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The past through 4-D goggles

posted in Home Jabber on October 27, 2005

Richmond Fontaine's website now links to a site devoted to Willy and his new novel, The Motel Life, which I did illustrations and the cover for. I actually just received payment today, which concludes a project that has been in the works for three or more years. I guess the final, exciting step is to see the finished product. I have an editing copy, but it just isn't the same (besides not having the proper cover). I wholeheartedly recommend picking the book up when it does materialize on shelves as it's a great read.

Soon Bok was going through my old journals last night and kept remarking how she liked my old stuff more than what I'm drawing now. It was really depressing. But I agree, even though I've become more consistent as I've gotten older, a lot of the stuff I drew 10 years ago had more emotion and depth and a lot more exploration of styles. Which of course resulted in about 10% interesting stuff (1% *really* nice) and 90% crap. I guess I should merge these two approaches at this point, bringing experience and muscle memory from the last ten years into a new wave of exploration, right?

Lately I've been fascinated with a childlike approach to drawing, where I'm not even holding my pen very much, and just having fun with making bad doodles. Hence the general degradation of sketches I've been posting. It's very fun, but I can't tell if it's merely laziness and apathy or if it's a breaking down of my accruing stiff, worried, draftmanship tendencies.

I had an idea last night that sounds very fun after listening to an interview with Chris Ware and Charles Burns (via Flog)-- to set up many different approaches drafting a comic story, then document first the idea & process, then the end result. So it would be a series of chapters that begin with laying out how I plan to approach writing and drawing a story -- prose to thumbnails to pencilling to inking, or thumbnails to straight inking, or no planning, or wordblobs on cards shuffled to laying out on table to pencilling to computerizing -- whatever -- then DO the comic and have it follow the pages describing the process. I am always fascinated, as are many cartoonists, of seeing an artist's desk and work area, just as I'm always enraptured by the PROCESS by which other cartoonists create. Although many of our desks look alike (big white board with haggard brushes a plenty, ink splotches, extendo desk lamp, etc etc), I think we all approach comics completely differently, and some of us mix it up each time. I'd like to experiment around with that.

I'm about to head off to a (hopefully) more thorough eye exam at Hallmark Opticians (ha! Backpack *just* sent me a reminder email as I wrote that). The two pairs of ghetto goggles I picked up from "America's Best" put me in a hallucinatory stupor as soon as I put them on. I felt like I'd donned a modern version of 4-D goggles crafted out of the mad mind of a 14th century malnourished mathematician-rabbi. Yes, that bad. I tried to wear them home to see if, maybe, just maybe, they WERE the correct prescription, but I 1) had to take them off to stumble over the MAX tracks (yes, illegal I'm sure) to get to the platform and 2) found myself straight-up STARING at people because they looked so weird and cartoony. Take into consideration I was in Gresham (defend it as much as you like Greshamites) which is a fucking FREAKFEST, and the possibility that perhaps I was actually seeing the detail of the faces of my fellow humans for the first time with my 4-D Reacto-Goggles.

4 comments on this entry

Maybe I should set up an appointment for an eye exam at a real optometrist and you could go in and get some real glasses via my insurance. A little insurance fraud never hurt anyone right? Wish I could help you out. When I win the lottery I'll have you covered.

shawn 10/28/05

Maybe you should keep those glasses, and draw what you see.
Cheaper than drugs eh?
or maybe it was the air in gresham?
or use them as a firestarter?

Gary 10/30/05

So, I read your freakiness on the cards Hallmark sent you! Were the glasses any good? You never said! I have never got a card from any of my doctors I feel cheated!!!


lori 1/23/06

Yeah, the glasses are great -- much better than the America's Best, even after I got them filled with the proper prescription. I just *don't* trust that place.

Nate 1/23/06

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