Cartooning Like You Mean It

Cartooning, Teaching & Living – by Tom Hart

Hutch Owen Needs You!

with 3 comments

I’m a terrible blogger cause I never like to show my hand. I am secretive about everything- a bit embarrassed by my own thoughts or work, too shy to be as ambitious and career minded as I think I am.

But Hutch Owen needs you, and I think it needs me to be happier in detailing my own ups and downs and struggles with getting this work A) completed and B) out there.

So, well, Hutch Owen doesn’t need you yet, except right now with your GOOD VIBES. Two packages sit on important editors’ desks. I can’t talk about them too much yet, but one sits with the editor of a paper here in NYC. It looks like he might try it out for a month- 20 strips or so.

I am in a tizzy about how to package this, what to present, what to show if I’ve only got a month. I am second guessing myself to death. Right now: I think I will pull 5 strips from the original first two weeks of this strip, and then a ridiculous two weeks about immigration involving racoons and egrits and other frivolity, then a week of Dennis Worner that is accelerated and funny, I think.

It’s the second guessing that kills me- I want to win over the crowd in a month, and that’s never a good plan. But some of my best work has been when I DID conform to a few more accepted ideas of taste- witness “The Road To Self”- completed after devouring a few specific books on screenwriting/fiction writing, etc.

But my own inclination is to — ABC –ALWAYS BE CHALLENGING! –and not necessarily the reader, but myself, and that means a lot of built-in failure. Especially for a late bloomer like myself, to whom shadows on faces is still a unique idea, it means a lot of trying new things- playing around with my own CONSCIOUSNESS, letting that emerge, staying PERSONAL, and letting my mind wander where it wants to. I LIKE being a self-obsessed creator. I am a generous TEACHER, I deserve to be a obstinate, selfish creator, or so I’d like to believe.

But the commercial world doesn’t work that way, except for James Kochalka.

So on with the second-guessing. What should I do here?

“Well, what do you want to do?” you might ask.

I want to explore comic-strip making more, in the vein of EC Segar, Harold Gray, and others, but also, yes, James Kochalka, and other creators who have broken the mold in their own way.

I have played around with breaking various molds that I have had passing knowledge of- The Sands was a play at breaking with traditional story structure. If I knew traditional story structure better, it might have worked great.

But by now, I am ready to totally dash off the path of the hopeful syndicated cartoonist, and play with time (daily/frequent/whatever) and space (the boxes) in a way that is useful to me as a creator/cartoonist/person. Which is always what I want to do. I was days away from going public with some more playful work, but now this new proposal comes and I don’t know what to do with it.

So at some point, I might come to you saying “Hutch Owen needs you!” and I might need a few emails written, or a little shouting at the moon for me, or for something. For now, just wish for me that I can figure out what the hell it is I oughta be doing…

(And I HATE the word “oughta” or “should” or anything. I am perfectly, serenely self-motivated – no OUGHT or SHOULDS for me, except when the commerciality of a pitch is concerned. In those instances — I’m all thumbs.)


EC Thumby.

Written by hutchowen

July 31, 2006 at 6:45 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Whoot to the anti-consumer!

    Marina Grace

    August 2, 2006 at 9:54 am

  2. Yeah! Whoot indeed!

    How can you exist as an anti-consumer in a buy and sell nation? I don’t know!

    Seriously, that’s why we have a clergy. The clergy spend their time meditating on the negotiation between spirit and flesh, wishes and needs, or needs and consumerism…

    That’s why we have Reverend Billy.


    August 2, 2006 at 11:46 am

  3. Um, dude? I think you need to go ahead and DO THIS because you’ve been talking about just, you know, going there. For months. You’ve got to go there, dude. I will knit you a scarf and a matching hat if you go there. Play with the boxes, Tom. You have been wanting to play with the boxes and stuff since it was winter. I know that it is painful to feel like you’re taking one more step towards total obscurity as opposed to career advancement and I feel your pain, only, seriously, this is what you’ve wanted to do–Go Off And See What’s Out There. I swear to god I will knit you something. just go.

    Skip Major

    August 7, 2006 at 7:41 pm

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