I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Heritage Portal mentioned my blog on their site! James Ball and I have been working on something around blue plaques and raising money for heritage projects. The portal is a great heritage resource covering the whole country and incorporating many of the existing heritage groups. Do join their mailing list or sign-up. They’re also on Facebook.
Johannesburg1912 has been on WordPress for less than a year (it was previously hosted on Posterous) and has grown enormously since then. The history and research side of it has almost overtaken the original reason for the blog: reference for a comic I’m writing based in Johannesburg in 1912 which itself came out of a quest to find an original picture of our Melville house. The popularity of the blog has also led to me writing a series of historical articles for JHBlive where they even refer to me as a historian! Nope…I’m just interested in the city and uncovering what existed before my time here.
The story is coming along. It’s around 50 pages already in its first draft phase. There are a lot of plot and factual issues that still need to be resolved. The more I research, the more ideas I get and the more I add to the story. I’m a believer in getting the first draft done no matter how bad or full of holes it is. No one gets to read it anyway and it forms the basis for the final script. Without it, there is nothing.
Very roughly, the story follows an orphaned boys journey from early Johannesburg street urchin to successful organised crime head, his eventual fall and how he rebuilds a normal life only to be pulled back into that world after a series of unfortunate events. As it’s a period piece, I want it to be as accurate as possible, especially showing the city, buildings and places as they were back then.
It even has its own imaginary soundtrack. Stream it here
These are some old photos I use for inspiration: