Saturday, January 2, 2016

Forecast: The Future Looks Funny...

Cartooning at the cafe: strokin' the goatee heavily...

   Something that crosses my mind fairly often is the malleability of time: sequential artists are adept at the manipulation of time + space. This through either the employment of gutters between the panels, so as to create the illusion of the passage of time, or even on a more practical, logistical level - releasing material. By that I mean it can be a constant speed-bump of temptation to not upload and post every single stupid thing you do right after it's done.
(more below the fold...)

   The self-imposed discipline of pacing and parceling stuff out in part can go a long way to always seeming busy, even if the truth is closer to the punctuated equilibrium theory of evolution.

   For instance let's say I just finish up probably the funniest damn thing I've drawn for years... and I want more than anything to share it with friends + fans NOW. But nope, it's slated for publication in eight months. It's good enough to rank a run for the next season's annual batch of Xmas cards... possibly even a tshirt. Talk about delayed gratification...

Part of a nutritious and balanced diet.

   But for right now, it's going in the proverbial bank - call it funny money. That's an investment in maintaining momentum with a docket of material on pause that far in advance - less pressure in the here & now, unless you count stressing out over a schedule that's still over half a year away.

   This does run the risk of being edited on down the road when I wonder what on earth I was ever thinking - there's a folder on my desktop stuffed with rejects that suffered this exact fate. In theory the hope is it'll prove itself to be timeless... or at least enough flavor left in the wad to merit another chew.

   The longer the time that goes by the harsher the judgement in my experience, as any session spent culling potential panels for publication in the next collection of cartoons bears out. This transcendence of the time-stream extends to posting here on this blog as well: at any given time I usually have a few months of pending posts prepped in advance, and another fifty archived installations in draft form. Establishing a baseline affords the opportunity to bump something should a particularly timely event preempt our "regularly scheduled broadcast."

   I really, really like a couple aspects of this phenomenon: one, it's a genuine pleasure to preview stuff with folks in meatspace, a common enough occurrence when out & about with a sketchbook at the cafe or bookstore. That and the sublime feeling of inner satisfaction in knowing how much I just can't wait to show everybody what's ahead. What goes up + out on-line isn't (necessarily) (remotely) reality by any means, no more than what gets doodled out with a pencil and pen on a piece of paper. It's like a renewable resource, a positive feedback cycle of self-perpetuating material... the mulch-pile metaphor.

Why, yes, I do in fact have my own table reserved.

   All this dovetails with my penchant for public displays of works-in-process: lots of artists have a hangup about doing their thing out in the open, probably about as many as folks who feel inhibited at looking since they don't want to presume to impose. Like I always say, if I wanted to be left alone I would have stayed the hell at home. So I always welcome casual conversion and critiques over coffee. And I always have my radar pinged by random comments - you never know what what material is ripe for picking, you just gotta be constantly trolling the waters you're submerged in.

   Speaking of creative juices, the astute observer will pick up on the fact that the majority of these snapshots were taken while working at the official satellite branch location - LuLu's Bread & Bagels - and Facebook followers will also recognize them from my occasional status updates. Not to mention if you look close enough there's always a great sneak preview of up and coming panels on display right there on the pages of the sketchbook.

And just because, here's a major tease for an upcoming event, leaked here only just for readers of Ink & Snow...

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