And no, sexting doesn’t count. Your mother and I paid good money for that Gardasil vaccine.
You can’t tell kids to go outside and play anymore, because that’s, like, child abuse or something? I know too many kids who don’t know how to go outside and play; everything they know is on a screen, conceived of, directed by, and produced by other people. Maybe this is a minority opinion, but when I was 16 years old, if I was watching TV, using a computer, or playing a game, it was only because it was not possible at that moment for me to be making out in the backseat of a car. Granted the internet wasn’t as exciting or accessible in the early ’90s as it is now, but I still don’t think it’s better than sex. And you know I love the internet.
Any resemblance to actual teenagers, living or staring like undead zombies into a monitor in a small room with the curtains drawn tight to prevent the glare, is purely coincidental. I swear.
I drew that Ramones T-shirt and now I can’t get…”Sweet Disaster” by Dreamers out of my head. Weird world we live in. Gen X did not expect to live long enough to get sour about the next generation. Gen X didn’t expect any of this. Gen X would like to be sedated, but Gen X is too busy to take a break right now.
There’s actually an almost perfectly mundane explanation for why I’m carrying a pineapple around this party, but it’s much more interesting if you don’t know that. But I guess bringing a pineapple to a party for any reason is a little bit unusual.
My life, as you may know, involves a fair degree of surrealism, but I think it’s a good idea to help the weirdness along. I really thought I was going to carve that pineapple up at that party and then probably eat most of it myself, because I can eat a lot of pineapple, but then there was all this food already and so many people to talk to and then Misses Kitty randomly texted asking me to go downtown with her while she got her lip pierced, and by the time we got back to the party I actually really wanted that pineapple, but there were even more people to talk to and by that time The Man had left and Misses Kitty was my ride and she wanted to go. So I went and retrieved my pineapple from the kitchen, to the great hilarity of all who witnessed it. People more or less said these things to me while I made my rounds to say goodbye.
There was another comment about the TV show Psych, but I only watched part of one season of that show before deciding it was too silly even for me, so I had no idea what they were talking about and didn’t know how to make it funny for the comic. But someone did tell me that they thought pineapples were natural projectile weapons.
Anyway, making the world a weirder place is just part of what I do.
If you’ve got the curves, baby, I’ve got the angles
Gentle pastels, like the ’80s when the ’80s weren’t flashing eye-gouging florescence as they so often did.
This weekend I probably had too much fun. Party on Friday, party on Saturday, long nature hike with the Fox on Sunday. Obviously, I got nothing accomplished. My new T-shirt design remains in my head, as do numerous comic strips, graphic novel panels, short stories, and novels.
I wrote a sonnet in honor of a friend’s birthday. A sonnet is something I haven’t written in years, but that’s what the Fox does for special occasions and it seemed appropriate. Constrained forms are actually easier for me. Then, I thought, why not write it out with pen and ink? But it had been so long since I’d used the materials that it didn’t work out as planned. I ended up doing 3 drafts, none of which were especially pretty. The best version still ended up with fingerprints and smudges all over it, and the handwriting was nothing special. Also, there was ink all over the floor, and all over me. My friend loved the poem–I knew he’d rather have a personal present that I made–but after thanking me for it, he said he was going to frame it. So now everyone will see my lack of command over my materials.
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!