Archive for January 2006
This Strip (last one down) was a doozy.
If anything, this whole comic strip experiment of mine is helping me crack open a format I previously disdained. For a very long time. I’m not sure I don’t still disdain it, sadly, except of course for American Elf
ANYWAY, writing this strip, originally the 3rd panel was the last panel, with some slightly different dialogue. I had a few more “yup”s in there for the delay and boredom of it. I liked that, but still wasn’t happy with the joke. This happens ALL THE TIME. I wind up pushing the joke farther and farther in time like I’m sweeping it into that last panel.
Like in this case, my original thought was that the fiddle line was the last line in the whole thing. Funny haha. Then I realized I had to add the next line, and then the next, and the next. This whole process was incredibly slow, as I was adding panels as I was inking. I’ll post the photos of that someday.
Long story short, I’m no natural at joke writing. It’s been fun to explore. I’m no natural at drawing, either. All this is why I’m a good teacher- since everything comes hard to me, I understand the struggle facing most students!
Now Karen, she’s a natural joke writer.
Today’s strip went dangerously close to parodying the idea of being disgusted by marketing, commercialism, etc. While both these things are true: A) I want to try to make this more commercial, and B) I see no problem in lampooning everything -every side that needs to be lampooned- I nonetheless want to make fun of Hutch’s stance in this strip rarely and only when more important things are at stake. I don’t think this is the case here. So I might have come close to an edge I am not happy about. The territory of making fun of Hutch Owen for being so adamant about his values is a place I don’t want to venture. But I don’t mind, for now, skirting it to get to a place where anything is fair game -if it is truly problematic and lampoonable in our society. We’ll see how this all shakes out.
New strip hereOk so I am trying to write an official beginning for a proposal. Up to now, I’ve been playing with all the ideas I have, and didn’t have at the time, just messing around in the sandbox. Trying now to give the thing a gate, and make it digestible. We’ll see.
From Salon- some high schoolers protesting Bush’s dishonest approach to rebuilding New Orleans. http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/index.html?blog=/mwt/broadsheet/2006/01/13/cheerleading/index.html
The reason you don’t get this “Living Wage” you all are clamoring on about is CAUSE WE DON’T NEED THAT MANY OF YOU! Seriously- if there were less of you running around, fine, we could use you, but there’s so many damn many of you underfoot, going to your little trainings and colleges, riding your little trains or in your little clunkers. Listen- stop having so many damn kids! When YOU drive up the labor pool a little bit, then YOU drive down wages, and you drive up the difficulty it is to compete in the global marketplace.
Remember: Only YOU can help keep down competition in the Labor Pool! We don’t OWE YOU ANYTHING!!
This is the “real live cartoonist ” (a la Real Live Preacher part of the blog. Where I document the trials and troubles, inner conflicts, psychological corners of those of us in our dandy profession.
In this instance, I have NO IDEA how to get what I want to do out on paper. Or, more importantly, too many ideas, not sure if any are good, and not sure if I really know what I want.
Spoiler: (not much of one, but…) I know Fristoe has to get Hutch and the gang on TV somehow, by making some phone calls, getting some PR, etc. I know Dennis has to see this, and has to go rescue Fristoe- who is about ready to be rescued at this point. Then we have a giant collapsing crisis and or mayhem of some kind, every one goes home and all is good. Fristoe can’t imagine what he ever saw in the layabouts of the junkyard, and Dennis knows now there is never any good reason to go out of the office.
Determined to have it be the “made up country” thing I played around with last week in another venue, I am thinking- ok Hutch starts it, Fristoe arrives later, OR NORA starts it, Hutch arrives later (Fristoe being the latest in the chain…)
These kinds of writings are always good ways to figure these things out. Like, maybe, a week of Fristoe really batting his head, going through real turmoil, tyring to figure out how to get H the publicity he wants (not realizing this whole “country” thing is going on without him)- a shot of F at the library, and researching old classic PR launches. Problem is, H isn’t really selling anything yet, until his country comes along. Fristoe would say: YOU GOTTA BE OFFERING SOMETHING to the people.
99% of the time, the troubles I’m having in my brain, are the troubles I should depict on the paper – almost always it is the right drama at the right time. But here, the drama, once the idea of forming a new country hits the character’s brains, there is no drama. There is no chance for reversals or changes of heart or fights or anything. “Yeah that’s a good idea” is bad drama. “That’s a lousy idea”/”We’re doing it anyway ” is much much better.
Maybe go from there. Fristoe desperately trying to keep the gang from going ahead with this -it’s all about inclusiveness afterall-
Then again, the visions of F wandering some wilderness, trying to figure out what to do is funny too. Writing a letter to Dennis (That way- everyone gets their letter writing section!)
Watching show about Vietnam war. Man on bombed land looks at camera and says “look- first they bomb us without looking, then they film us.” What response can a sane person have to war? Nora says there’s always war, we have to be sensible, take small steps, be aware. Don’t give in to the hopelessness, and don’t give in to the powerlessness, the consumerism, the diversion, the commercials- but wait there’s more. I kid you not. Moments later, an ad for some sort of omelette machine, but wait there’s more and how much would you expect to pay and all that.
After the commercial break, the show returns: they’re making coffins for children. 800 or 900 a week. That’s in the city. In the country side, there’s no coffins, cause there’s no money for them.
But wait- there’s more.