So I’ve spent the last 2 years working diligently on the graphic novel I just finished, and I’ve been in the mood for something shorter—simpler—sort of a palate cleanser, if you will. I came across an article about a recent anthropological discovery that most of the prehistoric cave-painters were in fact women (rather than young men, as had been assumed). This is based on the fact that the handprints show clear gender-specific characteristics (mostly related to finger lengths). Anthropologists now estimate roughly 75% of handprints were female.
It gave me a reckless case of what the Celts would call, “fire in the head.” It was just such a revolutionary notion, that the first artists were women… And it makes sense in light of the fact that for the first 30,000 or so years of human history, women are depicted almost exclusively in carvings, paintings, etc., but it led me to wonder what these painters might have been like. And so I drafted this 8 page short story about the painters of the caves in Lasceaux, France.
I also wanted to work on a story that eschews traditional female roles in visual media by having a main character who is neither young, nor beautiful. I envisaged the woman in charge of the paintings as an elderly matriarch.
And the above is the first page, pencils and inks. Oh, and since they may well have been pre-verbal, there will be no text.