Archives For March 2015

Comic 365: Pages 9 – 16

March 25, 2015 — 1 Comment

Hand aI can’t believe how late this blog is! As my school teachers used to say as I handed in yet another post-deadline essay (on the burgeoning economics of La Rochelle’s tourist industry after the unexpected popularity brought on by the Tricolore textbooks had waned, for example).

But this is not homework, this is far more important than homework! (Don’t tell your parents I said that.) This is Comic 365, the internationally recognised (ahem) art (ahem) challenge drawn by a world-renowned and much-loved (ahem, could someone just get me a glass of water?) artist. Yes, I’m still talking about me.

If you’ve only recently tuned in to this experience of terrific a brief explanation is contained in these words.

Pages 9 through to 16 were an interesting bunch. Everything in me wanted to speed this comic strip malarkey up! Twenty four hours between each panel was dee-riving me crazy, Miss Daisy! I was so tempted to step on the figurative gas and punch this narrative into the figurative fifth gear. But I did not step on the aforementioned figurative gas because I quickly recognised that that decision would have turned this whole process into nothing more than simply a series of connecting illustrations, by removing the moment-by-moment imagery. And THAT, my friends, would have made this a charade.

As you no-doubt-well-know-well-no-doubt, a comic strip is more than just a collection of connected static images. A comic strip has movement! Something wondermentful happens between those panels as the eye/s move/s from one pic to the next. I can’t explain it (as demonstrated in that last sentence) but this is more than pretty drawings tacked onto an adjacent tale, this is holistic storytelling (and without words either, non-dialogue fans!).

So what I did is this: I beat down that cloying creature called Instinct, and cuffed the ear of the vile goblin known as Impatience and I slowed it all down even further. Drama is not to be found in haste (as my old drama teacher would’ve said, if he’d existed).

Y’see, after all the excitement has faded away (once it’s started), I want to ensure that we still have a piece of comic strip worth reading, even without the glamour of this Comic 365 Challenge. When this story eventually sees print (digital or inky) I’d like it to be a pleasurable experience for the reader, whether or not they’ve been part of this long drawn out exercise you and I are currently committed to – like an invisible contract you don’t remember signing, with invisible ink, in a room with no windows, at night, blindfolded, a lingering whiff of body odour in the air… sorry, that was too much, wasn’t it?

Righto, chat over, see you back here in a few weeks. Love n’ biscuits for all! Flicko

Moving Pictures

March 3, 2015 — Leave a comment

MotionThe art of art, if you will, or more particularly the art of cartooning lies in the removal of all unnecessary and extraneous description till what you have left is the essence of what is needed to visually express the necessary information. Feel free to disagree, this might just be me!

Part of my journey through the landscape of personal creativity was the desire to free myself from the tyranny of movement lines!

I know, there’s nothing inherently wrong with movement lines, they serve a valuable purpose; indicating direction, motion, action and speed for example. I appreciate some artists have even incorporated them as an integral part of their illustrative style; I’m thinking Kirby or nearly every Manga artist. But for me I found they were easily overused and became an excuse for not developing and imbuing my figures with their own natural energy and dynamism, rather I would rely on a flurry of lines to mask the obvious lack of movement in my characters!

I guess it’s not dissimilar to clumsily putting the words “I feel sad” onto a face that you suspect isn’t adequately expressing that emotion already. I’m sure I’ve read screen-writing books about this sort of thing – don’t say it, show it.

I would think to myself, ‘If I can draw figures with sufficient kineticism I can do away with movement lines forever!’ Well, maybe my reliance on them, at least. I’d seen others do it: Jaime Hernandez, Adam Hughes, Grzegorz Rosiński, I’m sure you can think of others.

Okay, I admit (as I did previously in paragraph three) movement lines are useful, and having them in your toolbox is very handy. The key word here is ‘reliance’.

They still make an appearance in my artwork from time to time, but nowadays I’m in charge! Oh yes, and their inclusion is purely from necessity rather than trying to cover up my own lack of ability! My lack of ability is now on display for all to see.

Ha ha, I joke, of course (sort of).