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How is the narrative is affected when taken in different combinations/sequences? Do you think the end result of reading them all in any order adds up to a similar impression at the end, or are there very different versions of this story told depending on differing ways people have read it?
The narrative itself won't change since the internal chronology will still assemble in every reader's mind eventually, but the sensations of how the narrative feels will definitely vary, i.e. whether what something someone reads which seems to be in the present is actually in the past, and vice versa. I'd hoped to get at the genuinely strange experience of trying to imagine as a single person what it's like to be married, and what it's like as a married person to look back on one's years of lonely singleness—and all the variant selves that ultimately exist in between, and within us.
What have you got against bees to curse them with so much anxiety?
Nothing; it's more of a joke about maleness than anything else. As near as I understand it, female honeybees do all the work, and the particular male bee in Building Stories just feels bad about it. (As sub-plots, he 1) also doubts his own virility because of this urge to "be nice" and 2) inadvertently hybridizes two flowers planted outside the building's basement window.) The bee strips themselves are supposed to be part of the improvised imaginary world that the main character dips into to tell her child bedtime stories and the various narrative roads and paths that she could, but doesn't always, take, as based on my own experiences of making up stories for my own daughter.
Comic strips and comic books (or at least long-running ones) have commonly involved a kind of forced stasis, where characters don’t really age or age very slowly, and can exist for years or even decades inside the same situations. Is the focus in your work on viewing characters over a long period of time, aging, changing, remembering, dying, a commentary on the medium itself? Do you think the comics medium is an underutilized tool for capturing the full arc of a life?
Sure; it's the one medium where one can place two images and write "30 years later" above one of them and still have them exist comfortably in the same space, to say nothing of having this pictures speak directly to the reader without any cloud of art history tempering their meaning. Comics allow a writer to create a pictographic map of how memories line up and inter-relate, a map that within a book can then grow into a three-dimensional model, through its coincident narrative alignments and interpenetrating images.
Beyond all of this, one can also put these books into a box and see what happens.