Saturday, November 16, 2013


   Here's a supplemental breakdown of the process behind the sample panel drawn for a recent Digital Beards vodcast on cartooning (direct video link here).
   Posted below is the initial scrap note that was taped inside the trusty sketchbook of the comment caught in passing, plus a scan from the sketchbook of the initial doodle, then also the digital/print version (which ran in last weekend's "Sundays" issue of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner), and then lastly the final color wash of the original pen & ink piece. Due to time constraints and given the nature of the ink I was using - not to mention I forgot my heat gun back at the studio - I couldn't go all the way on-site with this piece (erasing + washing). So here's the final steps in the process.

   Based on some recent interactions with "marketing" personnel, I was duly inspired to incorporate this little kernel nugget of wisdom: true to my artistic instinct the comment was shoveled into the mental mulch-pile know as a sketchbook, to compost alongside numerous other choice phrases and mingle with doodled musings.
*"Where do you get your ideas?" = Take notes! As is often the case, a fruiting body arose from the spore, and spawned some more ideas in turn... it never ends...

   The print version is still somewhat of a voyeuristic thrill, even after all these years. I always look forward to seeing how the image looks on newsprint, and how the gradients, linework and spot blacks translate using a different reproduction process. Aesthetically it's more "real" - as in warmer and richer than the straight digital version. The published dimensions vary about as much as the original size, pretty much contingent on the available real-estate for that particular issue. Whereas several syndicated strips could fit within this one, the prior week's panel was a quarter of this one's size. Humbled just to be in print regardless - and it's always the size of the smile that really counts.

   One can easily see the meticulous and exhaustive editing that is undertaken even with such a deceptively simple panel. This complex deconstruction is known as "pole vaulting over a mouse moose turd," a thoroughly appropriate metaphor given the nature of this particular piece. And again, my hope is that there's some instructional, if not simple entertainment value behind observing the various incarnations of a sample panel, and comparing/contrasting the evolution along the way as different factors are incorporated. And above & beyond all that, heck, it's just fun to do.

“We have to create culture, don't watch TV, don't read magazines, don't even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you're worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you're giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told 'no', we're unimportant, we're peripheral. 'Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.' And then you're a player, you don't want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.”Terence McKenna

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