My own self image isn’t anything like the man in the mirror. When I have horrific dreams of being chased by monsters through endless dank hallways, I wake up thinking “I had hair.” and the dream seems all the better for it.
Posts Tagged ‘skate’
Teaching is pretty cool.
I occasionally teach cartooning classes, and they go about like the cartoon above. Nobody wants to hear that they’re starting at the basics, but they’re usually startled by what the basics ARE. Typically, the basics are the ‘secrets’ they’ve shown up to learn.
Just a hint for ya- the biggest, baddest, meaning thing to learn about cartooning? You create them in reverse order than you read them. No kidding.
The average student (not just kids, but adults too) will do this weird default thing when you ask them to doodle up a cartoon. They draw a box, draw a character in it, then go “Hmmmmm” while they try to figure out what the character will say. Once that panel’s done, they’ll start on the next panel. I guess they assume (I started to say “I guess they think…” but there’s not much thinking going into it yet) that they’ll draw a third and fourth panel like this and somehow a gag will happen by the fourth panel (or by the last page, if they’re comic book enthusiasts)
But starting at the first panel and advancing along with no idea what’s coming next is how you READ a comic strip. Why it’s also how we instinctively try to create one is anyone’s guess.
To create a comic strip (or comic book) you have to know what the theme, the idea, and the script are FIRST. Then you can decide how many panels (or pages) your comic has to be, and you can lay out all the panels or pages, letter it all, then draw the balloons, bubbles and boxes, then draw the characters and backgrounds. See? Backward to the way you’d assume it should be.
I love teaching those classes and seeing the light come on in one or two students’ eyes. You know they’ve taken another step along a path toward being a cartoonist, one of the ones that’ll never say “Oh, yeah, I used to draw pretty good when I was a kid…” but will continue to draw and doodle and entertain themselves and others for their whole lives.
Well, reading the strip is different with the new format- I knew that would be the case… but what I didn’t know is that writing the new format would be different also.
Somehow, I assumed that I’d be writing the strip the exact same way and then working the drawings into this new and daring vertical stack.
But it doesn’t work that way.
My brain short circuits when faced with this new shape to fill. The almost automatic way I visualized the traditionally shaped strip was out the window and impossible to retrieve. It’s very weird.
So, I’m going to stick with the new format until it has a chance to take hold, then see if it really does work to my advantage and yours.
For those of you who don’t like to scroll down to read a whole strip, I apologize. But the fact is that it does allow me to unveil a gag to you by degrees instead of allowing you your ingrained 2 second comic strip reading time. Did you know that’s what they discovered about traditional comic strips in the newspaper? 2 seconds. That’s what the average person spent on each average strip. Bam. Two. It’s not that I’m trying to bog you down or anything, but the web allows for the art form to be approached and consumed in a different mode. The different mode might actually be psychologically advantageous, for the sake of more room to tell a joke, if not for the jolt of seeing an old thing in a new form.
So. In a couple of weeks we’ll see if I’ve made something good or something just different. And then we’ll see if it’s worth keeping.
You guys continue to let me know your votes on it in the comment section. And if anyone wants to keep count of the ‘pro’ and ‘con’ opinions, well, by golly, I’m not going to stop you. Just lemme know what you discover, right?
More and more, I catch sight of people decorating with Skateboards. I saw, in the background during a TV interview the other day, a couple of really nice, carved decks. I remember the woodworked skate decks. For the life of me, I can’t remember who it was being interviewed.
Anyhow, my buddy Craig decorates with skate decks. Reg’lar ones that aren’t all carved and stuff.
Here’s a photo he sent to show you:
Nice, right? Well, at the moment, I have a woodburned deck with Matt Smith as Dr. Who on it. Anyone wanna decorate your walls?
I’m sneaking up on changing the update schedule. Did you guys want four cartoons this week, or the usual three?
Also, I’ve begun running some new ads here and there. All the regular readers, say “hi” to the new folks. New folks, feel free to use the comment section. Hope you’ll stay around with us. Also, whoever came in from Project Wonderful and read 500 pages on the site- Thank you! That was quite an investment in time and energy. I hope you enjoyed it completely.