Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm Stupidly Working on a Graphic Novel...

And I have been for a while. I'm working on the script, sketching the characters over and over, trying to decide on an art look for the finished work. My first plan was to draw it myself and do my damnedest to make it look as if Alex Toth had returned from the Great Beyond and forgotten all his philosophical objections to illustrating crapola, but only a few of his artistic chops.

The drawing here is something I did while exploring that option. It was also meant to show John Kricfalusi what djs circa 2005 looked like.

Wow. What an ambitious plan that was! What a monstrous ego I must have to think I could pull that off! And yet I got as far as two pencilled pages before I realized I was just kidding myself. It's good for your reach to exceed your grasp, or so I'm told.

After that failure, I thought I might do it in a more cartoony style, kind of Spumco-ish. But I'm not really that type of artist. Since the story is inspired somewhat by Love and Rockets, I even experimented with both Jaime's slick style and Gilberto's loose one. Not copying them outright, but trying to do my own personalized versions of what Los Bros Hernandez do with such seeming effortlessness (of course, I've seen their self-rejected pages in various places so it's not as if they don't struggle at times).

Daunted and rapidly bleeding that overweening self-confidence, I then decided to concentrate on the script and maybe find someone else to do the finished artwork from my character designs and suggestions. I'd already produced a first draft using Sergio Aragones's "thumbnail" script technique: I laid out some three-tier pages, roughed in the characters and backgrounds as I went, added dialogue and there it was. A story. Now I'm working on the second draft.

And what was supposed to be a simple twenty-four page work has expanded as I write. This is because my aim is a kind of cinematic storytelling inspired by various Japanese mangaka. I want the story to be naturalistic, as well. While I don't go for photorealism in art (I like it, but it's far from a requirement), I do want to thoroughly deconstruct "real" lives in all their ugly glory. Smart, funny characters but no overly witty remarks a la Juno; plenty of screwed up situations where they make mistakes and hurt each other but no soap opera; and what I hope will be full of accurate sociological detail.

Now I've got a sprawling epic full of teeny-tiny little life moments and it can't be contained in one or two standard-sized comic magazines. I'm sure I'll finish the script. No problem there. Still not so certain about drawing it myself, though. If nothing else, it's a fun creative exercise and it keeps me busy while I try to find a paying gig a-larnin' them people English.

3 comments:

劉士賢劉士賢 said...

休息是為了走更長遠的路,爬個文章休息一下!!............................................................

christopher j.d. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
christopher j.d. said...

this is a good thing to aim for, I say that because I'm thinking that I'm going to the same thing (obviously not EXACTLY the same thing).... and do your own drawing, because you CAN.