When the brainwave for a comic about the history of beer crossed my mind, I was seeing a straight history; linear and comprehensive. I was less than a week into brainstorming when I had my second brainwave: the book would be DULL. It needed a twist.
As I was doing my research, I discovered what an impact the making and drinking of beer has had on civilization; all way back to the change from a hunter/gatherer culture to an agrarian one. Another eureka hit me and I had my angle! The book became a speculation on what the state of civilization would be if beer had never been created. The concept became “A World Without Beer”
Throughout history, humanity has used beer not just for refreshment but for food and medicine and currency. Many historians belive that the builders of the pyramids were paid in beer! One of the first written laws promised the death penalty, by drowning, for brewers found guilty of watering down their product. On their journeys to the “New World”, the explorers were much more likely to hydrate themselves with beer than with water. In no time I had put together an awesome list of beer related stories and facts.
The potential for fun, fresh, over the top storytelling was clear. I created a narrator who would tell the stories from a bar stool and then tell the story of a world without beer. A world where commerce and science and exploration never really took off and man was still living in a backwards civilization that finally faded into extinction. It was funnier than it sounds but it wasn’t enough to fill a single comic much less a book type format. It was a fun story; it just wasn’t the book that I wanted to write.
So it was back to work brainstorming; figuring out how to make the book more than just a list of amusing information. The book was (slowly) turning into “Rivers of Beer” but I was making a big mistake and setting myself up for a big setback. More soon.