Hutch Owen Strips: Fortune Cookie!

Still gathering and working on the 368 page Hutch Owen collection for Top Shelf. I was always charmed by these strips about finding a bag of fortune cookies. Like a giant pinata of luck salad...

These were my favorites, the rest are here.


Daddy Lightning Rough Draft pages 1-5

Talking with Sarah Glidden, Karen Sneider and Domitille Collardey got me determined to catch back up with "Daddy Lightning", so posting here the first 5 pages of a super rough first draft.

My problem: I have good ideas with a good sense of storytelling, but my first and second drafts of anything are horribly drawn. See for yourself. The better pages here (1,3,4) are second drafts. Page 5 you can see the 1st draft and 2nd in progress.

See below "Daddy Lightning" for the earlier stages of the process...

Also, I stole some features of the lady on page 5, panel 2, from Nylso, who is my favorite unpublished-in-America French cartoonist. I'll show him these pages someday...


New Barney Banks Page at Act-I-Vate

New Barney Banks page!

Up here.

It should be evident that I have no idea about what video games the kids play no days.


Horses between the highway and the Holiday Inn

Leela mentioned needing to make a story without "Hesitation, Repetition or Deviation." This catch phrase, from the BBC radio's Just a Minute game show strikes us a perfect metaphor for a certain kind of storytelling- the Mametian drive towards the hot center of the drama. It's something she and I can both use a bit more of. It struck me as a perfect instructional phrase.

Tell the story committed to main idea. (No hesitation.)
Tell the story economically. (No repetition.)
Tell the story quickly. (No deviation.)

Of course, the counter is just as valid, if not more glorious. Just harder to teach. Think of Tristram Shandy, full of all three. The wandering IS the story. The deviation is the point, the hesitation is the laugh, the repetition is the music.

I'm sitting at a hotel pool looking out at the highway that leads to Dulles airport in DC. There are 4 horses grazing in the small field between highway and service road. What on earth are they doing there?

You have to allow for surprises. In a lot of playwriting and screenwriting books, you'll see the authors argue for knowing your central premise such as "Ultimate ambition leads to destruction" (Macbeth.)

But not enough beginning authors know how to allow themselves to follow distraction, and to connect images otherwise unconnected.

Hesitation, repetition, deviation: It's Waiting for Godot.

The horses graze on the smoggy grass. A plane flies low overhead. Children splash while learning how to kick. I breathe the humid bleachy pool air and drift to sleep.


Barney Banks: Extra Life! NEW PAGE

Banks page 31 is up at Act-I-Vate. Here are the notes from when I was writing/drawing this:


Having just finished the section where Barney gets up to use the can, and Lodi lures him into doing some YOGA. I had a short list of potential next sections, this being the formally weird, “lettered” sections. Don't know what to do! Here's a shot of my ideas: (Godard, etc pic here.) Instead I realized none of these were quite right yet. The Godard thing could happen later, the hippo thing soon (though I don't know what it is.) I went to sleep 2 nights ago doodling, nothing much. But today when I looked again, there was this guy, with his tummy making noise. I don't even remember drawing it. Perfect. If he's hungry, if all the VGers are hungry, then we're in great shape to show Lodi more stressed, to have fun with this section (that's what these sections are about) and to further separate Banks and the rest. I immediately sketched these thumbnails (37+):

Then, browsing through cards, looking at other stray pieces of paper, I put together this: The third part doesn't want to be nailed down yet. I can feel it NOT wanting to be codified. But part 1 just gelled, and most of part 2 is starting to feel right. Fun fun fun. Great.


Announcing Easter Sunday KGB Reading Line-Up


The KGB Annual Easter Comix Reading will feature:
Emily Wernet: http://aladyisme.livejournal.com/
Tom Hart: http://www.tomhart.net/
Joan Reilly: http://www.joanreilly.com/
Mark Alan Stamaty: http://www.markalanstamaty.com/

Date: Sunday, April 4, 2010.
Location: KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, New York City
Time: 7 ish!