This series contains research materials and process work for the project Darden was working on at the time of his death. incorporated architectural drawing, collage, and narrative in the form of an architectural graphic novel centered on three characters: Helen, Cass, and Polly. The series includes correspondence regarding travel and requests for financial assistance, as well as information on and submissions to various grant programs. It also includes a spiral bound portfolio of several artists meant to be included in the project, entitled "The Graphic Novel: an Investigation of the Interdisciplinary Design Process."
Ten folders contain research materials on outbreaks of laughter and mania, on the anatomy of the human body (specifically that of speech capabilities and female reproductive cycles), on Africa (Darden's early site for the project), on Boston (a stop in the story's itinerary) and on Darden's two main sites for the project: Troy New York, and Troy in Greece. These folders include maps, postcards, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and magazine clippings.
Darden's process for the project included experimenting with text and font, and rendering with various graphic images he had collected from his research and travels. This series includes many of these graphic experiments and sources, notably those from his travel souvenirs.
For this project, Darden worked with audio recordings of girls laughing, and four folders entitled "Laugh Graphics" contain FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) print outs that visually represent frequencies from these recordings, and were used as graphic elements.
Two folders encompass Darden's notes for the project (including notes on two airsick bags), and Darden's outlines of the girls' characters. The folder "Negatives & Prints" notably includes x-rays of the esophagus and repairs to broken bones made with internal fixation. The series also contains drawings, drafts, and storyboarding for the graphic novel.