Saturday, February 1, 2020

Mo Meta: Cartooning Facts, Ink & Blood, Graphic Art and Sharpies

I can recall the views out of windows in classrooms of my youth with amazing clarity. That was always my preferred seating arrangements: next to a window. Another reason in-school suspensions were a distinct form of torture, as they were always in a windowless cell. In fact I still have many forms from the principle’s office sent home to the parental units that list the reason for yet another suspension was “creating a disturbance in the in-school suspension room.”

Here’s a secret: One of the habits of highly (un)successful cartoonists is shirking duties and avoiding responsibilities by retreating into your private universe. In other words, faced between the choices of being a grownup OR spending your time drawing… tough call. But seriously – this is still an instinct for me decades later, even after many, many retrospective introspective mullings about what the hell is wrong with me. Deadlines and external pressures mount and yet there’s always something else left to finish penciling, inking, coloring, editing etc.

h/t Barbara

Can’t count how many times I’ve escaped reality through doodling, which is daydreaming but armed with a pen (“I’m WORKING”). Anywhere at any time: it’s like entering an artistic version of a fugue state. Another way I’ve tried to describe it is when Doctor Strange does the astral projection thing. I can even be sitting at the drawing table working away, and that will in turn beget another idea, and then another etc. – the mental Jacob’s Ladder starts up inside and away I go, down the proverbial rabbit-hole of imagination.

My alternate blog title "Ink & Blood"
“The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.”
- T.S. Eliot
“The purpose of cartooning is OW SHIT DAMMIT OW” 
- J.T. Smith
Of course this trance-like state has it’s own potential issues, aptly illustrated by the preceding images. There are some things in life you just can’t ignore – which any cat owner can certainly attest to. Note to self: Always remember to strive to maintain at least a toehold in reality. Or else.

"Graphic Art"
“Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it's a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe” ― Lex Luthor

“Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.” ― Dr. Seuss

“Adults...struggle desperately with fiction, demanding constantly that it conform to the rules of everyday life. Adults foolishly demand to know how Superman can possibly fly, or how Batman can possibly run a multibillion-dollar business empire during the day and fight crime at night, when the answer is obvious even to the smallest child: because it's not real.”― Grant Morrison, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

“Comics deal with two fundamental communicating devices: words and images. Admittedly this is an arbitrary separation. But, since in the modern world of communication they are treated as independent disciplines, it seems valid. Actually, the are derivatives of a single origin and in the skillful employment of words and images lies the expressive potential of the medium.” ― Will Eisner, Comics and Sequential Art

    “At one point in the story, following a brazen daytime bank robbery, Electro is shown escaping from the authorities by climbing up the side of a building, as easily as Spider-Man . . . we see one observer exclaim, "Look!! That strangely-garbed man is racing up the side of the building!" A second man on the street picks up the narrative: "He's holding on to the iron beams in the building by means of electric rays—using them like a magnet!! Incredible!" 
   There are three feelings inspired by this scene. The first is wonder as to why people rarely use the phrase "strangely-garbed" anymore. The second is nostalgia for the bygone era when pedestrians would routinely narrate events occurring in front of them, providing exposition for any casual bystander. And the third is pleasure at the realization that Electro's climbing this building is actually a physically plausible use of his powers.” ― James Kakalios, The Physics of Superheroes
So hey Sharpie - am I a “Micro Influencer” yet?

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