Archive for June 2007
Thanks to everyone who watched, kibitzed, lurked, cheered and jeered.
Matt and others will be disappointed to learn that I talked to my friend in the newspaper and he too advised me against running the imageless strip. In a perfect world, maybe, but I didn’t want to be too strenuous on morning commuters, their first cup of coffee in their hands, on their way to deal presuambly with some power-hungry jerk who signs their checks…
I myself am disappointed that I didn’t catch it in time to run the silly heart one sooner in the loop rather than at the end, but I working on a less than 24 hour deadline for some of these strips to get them in. Newspapers are transient- no one will care or note it a few months from now. If I publish these in a collection, the imageless one will go back in.
Special thanks obviously to Matt Madden- Matt this was fabulous, THANK YOU!
Readers interested in future strips will also be disappointed to learn that next week’s are going to be VERY DUMB (to over compensate to my audience) but I hope to bring some of the new strange structures in immediately. And it is very much my medium and long-term goal to incorporate ideas from this week into my future work…
Ok! See you all at Mocca. I’ll have these originals with me, if you’d like to stop by…
Off to the Goddard. (“Word to the mother” in avant-garde-speak.)
Ok, to quote Bart Simpson, set your eyes on stun:
Click to enlarge
countdown – check
Five panels- check
Tanka- check (well, I could have been more disciplined with that, really studying the form and not merely adhering to the syllable count.)
it reads “HUTCH”? – check
5 Beckett references – check
2 collaged images – check (well I drew them in, but I’ll collage them in properly)
in fact, I threw Matt a few more bones:
- one more collaged image
- looping action (the last panel returns to the first of the series (when the action starts))
- tanka panels with 5 syllables have a dropped caption box, those with 7, an elevated one (though this sort of violates the idea of an “upper phrase” and “lower phrase” in the real definition.
- I am also embarrased to say I failed at trying to make the five panels widen or shorten in size over the course of the strip. I felt like I needed equal room.
(I also regret the lack of environments here. I may try to pull one of the panels back a bit.)
This is a working first draft, but mostly done. The thing I want to work on is Hutch’s last beat- it shouldn’t be that. I have to find a Beckettian (?) way to accept something. In fact, that’s my main issue with it so far. Maybe it needs a whole sentence here.
Truth is, scouring Endgame again, this became too easy. The two dynamics in that play are far too similar to any slightly comdedic pairing. The problem was not in finding ways to bring it in, but making sure it all really means something.
If I wasn’t constrained by time (another genuine constraint here), I feel like I could have worked this Beckett angle very seriously, and I’d like to try some time.
I’ll return tomorrow to ink, etc.
Your fifth and final (for this round, anyway) obstruction is a grab bag of five (more or less) interrelated (more or less) constraints:
1. Your comic must be five panels long. OK, that was the easy one, consider it a freebie. Now:
2. The text must take the form of a Tanka, which is a five-line syllabic poem (http://www.ahapoetry.com/tanka.htm, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waka_(poetry), http://www.baymoon.com/~ariadne/form/tanka.htm). One line per panel, and each line must begin with an initial of Hutch’s name, so that the comic as a whole spells out Hutch’s name as an acronym (feel free to pursue this idea further).
3. You must incorporate, collage-style, at least two images or entire panels from previous strips from this week.
4. you must include five references, verbal or visual, to the work of Samuel Beckett.
5. you must in some way incorporate a countdown, from five down to one, in the comic.
Needless to say, I also hope you will manage to wrap up the “story” and bring Hutch and Oswald back to dry land. We’re going out with a bang here. You’ve pretty much aced everything so far so I can’t wait to see what you do with all of this. If you successfully incorporate all of these constraints into one strip I will buy you a nice cocktail before or after we go to see Pierrot le Fou this week.
Ok, here’s my final to Matt’s fourth obstruction.
Click to enlarge in new window
I admit a lot of the 2nd panel and some of the 4th are Photoshopped, but it allowed me to be a bit more fearless, if not more messy. The second panel now looks like a fish, but why? Better if it were a crow…
I’m concerned the lady in the last panel won’t print well, but everything else I like quite a bit. Grateful to force myself (wait- to be forced) to use that much black.
Here’s my (mostly) final to Matt’s fourth obstruction
Click to enlarge in new window
I say mostly because I clearly need to add some more black to the last panel (the floor) and will do that later.
I made a lot of changes: changed the character in the last panel, went pictorial in the first panel (after writing a pangram for it, with “extreme sliding”, “futbol”, etc.)
Still awaiting Matt’s fifth and final…
Here’s my first pencils to Matt’s fourth obstruction
Click to enlarge in new window
I’m mostly happy with it. I wanted to tie it into the first 3, and the only way I thought to was to make it a prelude with an authorial voice to bring the reader in. I’ve always wanted to do that…
The figure in the last panel needs a better reason to exist. I think I’ll drape him in a Jack Davis overcoat (black) I’ve always wanted to copy. And his dialogue isn’t right yet.
I hope you won’t be disappointed, Matt, or think that the case of mistaken identity is spurious. It does skirt the issue a bit, but there was a lot to tackle in this strip!
The pangram should be obvious. I’m toying with fitting two in there, just cause I can.
As I get working on this, I’m posting some sketches. Not much here, and I have an idea that will take it in a (possibly annoying) direction. But just to get a little something out there.
One missed opportunity is the last one: trace the Crane strip at actual size from the Smithsonian book and work AROUND it, Spiegelman-like. I figured it wouldn’t print well.
Here are the four constraints that make up your fourth obstruction:
1. You must base your strip on a tracing of the following Roy Crane
You can add or subtract elements as you see fit, but this strip
(including narration boxes) must be your starting point.
2. The narration of this strip must be a pangram, in other words,
every letter of the alphabet must appear at least once (as in The
quick brown fox, etc.)
3. The incident you relate in this strip must tell the story of a
case of mistaken identity (related to the pictures, of course).
4. You recently remarked that you despaired of ever mastering the use
of blacks, so let’s see if we can’t remedy that with some shock
therapy: 50% of the image in this comic must be solid black.