about this drawing: this is a one-page comic featuring a character named caribou (after the pixies song, of course). it is call "bass practice," showing caribou playing bass in his bedroom. i created this page more or less to practice some of the techniques that i've been learning over the last several weeks. i drew these panels on my large (14x17 inch) sketchbook in non-repro blue between the hours of 11pm and 2am. i used micron art pens to ink over the blue pencils and a faber-castell pitt brush pen for the guitar cable that appears in almost every frame. when the inking was complete i scanned the large artwork in three segments and combined them in photoshop. presented here is the scan with no touchups, resized for more enjoyable viewing.
nothing was playing while i created this piece but the bass lines from nirvana's "come as you are" and "lithium" bounced around in my head almost the entire time.
there is a lot more where this came from so please enjoy and check back periodically for more.
if you are interested, continue reading for the essay associated with this post...
i must say, the month of may has been very strange for me. i've drawn more pictures in the last month but it has all existed outside of the digital realm. i've filled up almost two sketch books and developed a lot more of the po-po character and her friends. i've been working more on illustrations for a children's story and experimenting quite a bit with pencils and inks. i'm almost exclusively drawing with a non-reproducible blue pencil so that i don't have to erase any pencil marks after i've inked the artwork. as i ink my artwork i have been using brush pens with varying degrees of success. in addition to the po-po coloring book and po-po comic strip, i've got two other works of graphic storytelling in the very embryonic stages. i'm focusing on finishing the children's story and po-po projects before i even work on concept artwork for the two new stories but ideas come and i keep writing them down.
i'm reading quite a few different comic books and studying the artwork and ways a story is told with words and pictures. i'm reading expositions from will eisner, scott mccloud and others in order to gain a better understanding of the storytelling process. in all, i'm throwing myself into the art of cartooning in hopes that i would someday be able to tell a good story that others might enjoy reading. all this while looking for a "straight" job. fun.
while all this art is coming out of me i have been very resistant of using the pc. it has become very clear to me that i am woefully uneducated with the various tools available to me on the computer. rather than agonize over these tools, i have turned to the traditional means of creating art. while profitable for my growth as a cartoonist it is limiting the means that i have to share my art with others. i think that once i get more comfortable telling a good story with pictures i'll add the software applications to my repertoire.
scott mccloud's most recent work making comics has really challenged me to focus on the storytelling of comics. his book includes bundles of "optional exercises" that are giving me ways to practice the principles of his theories. before i started reading the book i went through a bunch of old sketchbooks of mine and it struck me how disjointed all my work has been over the years. recently, i've been developing characters for a po-po the super cat comic strip and mccloud's book has given me some direction that i had been missing.
otherwise, i've been reading works from kazu kibuishi, tezuka, daniel clowes and many others. these three in particular have been exciting to read simply because of the craft in their work. it's easy to make a comic book. it's not that easy to tell a good story using the comics medium. i really hope that this (mostly) wordless piece presented today is a step in the right direction for me as a cartoonist.