding out that she’s dying of cancer, convinces her friends to lifelong friends to journey cross-country to chronicle her life. The friends are Henry, an Oscar-winning documentarian, and Jillian, a high-strung magazine writer, and through the course of learning more about their friend they begin to discover more about each other and the lives that—in spite of their successes—they’ve failed to live.
Rostan hopes that readers come away from Amelia Johnson feeling “a greater sense of something for others” after reading this story about “what it means to be human.” When we last spoke with Rostan and artist Dave Veleza about the book two months ago, Rostan explained how the themes of the book were born, in part, by the difficulties he was having in life at the time attempting to understand who he wanted to be and how he wanted to live:
In fact, probably the best passages of it were written in a time when I was really unsure where my future was heading… Amelia became, in a lot of ways, a projection of what I wanted, but more importantly, a goal so many of us in this world should aim for. Amelia is… a happy woman because she chose what she wanted and accomplished it. She chose what she wanted out of her life, what she wanted out of love, and her relationships, and that was the basis for her contentment.
Rostan credits Savannah Institute of Art and Design grad Veleza with successfully visualizing the world in the script, saying “I would get a little heart attack every time I opened my e-mail.” Unfortunately, Veleza was unavailable to finish work on the book, necessitating his SIAD classmate Kate Kasenow to come in and work on the remainder of the book, finishing it in what Rostan says was record time. Veleza’s SIAD classmates also came through in a pinch, delivering feedback during its creation about the structure and throughline of the book resulting in Rostan scrapping and subsequently re-writing 70% of the story. Read More...