Jane Quiet, Occult Detective

Much as her name would suggest, Jane Quiet is a woman of few words.

…none at all, to be exact.

But in all truthfulness, and surely most would agree, words completely fail to do justice to scenes such as the one depicted above!

I stumbled across Jane Quiet, Occult Investigator quite by accident, whilst conducting a bit of research on the internet; to further elaborate, it was a serendipitous miss-spelling of Dennis Wheatley which led me directly into her path. Heralded as a “Denise Wheatley,” Jane Quiet is the co-creation/collaboration which crept from the minds of author K.A. Laity (Unikirja) and artist Elena Steier (Revenge of the Vampire Bed and Breakfast, Goth Scouts). The comic “presents the adventures of occult investigator Dr. Jane Quiet who uses her practical knowledge and esoteric studies to uncover the sources of paranormal disturbances.” If that is not compelling enough, this author whose writing has been praised by Clive Barker as “full of fluent style and poetic dialogue” has added the twist of an entirely silent comic.

From the author’s website :

“I think it was Elena’s idea to riff on John Silence, the psychic investigator created by Algernon Blackwood, master of the weird tale, about a hundred years ago. John Silence was rich doctor, skilled in weird science and keen to explore occult phenomena. It was an idea ripe for reinvigoration.”

If you are curious as to how one goes about writing a story with no dialogue, inquiries and subsequent replies can be found in a snippet below.

Coilhouse And how did you find the find the process of “writing” a silent comic?

K.A. Laity: Thank you — it was hard as HELL to write! You can see the script online: http://www.kalaity.com/jq1.pdf. I think it was just an off-hand remark, “hey, we could make it a silent comic, wouldn’t that be appropriate!” then when I started writing it, I cursed myself endlessly for having the idea. There was a lot of back and forth while Elena was drawing – partly because she always has lots of projects going on, but also because she would say “you can’t do all this in one panel” and either draw what she thought would work or ask me to work it out more carefully. It’s great discipline. I’m glad Elena is so patient and flexible. The anxiety of collaborating with friends is fearing that it will affect your relationship if things go badly. I really had to let go of control and find joy in the unexpected frisson that would occur. A lot of it is about leaving a looseness for the other person to do what they do best. The first drafts weren’t quite Moore-like, but they were far too specific. I learned to focus on what had to happen and the tone, and let Elena produce her magic.

About the collaboration on this project, Laity, a medieval scholar with a “lively interest” in historical magic and formal training as a shaman, notes that “(most writers) live so completely in their own heads”… but that “collaborating produces a third entity that isn’t either of you and it does things neither would have done on their own. I’ve collaborated with other friends doing chapbooks and such, and it is wonderful. I think the 21st C is likely to be an era of fantastic collaboration because the net makes it so much easier.”

Inquiries into what direction this creative team will be headed with regard to Jane Quiet’s further supernatural intrigues yield plans for launching JQ as a blog in 2010, (partly to accommodate their schedules, but also to be able to incorporate more background on esoterica ). Laity adds “We’ll be offering spells and a bit of occult history as well as a new storyline — probably in illustrated form rather than comics. We will have all the flexibility we want to offer a richer context as well as a narrative.” The site will be active soon: janequiet.com.

I, for one, will be eager to see what Jane Quiet has to say (or not) next. After all, as you may have heard:

“A picture (of a soul-rending, hideous monstrosity sowing ultimate horrors and excruciating death) is worth a thousand words.”

5 Responses to “Jane Quiet, Occult Detective”

  1. A Mango Lassie: Just the Ghoul Next Door » We are sick with the desire for the sun Says:

    […] interesting tidbit – my guest blog on author K.A. Laity’s and artist Elena Steier’s Jane Quiet, Occult Investigator is up […]

  2. K. A. Laity Says:

    Thanks for the mention and the interest. We’re having a lot of fun with the reboot. We have new orders to fill for the print version, too!


  3. hagelrat Says:

    cool, i love this idea.

  4. Terry Black Says:

    Jane Quiet is a great piece of comic art. The absence of dialogue forces you to ‘read’ the scenes with a more intense attention – an effort worth making. Thanks for shining a light.

  5. K. A. Laity Says:

    Wow, Terry — that’s really wonderful to hear!