i have 3 names for you: carl barks, c.c beck and john stanley.

who are these three?

well they’re all dead.

they’re all great.

and they’re all geniuses and i have been too stupid to listen.

i often talk non-stop everyday online about my dreams of creating comics.

i spend this time talking about comics instead of just making comics.

i think of endless excuses of why i can’t make comics, but these men didn’t do that, these were working men.

they broke comics down into simple linework and layouts that could be manufactured quickly and with some sense of ease, they created great stories that were thought-provoking and current but also somehow timeless, they were geniuses of their craft…but i’ve been ignoring them…ignoring the signs that the world keeps giving me…and to be honest, i might continue to because i somehow feel unprepared to follow in their footsteps still…

…let me explain.

their art was of already popular characters (if not created by themselves) who were drawn quite simply in comparison to what you see in comics today and even back then…bold, perfect black outlines, eyes were nothing complicated, little-to-no cross-hatching. simple and it worked.

i get so caught up in having characters with cool eyes and cool noses and complicated attires that i lose sight of my original story and put too much pressure on making my creation better than it needs to be, not that i am belittling my creation but…well…i looked in the mirror tonight.

i looked in the mirror and i saw the flash on my t-shirt among many other heroes and i realized that he was really just an outline, dots for eyes and a slit for a mouth, his costume looked like a red human-shaped blob with some cartoony lightning with a thick, black outline. this was who i needed to create, but with a different look.

i thought of the walking dead, markham tales, invincible, superman, flash, batman, everything…even autobiographical works…and just thought of how much easier my life would be if i made my comics like these men, how much more rewarding it would be if i could just finish a page instead of killing myself over choices about style.

i guess it started with darkwing duck, i just don’t like donald duck or uncle scrooge in the cartoons, like i wanted to…their voices irritate me, even the simpsons, characters i want to love and do for bits of my life but before long their voices or their actions or the joke getting tired gets the best of me and i lose interest…move on…but darkwing duck was like a bit of a kid’s dream come true, the perfect after school cartoon, not too adult, not too serious, but not too kiddy, not too funny or too super hero. it wasn’t the best show of all time, it wasn’t duckman which i liked way more but something i could watch 100 episodes of and not get bored while with duckman, though great, i’d find myself moving on to the maxx or undergrads or back to superman for a while.

anyways…there is a new darkwing duck comic out, it’s been coming out for a while and i have been meaning to pick it up, i’ve been meaning to pick up a lot of things like that and have yet to…usually a print quality issue but that’s a different story…and after looking up the art i saw something i’d missed.

i saw people who draw like me but where it’s going without the push.

i draw with thick black lines over fancy cross-hatching, i have worked so hard on the fancy cross-hatching but as my girlfriend and my family and a select few friends can attest to…it’ll look like olivier coipel’s thor or ben edlund’s tick walking around in a casper comic, every room is a cube with a painting in it. every bush is straight from the pages of asterix. every doorway is from archie.

my comics all take place in riverdale no matter who i draw, and the fantastic part i’ve learned while creating markham tales and dna wrestling and this other silent one i haven’t posted for anyone is, though very early in terms of actually finished stories, is that it takes me ten minutes, five minutes, 20 seconds to create the next story, it’s so quick that i don’t even bother creating them in advance for the most part, i can just draw the first panel and before i’m done inking the second i’ll have the next 3 parts of the story arc finished in my head.

chester gould did it that way. and he’s my hero. dick tracy is my favourite comic strip.

so what do i do?

i guess i try to take my own advice, but to be honest…i need a partner.

i dream of a having a bank holdup studio (chasing amy reference) with facing art tables, one side doing the pencils, one side doing the inks, both sides doing the stories. even someone to (as carl barks’ wife did) fill the solid blacks and do the lettering would be enough for me, a colourist even, writers don’t give me the push i need and i’ve got no money coming in so..

…i’m an idiot, but bear with me, i’ve got some fancy pens beside the bed right next to the false hope.

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