Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Inspiration - Comics

First of two posts on inspiration -- this one for the 24 hour comic. Then a post on NaNoWriMo, and maybe another post on reconciling it all???? Well, one word at a time:

I just got, and read, the 2006 24 hour comic highlight book. This is a "highlights", in contrast to a "best of" collection. The intention is to show a nice cross-section of what is produced on 24 hour comics day. I found it pretty encouraging. Plenty of cool stuff in different styles; different levels of detail.

Of course part of the idea of 24 hour comics is to come in with no set agenda -- no pre-made plot or script. Nevertheless, from page 3 of the book, the familiar visages of Mayberry Melonpool and Ralph Zinobopp looked back at me. In other words, it's okay to come in with existing characters and situations.

Not that I necessarily have a stable of existing characters and situations to draw from these days. Maybe I'll do a post of all the sets of characters I've created over the years.

I have my drawing table set back up. I have sketch pads and pencils and art books setting out -- if I turn 180 degrees from my computer desk I'll be at my drawing desk.

And I have lots and lots of books of comic strips. Of course, superhero comics have also inspired me, but my drafting skills aren't at the level they would need to be for something that realistic. So, my comic strip heros, in terms of both writing and drawing....

Have to give a shout-out to the late, great Johnny Hart, who just passed away.

Jim Toomey, creator of the hilariously twisted Sherman's Lagoon (hey, anybody besides me think that Thornton was the real inspiration for the tropical polar bear on Lost?)

Frank Cho, amazing draftsman and author of the truly unique Liberty Meadows. Frank is the world champion at drawing women whose breasts are bigger than their heads.

Corey Pandolph, creator of the sublime Barkeater Lake. I recently purchased an original Barkeater Lake drawing.

Walt Kelly, who managed to sometimes fit a dozen or more jokes into a 4-panel strip. Walt was a master of dialogue right up there with Shakespeare and the Coen brothers, and also an incredible social satirist. And he draws the world's sexiest skunk.

Gary Trudeau, creator of characters that you come to know and love, characters who can exist for years and still be interesting, even though they don't have any super powers (well, maybe Zonker and Duke have some super powers...)

Well, that'll do for now. I have those books in front of me. When I get some time to spare (won't be real soon), I will start sketching. Watch this space for the results.


JohnH said...

Good luck with the comic! Are you going to post it for us to look at?

And for NaNoWriMo as well. I've participated three years so far, succeeded two of them.

The secret is, it isn't so hard if you're not afraid of producing crap. That's the thing: at that speed, it is impossible to avoid producing a great deal of crap. But often in the crap will be some undigested nuggets; that is when you have something.

Of course, this pushes the difficulty from getting a bunch of writing done to getting it edited. For that, I hear there's a little program called NaNoEdMo....

capmango said...

Thanks for the encouragement, John! Yes, my plan is to post the 24 hour comic and the NaNoWriMo should I succeed.

I am afraid of producing crap, but it will be good for me. I tend to have a hard time going on to the next sentence until I'm satisfied with the current one (or at least until I give up on being able to improve it). So I tend to be a real slow writer. I will need to learn to put all that aside and rush full speed ahead.

As you asked before, I posted one short story (see a couple of posts back). I'd love to hear what you think of it.

What became of the NaNoWriMo books you wrote? Are they available anywhere?