hollywood novels

There was something totally missing in the poor fellows and something in me wrenched, just for a moment, and I felt like throwing my arms around them, consoling and embracing them like some Dostoevsky, but I knew that would finally lead nowhere except to ridicule and humiliation, for myself and for them. The world had somehow gone too far, and spontaneous kindness could never be so easy. It was something we would all have to work for once again.
—  C. Bukowski, Hollywood.

This is my personal project. Feedback would be much appreciated :)

This graphic short story was inspired by the song Bullet by Hollywood Undead and my good friend Zoe.

The entire “graphic short-story” was illustrated by me. Please don’t repost. I have been working on this project since mid-September, so I hope my hard work was shown.

I drew all the panels and lyrics in a sketchbook, and then edited them in Photoshop. (If anyone was interested in knowing.)

My goal was to bring attention to suicide and depression. I apologize if this is a trigger, it was not meant to be. The last panel is meant to show that there is help out there, and that people care.

Thanks guys.

hell is the absence of the people you long for.

— emily st. john mandel, station eleven


I’m from Los Angeles, so Hollywood is more a backdrop for me. I don’t really consider my books to be “Hollywood” novels. I am not interested in excoriating or exploring the industry, the mores and manners of people in show business. And I don’t really write them as memoirs either. I write about extremists, people who are indulging in behavior —sometimes bad behavior, sometimes good behavior. So none of them are really anecdotal. That’s not how I work as an artist. Maps to the Stars is not a guide to the urgent state of affairs of Hollywood whatsoever. It’s an exploration of a damaged family, and the extremes of how people become corrupted by fame and by family ties. It’s more that than notes of observer.

It’s really almost like a melodrama. It’s a kind a fever dream, a ghost play. One of the interesting things for me is that in the original script for Sunset Boulevard, it begins in a morgue, with the cadavers explaining how they got there. I think that’s what Maps to the Stars is. And there are these themes of mutilation of both literal and spiritual, in the case of the Weiss family. They are embodied by fruits of incest. And there’s madness present as well. The madness being that Wasikowska’s character is actually the most sane person in the film, and wants to end it.

We talk with writer Bruce Wagner about charting Maps to the Stars for David Cronenberg.