Among artists who lost their homes and studios in the Northern California fires, a common refrain is feeling stymied, stuck, unable to create — hoping the spark will return once the shock and confusion passes.
Not Brian Fies. Just one day after his house and everything in it burned to the ground, October 9, 2017, the cartoonist bought some cheap paper, Sharpies, and highlighters, and got to work reporting what he and his wife had seen the night of the fires. The resulting cartoon came quickly, with more raw edges than Fies' usual standards, but it was undeniably, unflinchingly honest.
The response was massive. In the week after the fire, an online version of Fies' comic, 'A Fire Story,' was viewed by over half a million people. Now, KQED Arts bring his story to life. With moving animation, and with narration straight from Fies and his wife, Karen Fies, 'A Fire Story' now also includes an epilogue from the artist about the long process of recovery, and the stability of home.
Narrators: Brian and Karen Fies
Director, Producer, Sound Design: Kelly Whalen
Co-Director, Animator, Editor: Farrin Abbott
Executive Producer: David Markus
A production of KQED Arts