At MoCCA Fest 2009 I started thinking about cartooning as a craft distinct from comics that I don’t practice that much. I’ve only developed a couple of ways of drawing cartoon faces that I slightly modify and draw over and over again. Scratch that, actually I just have one:
It’s pretty simple, really. Rudimentary, actually: one straight line, one Z, and then some wiggly lines for hair, beard, and so on.
I think that it was flipping through the Sam’s Strip book and looking at all of Jerry Dumas’ really elegant cartoons, but for whatever reason, I came to the conclusion that, perhaps, one straight line, one Z, and at least nine wiggly lines just wasn’t a true expression of cartooning expertise.
So, I began drawing cartoons of Frank Santoro and Gary Panter while I was waiting for their panel at MoCCA to start (for a great overview of that panel, be sure to check out this squally showers post).
Here are my two favorite likenesses:
(Paraphrased quotation from Gary Panter added later, after the panel had started. Another awesome thing that he said: “The future will be like terminator except the robots will look slick like tennis shoes.”
Anyways I think that I’m gonna spend some time developing my cartooning chops. Looking at Sam’s Strip also got me thinking about doing a weekly comic harking back to the pure idea behind the daily newspaper strip:
Six panels where the same thing happens over and over again in different ways. I’ve always wanted to do a strip like this but I’ve always been stalled by what is, for me, the core of it all: the repeated action.
I tried it out with my Daily Texan strip, “Fists.” The idea was that someone would get hit by a gloved fist on a stick every comic, an idea that owes its existence to Ignatz’s brick.
Of course, nothing about that comic ended up being standardized except for its iconography, which I still like and want to bring back some day:
Like the materials-based sculptures and performances that I used to do, this iconography is something that I came up with back before I got so heavily influenced by Fort Thunder. So many ideas, so little time. We’ll see how much of this comes to fruition, I’ve got a looooong to-do list.