Oh yes, one thing: I’ve been improvising these first installments to test what I can do with the form, but starting tomorrow I’ll be using the word prompts I asked for you guys’ input on some time ago. Consider this the end of the intro, or overture…
As you have probably noticed, I’m trying to work grafitti/street tags into both layouts and contents. That and city spaces, but let’s stay with the grafitti for a second. It is a form that is completely foreign to me; I was never a tagger, or part of the whole hip hop/street culture. Since I started teaching comics, however, I’ve had one or two students in each class who almost manically filled sketchbook after sketchbook with elaborate signatures and aliases.
I’ve come to appreciate the form and penmanship required to do these pieces, that sometimes remind me of Quranic calligraphy (which, because of language barriers, I don’t understand either, and therefore am equally fascinated by). The funny thing is, some of these students find it very hard to separate the form from the literal meaning of the words. They simply cannot translate those letters into other forms that don’t carry verbal meaning. I have still to find some way to handle this in my teaching, but now I’m trying to practice what I preach.
These early, awkward attempts to ape “street” calligraphy are mostly done from photo references that I have collected the last couple of years (among those a very thorough documentation of a Finnish bar toilet that was covered from floor to, and including, ceiling in layer upon layer of tags) so if anybody recognises their handiwork on these pages, remember what they say about plagiarism and flattery… Besides, I’m still learning.
Another thing: I’ve always hated when somebody tries to mimick a culture they don’t understand or belong to, usually getting the whole thing ass-backwards. Lego pillaging Maori culture to make their Bionicle line, springs to mind; or Lichtenstein’s comics swipes. But here I am, doing the same. Maybe it’s a midlife crisis. Apologies in advance!
So it begins… with a day’s delay (at the kindest estimate), I’m off to a good start with this year’s 30 Days of Comics. While you’re waiting for me to catch up, why don’t you read up on my 30 Days comics from last year, or even better, order the print version of those. Tell you what, order the whole damn Spring Collection while you’re at it. Cartoonists need love, too (but we’d rather have your money).
Ahem. Sales pitch over. I’ll ping you when I have Day 2 up
I’m joining Derik Badman’s 30 Days of Comics program again this year, and because I seem to have a masochist strain (at least when it comes to work), I thought it would be fun to make a complete, comprehensive piece of work this time.
That’s basically all I have to go on, except I’d like to work within a musical frame, or what I just coined a “graphic symphony” on Twitter. That may or may not be the end result, but I’m running with that for now. I’d like some input from you guys, though.
The next few days I’ll prepare a word bag à la Lynda Barry, or perhaps Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies, which will serve as random prompts for my daily output through November. What I need from you is some words to put into my bag (or envelope, actually), specifically verbs and adjectives.
Since so much of my work is non-figurative these days, I don’t think nouns will be of much use to me. Sorry nouns, I’ll do you some other time.
So please, comment with your contributions below, it’ll be a great help (and you’ll be namechecked if your prompt is used during November)! Thanks in advance!
30 DAYS OF COMICS is a print collection of my work during November 2011, one comic for each day of the month.
All material is available on this site, but here is why you want to get your hands on the print version:
The book is 44 pages BW & colour in a heavy stock latte-coloured cover with flaps. Format 20×14.5cm, $10 + shipping.
Every copy is lovingly stapled, folded, and cut by hand (sizes may vary slightly due to this).
Enquire about availability and shipping costs!
I’d sort of geared myself up to this last entry being something special, if not spectacular. Chalk it down to hubris then that today’s schedule turned out to be entire rubbish, leaving me to draw November’s last comic at 9PM, utterly drained of energy.
Apologies are due to Jacob @anport Ørsted, whose one-time tweet I had already decided to use as a script; it turned out crap, and I’ll have to try it again later. Sorry! The script, as you will see, is leagues better than the comic:
And, for comparison and general ridicule, the comic:
Just a little play with shapes and colours; no attempt at greatness today.
If my drawings seem a bit rougher this week it’s because I switched to a smaller size sketchbook, and the point of my favourite pen has been worn to a stub by my frantic Lost drawing last week. So you know.
Today’s entry is in reply to a Twitter conversation I had yesterday with @FrauLizling. She got so frustrated with her work that she deleted the majority of her blog posts and burned her sketchbooks:
My reply was rather glib (“It’s all I know how to do”) but sitting down with my sketchbook this morning, the question was still churning in my mind. How do you keep working and improving yourself, especially when the world seems to be struggling against you? My answer: