Monday, January 28, 2008
YIKES!!!DRAWN IN 1985, A BACK COVER FOR MIKE GITTER'S XXX FANZINE OUT OF BOSTON: "I TOLD YOU I WASN'T KIDDING ABOUT THE HAT AND EARRINGS THING, WAS I?"
I have been drawing stuff for years and years now. The more you do stuff, the better you get. Right? Right.
There are certainly things I can do that I can excel at. Then again, there are other things I can do that I can't really do at that well. It all gets that much more desperate whenever a well meaning person reminds me of where I was when they send me some old barely finished crap drawing I did in the eighties! On the other hand, it also shows me that I have gotten better, and thank the Lord for that. It is a little bit bemusing at this point, but that is the way it goes. So now that it is years and years later, what do I think I am pretty good at? And what is it that I lack in the drawing department. I am not sure. So I am going to compile a little progress report on what you can expect when you read a cartoon that I drew, both the strong points and the not so strong points. There will not be a quiz afterwards.
THE NOT SO STRONG POINTS:
1. SPELLING AND GRAMMAR: Try as I might, sometimes I just can't spell properly. I try, I really do. Even funnier is the fact that its always the same three or so words. Like, the whole "i before e" thing seems to baffle me. The usage of then and than also confuses me. One day recently I got a call from my father who pointed out my grave errors in the whole "i before e" thing in the contents of the newest book. He didn't want to talk about the cartoon I did in tribute of him, or at least he didn't want to bring it up. But he did call me on my bad spelling and grammar shit. I told him I was trying. Oh well.
2. DRAWING FEET AND SHOES: Drawing a human foot appears to be really tough for me. Even with a nice non descript black shoe, somehow my feet always look clunky, like the subject is suffering from elephantitus of the foot or something. I see other artists who obviously have this problem as well, so they do things to disguise it, like drawing swirling clouds or fog ankle high. These are usually superhero comic artists. Maybe I should bather all of my subject's feet in the same sort of cloud, regardless of where they are or what they are doing. It might help.
3. EVERYBODY IS SCOWLING IN MY CARTOONS: I am good at drawing the scowl, no doubt about it. But human beings have more then two facial expressions..the eyebrow is a wondrous thing, and you can convey a lot of emotion from them. I need to work on this, as it is getting old having people tell me that "everybody in your cartoons look so angry". Sorry about the scowling. Really.
4. DRAWING COMMON HOUSEHOLD OBJECTS: You need a drawing of a phone? Or a vacuum cleaner? Or maybe a dryer? Well, like most people that can draw, you can stick a picture of said object in my hand and I could easily copy it. Maybe I should remember this when I am almost done with something and instead of just waiting till I can get home and pull the image off of a computer, I just draw the said object as fast a possible and hope for the best. Too bad these things come out looking like a mentally disturbed person drew it! Yeah, there is a joke in there, huh?
MY STRONG POINTS:
1. DRAWING PEOPLE SO THAT THEY LOOK STUPID: Hell, I can do this really well. In fact, it seems as though at least half of what I draw falls under this idea. It is amazing what a little outstretched tongue, the crossing of the eyes, and a finger in the nose or drool can do. I can make anyone look stupid! This is a good talent to have if you draw cartoons.
2. THE IMPROVEMENT I HAVE MADE IN DRAWING WOMAN: Back in high school, I would flinch at girls wanting me to draw them. I would hem and haw and hesitate, because in reality all of my efforts looked really stupid. During the punk rock eighties, all girls would be drawn wearing a hat with eyelashes and maybe some hooped earrings, so you would know that these people were supposed to be women. It took awhile, but I can draw woman a lot better, maybe even pretty good. A few people have even said that I could draw hot looking woman. Well uh...I guess that is cool. i have three types: hot, studious and defiant. Sometimes they hold axes in their hands as well. That could be all three of my types combined.
3. RE-CREATING THE 7 SECOND'S "WALK TOGETHER ROCK TOGETHER" COVER IDEA FOR PEOPLE THAT WILL PAY ME TO DO SO: People just can't seem to get enough of this thing that I drew in 1984, that will probably be carved on my tombstone after I am dead: "He drew the 7 Seconds cover". What is it about a punker band playing being surrounded by smiling punker types getting into the proceedings that seems to have such a timeless quality? I guess because it represents fun. And it often is or was fun. I drew a version for a band called H20 (that was never used), another recent version for a band called Triple Threat and more recently I drew a t-shirt design for the recent NO WAY RECORDS festival in Richmond last year. People just love this shit! As long as I am paid I will reinact this idea for anyone, because I am sort of a whore for money..in a drawing sense, that is. You need a angry dude screaming into a mike and being swallowed up by an audience that consists of mostly angry young men and a few woman and maybe an Afro American dude as well? You've come to the right place!
4. SNEAKING CHARLIE BROWN INTO ANYTHING I CAN: For whatever reason, Charlie Brown seems to crop up a lot, and in the least likely places in my cartoons. But Batman has also made a few appearances as well. Perhaps I should stick to Batman for the future.
5. HAVING NEVER BEEN TO A COMIC BOOK CONVENTION IN MY LIFE: This sort of speaks for itself. I used to read superhero comics when I was younger, but standing in a short line to have the writer Chris Claremont sign something of mine (and feeling sort of dumb too) is the closest I have ever come to this kind of thing. Maybe I am doing myself a great disservice, like shooting myself in the foot by not being in touch of this world, a thing that could only be used for my advantage..but I just haven't done it. I also rarely if ever go to art shows and that kind of thing.
So there is the progress report, kids. In the future, I will try to improve on these weak points of mine and excel even farther on my strong points. The only exception is the punker band/audience exchange of energy concept...I think I got that one down.
Posted by brian walsby at 3:32 PM