Monday, June 20, 2011

"Shut Yer Trap"

In line for the dumbest gag of the year already? This would be the comedic equivalent of a snowman gag in Alaska, but ya gotta do what ya gotta due. When in Rome and all that...
(more mullings below the fold...)

All three posted variations-on-the-theme; sketchbook doodle, digital print version and the original wash, each have interesting aspects, their relative strengths and weaknesses. Still experimenting with using watercolor washes on the pen & ink pieces after the linework has been scanned: below is a scan of the original on Strathmore 400 series Bristol. As mentioned in the epic comparison & contrast/materials test post, the best paper to ink on is conversely the worst to wash on, it not being conducive to using wet media. That and I'm also still trying to test using straight titanium white acrylic for whiteout on the worst of the areas that I botch the inking, hence the couple areas with funky texture. You can tell some of the digital tweaking that went on in between this one and the print version up top: lengthening the glove arm + adding in background in the traps. Art is a verb.

Incidentally, this is another panel (like "Buoy Eyeballs") slated for appearance *update: now appearing in the July issue of Down East Magazine. I was thinking about that gig last evening: they bought the cartoons a while back (beginning of April in fact), and while I knew they were in the pipeline, after the initial warm glow of success faded I sorta forgot about it, besides checking the library every so often in hopes of seeing one in print. Obsessive at first, then that petered out amidst other events. And last week while perusing the periodicals... there it was! So I ran back downtown to the nearest bookstore to snag a copy, but it turns out there is quite a delay between when subscribers get their issues versus when it hits the stands - a difference of weeks. So back to the library to make a quick photocopy of the page and the cover to show off, and then back to sitting on my hands waiting for my own hard copy issue

"I don't get it"

All this is to say how stepping things up with a vastly bigger jump in circulation (100k +) buffs off the jaded veneer as far as exposure. Being relatively anesthetized after twenty-five years of continual print publication, it's humbling to feel so damn excited at "the break," and how the same process repeats itself with each and every new ripple sent across the media pond. It hasn't ever changed: I still feel the same way discovering one of my panels posted up on some office door, cubicle wall, on someone's t-shirt or in some outhouse. After leveling out (or put another way, stuck in a rut) on a creative plateau the process of a reboot proves itself out in the end, and maintaining that somewhat detached outsider-observer perspective is crucial.. 

Does this portend still more changes ahead? What will happen when, or if, I tap out the vein of humor here in New England, or is it as inexhaustible a resource as mining the tundra has been? What if I transcend regionalism and take on the mass-market - would having millions of readers still leave the same impression? I honestly don't see that happening, as my personal goals (bias aside) lie in a different direction, but one thing's for sure - definitely grateful for every opportunity to make up funnies along the way.


  1. You have to do what you think is funny and let the market take care of itself. Regardless of how many people get to see it you still produce it the same way. I could see you getting into a large-circulation publication if you got a suitable idea. Meanwhile, via the Internet, you can have a global reach and possibly never know it because distant viewers look and leave without commenting. You certainly have a solid work ethic. It's almost scary.

  2. Having a global reach, like a cartoon plague, would be definitely scary...