Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Exquisite Corpse + Jam

Moving entails excavations which turn up all sorts of weirdness and hilarity (not to mention dust bunnies and hairballs), If civilization collapses and alien archaeologists unearth a human home, I hope it's a cartoonist's cabin they dig up first. As a supplement to an earlier post back in '09 detailing one of our local cartoon jams, here's some more actual samples.

First is a variant on the Surrealist "exquisite corpse" where a strip is folded in fours, and each participant has five minutes or so to draw a scene, with a tiny little bit of visual info  overlapping into the next panel. Then everything's passed over to new person, the artwork folded under and hidden from view (except for the mysterious hints), and a new situation is  carried over going off the cryptic marks. This continues on until the strip's final panel is drawn by the last artist, and the results are tallied with bonus points awarded for surreptitious and accidental continuity. On the other hand, some of the best and most interesting ones don't make any sense at all, excepting a sort of twisted logic that can only have perfectly understandable meaning to a room full of cartoonists. 

The rest are also from four-panel jam strips (scanned and posted here in a two tiered format) but where instead, artist #1 starts off with an approximately 5-minute drawing that starts something; it's then passed over to the next person, where artist #2 continues the narrative in their own interpretive direction; then everything's folded away out of view before being passed to artist #3: they draw a scene for the fourth. final panel: and the task of artist #4 is to unfold the sequence, view it in it's entirety, and resolve the piece by attempting to come up with a bridge between panels two and four. 

Sometimes this makes for quite the amusing brain-spasm, and is also a great way to creatively limber up and break one's thinking out from the well-worn ruts of logic we all tend to grind around in, day after day, year after year. 
There's also an optional challenge to afterwards link together all the strips by taping in additional panels for one long, sprawling story. Plus this all can in turn be incorporated into a demonstration for a spontaneous and collaborative minicomic. Works equally good in either classroom or cafe setting.

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