24 Hour Comic, Failure with Advantage

17 07 2017

IMG_4594Last weekend I attempted my 14th 24 hour comic. By all measures, I didn’t finish. I penciled 13 pages, inked 11, and finished only 3 pages with fills and tones. I stopped drawing at 18 hours (2 hours after everyone else at my home 24HC event had gone home, just sayin) and at best I’ve got half a story. So, not 24 pages, not 24 hours, and not a complete comic.

What I do have is close to half a story on paper that I’m really excited about. I’m definitely going to finish it. If it’s not mostly done by October, I’ll finish it on the official 24 Hour Comics Day.

So what happened? And what should I do next? And what good is any of it? I tend to turn everything into a referendum on everything (see the title of my blog). But for real, in the wake of this fruitful failure, I had to examine what my goal is with 24 hour comics, and what that means for my art in general.

I’ve done a lot of 24 hour comics. By the 4th one, I figured out all the tricks necessary to succeed. If you use smaller paper, bigger panels, and favor expression over realism, you can pretty much finish as many pages as you want. So I started adding little wrinkles for myself to keep it challenging. I’ve had what I consider some big successes.

I love me some cartoon logic nonsense, which is what drives most of my 24 hour comics. This time I decided to try for a real story, using a scenario and characters that have been languishing in a bundle of notes since my days with the Eugene Comics Guild (for the handful who might know what that is) as if I’m someday going to turn them into a series of graphic novels. I decided it was time to bring the thing to life. I would just have to find the right kind of minimalist drawing style to finish the story while doing it justice visually.

Well, obviously that didn’t happen. But what’s more important– gaming the system to get to 24 pages, or making a decent piece of art? The latter of course, but the rules of 24 hour comics have served me really well. So, again, what am I doing, and why??

To answer that, I’m making the following assessment of my present and future creative life:

  • I have lots of stories to tell.
  • Comics is my art.
  • I write better than I draw.
  • My drawing will never meet the standards I want it to.
  • I will always draw my own comics. I will most likely never have the resources to hire an artist, and my drawing, being mine, is the most appropriate for my stories.
  • The parts and the whole of each comic will be the best I can make them. The whole of each comic will be the best I can make it, regardless of the faults I perceive in it’s parts.
  • I will always try to get better.
  • I won’t be satisfied with how it looks, but I will create it, complete it, and share it anyway. I can only draw how I draw. I will make my comics, and their imperfection won’t stop me.

Update 10/4/17: You can read the comic, I’m posting it here. Pages 1-4 are up, and a new one goes up each Wednesday. All pages are inked digitally, and I made some other small changes here and there. Turns out the story is too big for me to finish now, and I have another plan for 24 Hour Comics Day this weekend. But Simane will continue, and Aethernaut will continue.

 

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How do we come back from this?

13 07 2017

All branches of our federal government have lost legitimacy. The Supreme Court is not the Roberts Court, it is the Gorsuch Court; defined, for the foreseeable future, by the one stolen seat out of nine. The president is an assclown. And Congress is responsible for tarnishing the court, and complicit in the appalling presidential administration, and a bottomless pit of Republican intransigence.

There are signs that Trump will fall, maybe even get his comeuppance, and maybe the Elephant majority in Congress will go away, and maybe the court will maintain some level of objectivity.*

Yes, it’s still unclear how much of our current situation is actually due to the will of the voters, rather than foreign interference, quirky rules (Electoral College), fake news, and so on.

Yes, at state and local levels, and in the private sector, plenty of sensible grown-up people are still striving to do what’s right.

None of that changes the fact that our country is a joke.

Giving Trump the boot will not change that. We will always be the country that elected President Trump. All scandals that have come before are just salad forks at the dessert course compared to Trump’s endless parade of vulgar atrocities. This is who we are now. I don’t see how we can be anything else before at least a generation of honest, principled leadership… and what are the chances of that?

*I’m fed up with our whole concept of Supreme Court nominations. Justices and judges should be impartial. They should not belong to either party, they should belong to the constitution. Everyone says that’s what they want but a seat on the Supreme Court is just a prize, the grand prize for the party in power.

Not really related, but I’m also fed up with our whole conversation about debates. I hate the post-debate commentary about who won or lost. Debates should not be lost or won, they should illuminate the candidate’s positions on the issues, and their reasoning for arriving at said positions. Winning or losing happens in the election.