Talent Not Guaranteed
If you want to be a cartoonist,
live the life of a cartoonist. — Oliver Gaspirtz
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
So, I have sort of become enamored with my blowsy barfly and have been using her as a model while I try out different pens/line weights/styles and so forth. In that vein, I really appreciated the feedback from my SAW colleagues Syne and Tim at our co-working session yesterday morning.
Since I am putting Betsy Murgatroyd (I have decided that's her name) through her paces as an artist's model, I have also had her spout quotes from Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Albert Camus. I love the juxtaposition of image and thought that results. Never judge a book by it cover, or a barfly by her drink.
In any case, here are three studies of Betsy, completed last night at the SAW Starlight Studio.
Friday, March 10, 2023
Style - a shaggy dog story
Fair warning: This is a meandering rumination, so settle in...
Since real life is a little busy now, I haven't given myself a project-of-the-month -- after Sawgust, the September Strip, Nountober, November Space Tales, Adaptuary, and Flaky Feb -- and I have just been doodling/sketching/practicing/whatever during my open studio time.
The other night, I drew this barfly (on a piece of scratch paper):
I like the way it came out -- she's not dainty and definitely has some attitude -- so I decided to ink it:
I like this one, too, and thought perhaps she might might become an ongoing character in somethings, and I started to think about how to draw her consistently.
At the next draw jam last night, I took a detour -- the CBC series Pretty hard Cases was on my mind. so I used a reference photo to draw a sketch of the main characters:
I decided to ink this one, too:
Frankly,I found this one a little meh -- and lacking in energy, for sure. So I reinked in with a thick marker-type pen:
I really think that this one jumps off the page, and that it captures the essence of the characters better than the other version, even though it is much simpler and more stylized.
In today's open studio, I went back to working on the barfly again:
Again, I tried inking:
Not bad, I like some of this. But thinking back to the draw jam, I did a marker versionof this one too:
Again, I really liked the energy... so coming full circle,I went back to the original barfly sketch and did a marker version of that:
There's something about the bold, simple lines that seems to bring the the sketches alive,and I am not sure what to do with that. For almost a year, I have been developing my cartooning praxis thinking I am heading toward a style something like Dick Calkins:
But what if I am not?
And how do I switch gears and cultivate that simpler style - which, it seems, either soars and sinks, with little in-between?
And still, how do I develop that consistency.
I am not sure I know the full answer, but I know that part of remains working at the drawing board every day.
See you there.
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
So, at the beginning of this month, I posted about a potential new project and the start of a new class. Those prospects went in two different directions.
First of all, I dropped the class when it became clear after one session that it would only be 10% of what I thought it would be and 90% of stuff I have already done to death or didn't;t want to do, or both.
But that left me enough free time for the Flaky Fox project to mature into an actual finished piece.
To wit, you can view the flipbook version here. And here's the cover page:
I hope you enjoy it.
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
I am happy to direct you to my latest project (actually, my January project): Marla of The Plains is my adaptation of Syne Mitchell’s short story “Tiger’s Eye”, originally published in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s anthology Sword and Sorceress IX. Syne and I collaborated as part of our ongoing association in the comics community facilitated by the Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW).
You can view this eight-page strip as a flipbook here:
And speaking of Syne Mitchell: today, Valentine's Day, she is launching her webcomic, My Ex, Vlad. It’s a romantic comedy… with monsters. I have seen it and I am here to tell you it's great fun and exceptionally well done.
Check our her website here:
Thursday, February 2, 2023
Crazy like a fox
So,I haven't posted here for a while, but I have been busy working on my Adaptuary (January) project and Marla of the Plains is completed. The big reveal of this collaboration is waiting on some additional collaborating with my collaborator, but it won't be too long now. Honest.
I'm not sure yet whether there will be a February project: I am starting a 10-week class at the School of Visual Art tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes first.
But I did have some noodling I wanted to share: I have been looking at Krazy Kat by the great George Herriman lately and practicing his style, sort of, and thought I would try my hand at a bit of a pastiche.I don't know where I am going to go with all thus, if anywhere, but here it is FWIW:
Needs a lot more work, but might be fun to try some strips.
Friday, December 30, 2022
Soltice ain't all it's cracked up to be....
So, I did this:
Read the full story on Epicurus in Exile.