Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Rolling in the Snow"

     The propensity of the Alaskan sled-dog to roll around the snow is a hallmark of the (decidedly mixed) breed. Which begs the question, in this case, how would one of them do as a drug-sniffing dog? Humbly submitted as a prime example of overreaching with a hyper-regional gag coupled with dated drug slang - one symptom being the necessitating of having to spell it out in a caption - ie flogging an already dead horse - that still doesn't help clarify anything. Still fun to draw, and that will always be a meta-reason that motivates.
     Another challenge in this particular cartoon was to imply a sequential action (rolling, in this case) in one, single panel. The solution is to utilize multiple animals, so as to show the movement that would normally take different frames to depict but instead consolidated withing one panel. Also implied is a causative chain of events that have already taken place, leading to a scenario which is still unfolding ie moving the narrative forward in time. This is a case in point about the unnecessarily restrictive definition of "sequential art" that too-often ostracizes the gag panel approach. Add in some environmental cues/familiar props to trigger an association so as to suggest a site-specific background and the "stage" is set, actors and all.
     Above and beyond the elaborate deconstruction of a bad gag, the idea came from mulling over the contrast of hunching inside the outhouse at twenty below and watching Bird-Dog wallow in the fresh-fallen snow outside (warms the heart, but not much else). All of which is to say, perhaps ideas conceived in the outhouse should maybe stay there.

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