It’s been a good day. Yesterday I finished pencilling out a solid storyboard for a comic that I’m making for my application for the Center for Cartoon Studies. It’s going to be a cute one with some sexy ink.
Although it is autobiographical, I’m not going the Jeffrey Brown route and just using a ball point pen and going for a long series of comics. It’s a one-shot. Int his case, form is just as important in this work as the content. Additionally, I like sexy styled ink, so that’s what I’m going to give this comic. Obviously, it’s going to take a while longer to finish, but that’s what’s got to happen.
I like the form that I’ll be giving this little booklet. It’s going to be a handsewn booklet with handmade covers that will have 6 panels in a 3 x 2 formation in the spread. Here’s a picture to go with the description.
I’ve never done an autobiographical comic, so this feels a little indulgent. Oh well, ‘ve got to try everything at least once.
If you’re interested in some really interesting exploratory studies of structure in comics, Frank Santoro has been putting out a series of layout workbooks on the Comics Journal. Free classes on comics structure? Sign me up. Taught by Frank? Shit, get my ass over there.
They are especially interesting because of Frank’s background in the world of art outside of comics. What I like the most is how he touches on the inherent proportional relationships between paper sizes and traditional framing practices across multiple panels. From Frank:
“Maybe you knew all this, maybe you didn’t. Either way the sizes of paper easily available and the dominance of certain formats for comics is something worth looking into, I think, if you’re interested in comics. I think this is especially true for the maker. Understanding why certain formats “feel” right over others can guide one’s creative decisions in the planning stages. Far too many times I’ve come across comics that were obviously printed at the wrong size in relation to the artwork. Ever see a regular “digest size” minicomic with a really wide margin at the top or bottom? It’s usually because the artist drew the page on 8.5 x 11-inch paper and assumed that this proportion would shrink exactly down to the proportion of the digest size. Well, as many of you know, it doesn’t shrink down exactly to that size. Regular copy paper is a wider proportion than a comic book page. So if you use 8.5 x 11 paper to draw your originals for your standard digest size mini comic then you have to create a 7 x 11 inch area to draw within to make it line up. Right? Right. Let’s go to the workbook part. I promise it’ll make sense.”
I have a great friend, Eric, who studies design and excels at drawing. On the whole he is a muscle memory freak. Skateboarding, playing a drumkit, improvising on the guitar, woodworking, playing sonatas on the piano, given enough time, he can always get down any routine perfectly. It’s amazing. I love him for it and often envy him. At the end of the day though, I’m not him and I have to face that my motor coordination is not like his.
As a kid I was obsessed with skateboarding. Nevertheless, like the piano, tennis and swimming, my muscle memory never really developed and as such I was always trying to master the basics. I still skateboard, but have not progressed past the ollie and the fakie ollie. I’ve been doing it for over 7 years casually, and occasionally make some headway with kickflips and heelflips. After a while though, as soon as I stop skating, my body seems to become disconnected from my mind.
So what does getting massive speed wobbles while bombing hills in Pittsburgh have to do with comics and drawing? Well, in order to hone my skills and gain a genuine mastery of the craft, massive amounts of time have got to be invested. I’m a bit more gifted at drawing than I am at skateboarding, but it still requires a hell of a lot work on my part in order to effectively draw what I see. I can’t see well enough yet.
So what’s the issue? Why this post? I simply want to state having discovered my ardent passion for drawing and making comics I’m in a constant state of fear that all of my hard work will be in vain because the moment I stop practicing any competence will simply vanish. It’s happened to many of my skills, but I can’t let that happen to my drawing and sorytelling. I’ve made some drawings and comics that, for once, I’m proud of and it feels so good to pull those sort of things out of my brain and onto a sheet of paper. I’m able to genuinely make people feel emotions through my drawings and I don’t want to lose that ability.
This is a bit pessimistic, but it is a looming fear. Alas, if I wish to get anywhere with comics, I’ve got to keep hauling ass and drawing. And I will, but that fear will constantly hover over me.
On the whole though, I’m happy to have this blog and you folks here because it allows me to state goals to externally, which has in general kept me to completing them. Don’t want to look like a fool on the internet by not following through, now do I?
Here’s a song that has had strong impression on me:
Well, hello there.
It’s a genuine pleasure to have you over in my cozy little corner of the internet. I hope you made it here safely. This blog is dedicated to documenting my progress in comics. You’ll find sketches, process work, finished comics, interviews with artists and little updates about my life. I’m not a webcomics artist, so don’t expect regular postings of strips. At least, not here.
Currently I’m focusing all of my energies on applying to the Center for Cartoon Studies. That involves daily practice sketching, doodling, reading and inking. I’m trying to get to know more artists so as to have friends to talk to about these endeavors, so if you like what you see, do leave a message. I’d love to start corresponding with you. Hell, sometime we might even be able to meet up!
I’ll be sure to put together a post that contains all of the content that was being hosted on the blogspot that I was previously using so that your experience on this site is all the more pleasurable.
And now, to continue working on the pencils for my CCS application comic. Have a great one.