Sunday, 8 February 2009

Lastly




In 1993, I was struck by the notion that there were just too many comicbook pages in existence (small-press or otherwise) to really justify my own contribution to the situation.

It seems that a lot can be done with a blank page or indeed very little. However, at the time I had scant appreciation for the storytelling subtlety of comics which often rely on several pages to convey the barest amount of visual information yet succeed in various other ways.


So I began a 6-page story and that many years later this got done: http://thebreakfastclubzine.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/ray-of-light-comic-strip.html (It wasn't exactly a page per year; in fact the second was a weekend "rush job" but for the most part, I kept the visual content as demanding as possible and neither ink nor tone were added until every pencil line was as near to where it should be within my own particular realm of ability.)


It's just one approach, obviously, but the process of basking in an absence of editorial constraint or commercial deadline at least ensures that the creator can be all but satisfied with his or her own artwork.


The above panel is a particular favourite in the sense that it steps over the threshold of taking a character beyond her native genre (in a strange, bootleg type of way) from film to comic strip. Throughout the extrapolation every portrayal of the character is from an original (unfilmed) angle and the sequence itself stems from minor clues to her life beyond the single-set location of the "Shermer High School" library; as scattered about John Hughes' screenplay and related pictures.


Whereas the surrealism provided an opportunity to explore the 'comedy chain' which Hughes probably perfected in his first two Home Alone films!



'Ray of Light' appeared in a somewhat belated Breakfast Club fanzine which proved unable to surf the first or any subsequent wave of affection for some things '80's. It's now on-line and continues where this blog can proceed no further. After that there's a cul-de-sac which either takes you back to 'Artistic dabblings' or off to co-artist Tony Wright's drastically overdue but thankfully imminent webside debut with a selection of meticulously painted 2000ad characters of the 'classic' era.


Well, I suppose that's it! When I began this blog I could barely contemplate lifting a pencil towards a page of artwork-yet-to-be. Now I can't wait to cease this jabbering and get drawing again; so the 're-programming' process seems to have rescued this. . . artist. . . yes, I remember now - from a relentless rut!

I can only recommend the ritual to anyone who may similarly find themselves in a creatively moribund position.

So thanks for your choice of visual leisure and the share of your focus on a borderline narcissistic stock-take of stuff which at least deserves to be out of its dingy cupboard!
It's my utmost hope that anyone with infinitely better material which may have been languishing in some loft since Editor X, Y or Z dismissed their efforts in favour of whatever curiously lesser freelancers were on the scene (it happens) will share some of their proudest moments because we all need that sharp sense of distant awe the moment that satisfaction begins to seduce creativity.

Till next time or other,

John

PS 2014 I rather realised I prefer writing these days: http://www.wattpad.com/user/dandydilettante

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