Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Friday, June 26, 2009

Traffic refuge/Comics class

So, I left the Pacific Northwest College of Art some time ago, but I haven't made it out of Clark County yet. Traffic is just misery, so I have taken refuge at a Krispy Kreme donut shop to wait out the storm a bit.*

(By the way, although I am not all that fond of donuts, KK is a pretty good place to hangout, at least here in The Couv. It is open until 10:00 pm, has a nice strong wi-fi signal, and sells coffee for a dime (some weird "depression-era prices" marketing scheme.)

For those who weren't completely in the loop, I have been attending a week-long class at PNCA called Graphic Novel Intensive. It is both a theory and a studio class; we have been doing readings and having lectures/group discussions, but we have also been producing our own work. In fact, the class work will be collected in an anthology that will be published through one of those Internet just-in-time printing places.

The real draw for me was that the visiting instructor for the course was Ellen Forney, whom I have gone on about before, and she did not disappoint in her high wattage lessons and demonstrations. Dan Duford, the PNCA staff instructor, brought an energetic and playful nature to the heavy lifting of class readings and exercises.

I've been messing about with comics analysis and criticism for some time, and it's starting to show; much of the theoretical material was old news for me, and based on the feedback to my exercises, my grasp of the language of comics is pretty well-developed by now. But as usual, my skill set seems to fill up with writing and, even more so, editing techniques; my actual graphic production still leaves a lot to be desired. But that was part of why I invested so much time (and took on double-duty with my teaching responsibilities) to be a part of the class: I wanted to explore the studio experience and dive into the creative process of comics.

So I played around with my drawing and even experimented a little bit with brushes. Usually, I know what I want to do, but I feel so limited in my talent that I abandon my ideas for something simpler to execute. I know this is chickening out; the wonderful cartoonist Donna Barr supposedly once said if you want to be a comics artist, first make 10,000 drawings. I have seen this in action, even: one of may favorite webcartoonists, Jeph Jacques, started out with stuff looking like this, and now does this. I guess I just have to decide if I really want to do this all myself, or if my destiny is to write and edit.

In any case, I did want to share my final product. I brought this from concept to thumbnails to final pencils to inks and then a bunch of Photoshopping (especially the lettering) in the last 24 hours. I'll post more in a substantive post with other scans, but for now, here's the house ad for a series based on a concept you might remember.

*I'm not going to post this right away because Otis thinks I am coming home tomorrow morning and I am going to surprise her.


Courtney Putnam said...

This piece rocks! And so does your coming home early. And so do your other pieces! Keep drawing! Keep drawing! 1000 times!


John said...

Pretty sweet dude. Looks like a lot of spit and polish on that bad boy.