Future Plans of Comicdom

Lots to talk/ramble about this week. Let’s start with something semi-productive. I’m gonna start the year with buying the supplies I’ll need for my graphic novel. A stack or two of regular, white paper (since comic book drafting paper costs more than this starving artist is willing to pay, and Adam Warren draws on regular, white paper), a sketchbook or two (for drawing page thumbnails because that means less clutter in a cluttered room), a binder (for my finished pages), plastic sheets (to put my finished pages in), and a scanner (to, y’know, scan my finished pages because the tablet camera’s done enough to smudge my credibility). I might’ve said this in an earlier post but most comics are drawn in pencil, traced in ink, and colored digitally or in marker. I’m a lazy artist, or rather, I hate doing something again and again and again and again… so I’m lopping out the inking part. Adam Warren does it, and I like the look of pencils. I was really into the idea of using markers (even though I’d be restricting my color pallet to blacks, grays, and red), but I quickly learned that I can’t color with a marker without the end result looking like a kindergartner, so I’ll be using a paint program to get that (uniform) marker look. I’ll also need ruler (normal and French [to help with drawing curves]) because, y’know, professional lines are better than wobbly ones. And that’ll be it for supplies.

I FINALLY finished watching the 10-part jazz documentary I needed for Tracey. Or rather, someone Tracey knows. I don’t like jazz so there were points in the 20-hour journey where I wondered what the fuck’s my problem. But it helped the character, and Tracey’s world, really. The kind of art life she and her parents live lends itself well to being inspired by the jazz crowd. And since jazz is a major part of American history, I felt it was important to find out more about it. ANY way to be patriotic without being jingoistic or nationalistic is ok with me. Drawing Tracey earlier this week made me realize that I’ll have to redesign her slightly. It wasn’t fun drawing her and if ONE drawing isn’t fun, how the sweet fuck can I expect myself to put up with her for hundreds of pages? (“sweet fuck” has become my new favorite swear) I’m also gonna design the layout of the town “Dreams and Things” takes place in. It’ll help with the verisimilitude of it all, and it’ll spark new story ideas. I fear that I might get too into it, though, so I’ll have to give myself only a week. Tracey and Vicki empty their loft of most things on the anniversary of them moving in together each year to wipe away their past and build something new. It also allows me to not draw so much at the start of the comic (turn the negatives into positives). “Dreams and Things” might also evolve into something darker overall. I LOVE dark films (Gaspar Noe’s “Enter the Void”, Pascal Laugier’s “Martyrs”, Sion Sono’s “Guilty of Romance”, Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist”, Catherine Breillat’s “Anatomy of Hell”, Jee-woon Kim’s “A Tale of Two Sisters”, Chan-wook Park’s “Lady Vengeance”, Shinya Tsukamoto’s “A Snake in June”, etc), but I can’t find the comic equivalent of them. So I gotta make ’em.

As you’ve noticed if you’ve been following my blog this week, I’ve started posting a new dialogue scene and drawing each day since Monday. I gotta keep those creative gears working for the big life ahead of me. Science says that it takes two weeks for a person to stick to a routine so I know if I can make it to three weeks, I’ll be fine. Then I can start giving myself more than 20 minutes to write a scene, and do more than one drawing a day. It’s all baby steps to keep me from running away from the desk in terror. I’ve also committed to a time routine, treating drawing and writing like a job each day (which it kinda is) instead of doing it when I feel like it (the kiss of death for any blooming professional [with tongue]).

But enough about being professional. Let’s talk about being a comic geek. I know I’m around two years late, but “Saga” by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples is fucking fantastic. It’s everything I’ve wanted in adult fantasy and sci-fi. If fantasy or sci-fi veers toward the mature, it tends to be, what I feel, apologetic about being absurd and stuffs anything and everything fantastical into a ditch so the end result essentially becomes a costume drama with the odd laser blast or glyph. “Game of Thrones” is the biggest offender. Then “Saga” came along. There’s a space helicopter and magic spells and people with TVs for heads, but there’re also characters as real as people you know. They swear and love and laugh and argue and fuck and fight and cry and rant and goof, and death means death. I “hate” how I have to follow it like everyone else instead of collecting finished series. Waiting sucks. I was looking up interviews and was pleasantly surprised by how many female fans there are of “Saga”. Not in the pervy sense, “Saga” is a comic with a variety of phenomenal female characters (a rarity of rarities, I assure you) and it’s great that women know about it.

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