Today’s mandala makes me a little nostalgic. I drew it for a friend, or a woman I thought was my friend. At the time, we saw each other regularly, often going out to lunch. When I showed her the image and explained that she had inspired it, she said, “That’s perfect.”
Some images really capture the essence of a person.
Then she dropped off the face of the earth. I mean, I know she still exists. Now and then I’ll see something from the business she was talking about starting when she disappeared from my life. The last I heard from her, though, she said she would come to a party at my house, and didn’t. I have a couple ideas about why, but it’s only conjecture.
She was really important to me, and it bums me out that I couldn’t offer her whatever it was that she wanted in the friendship. As a kid, I couldn’t hold on to friends pretty often. As an adult, I have many strong and longterm friendships, but somehow that just makes it even sadder when someone decides to move on.
It’s an unconventional mandala for me, based on a principle of 4, with large flowers in girly colors. The flowers are strong, though, with only a few delicate tips. That’s how my friend was. Square and unconventional, girly and tough. It always seems strange to me that in all these years we’ve never bumped into each other. Possibly, it’s because she always sees me first. I wish her well.
Every night is basically a Man talking party in certain company.
All I really have to say about this comic is that I had a lot of fun drawing hands this week. Friday’s comic has some even more amusingly drawn hands. The Man looked it over and informed me that Dragon is using the wrong finger in panel 3, but I guess that says more about his worldview than my ability to draw hands. It’s funny, because in a lot of circles the ability to draw hands is sort of considered the benchmark. I think hands are only medium-hard; it’s faces that cause me the most grief.
What I’m not entirely satisfied with is the placement of the word balloons in this comic. That’s another important skill in creating a visual narrative, and it’s not always obvious how to line them up so they’re read in order. I’ve actually read quite a bit on this, and I get that it’s part skill and part art. And if you think it doesn’t matter, you should read this hilarious takedown of inexplicable newspaper comic Mark Trail in Cracked. Actually, the whole article is hilarious. But actually, people have written much more serious pieces about word balloon placement. And it’s even more important in a bigger format, because then you also have to think about panel placement. Simply placing 9 or 12 equal-sized boxes in a grid over and over gets boring. The best artists can create a magical flow of images that sweeps the reader along from action to action in a visual way that somehow reflects the action, but done incorrectly, this method can just confuse the reader.
I’m fair from having to worry about that. But it is interesting to consider how the chosen format affects the storytelling. I’ve already got a little story planned out that examines this, but first, Dragon has a few things to say about art, friendship, truth, and beauty. Stick around!