Monday, October 27, 2008

Near Art Part 1

I have decided to post the Near Art comics on my blog. If anyone feels like commenting on then please do. I will also be annotating them a bit. I will however refrain from posting the most current strip until after it has run in City Arts magazine. So this will be sort of like the directors cut! So, "Shall we play a game?"
In NA 1 we meet the main players all three in fact. Amanda, Stan and our Protagonist.
Some of the events in the strip are real, no lie. I do remember a panel discussion hosted by Fantagraphics that featured Robert Crumb, Burne Hogarth, and Jamie Hernandez and possibly Gilbert also. There was a party afterword somewhere. Crumb and Hogarth had very opposing views on dealing with editors and what goes into a comic. It was a lively night.
When I use the term Pop Comic, I use it in the same sense as Pop Music. Light frothy, nothing serious. Clean and well produced. I have a lot of influences in this strip but most obvious may be the Rock Hudson/Doris Day kind of romantic comedies I used to watch on afternoon TV. Man, I hope this strip is funny! Another is Serge Clerc. The colors are at this point very clean and bright, but as I get into the strip I find I want to push the limits I have set for myself in service of the story.
I felt the first strip went by to fast, to condensed. So in the next strip I expanded somewhat, to good effect I hope.
Anyway, read, enjoy and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A rose is a rose.

We name everything, from our genitals to our gods. A name helps us deal with the hidden, minor or otherwise hard to explain traits of what we name. Over time I have gotten into the habit of naming illustrations. Particularly any work that requires Character Design. I tend to name them after people I know, have met, or know something about. The name helps me fill in the small bits that flesh out a character, make it fun and give it the undefinable details that, I hope make it a bit special. The characters, once named, seem to me to take on life. Ideas for hairstyles, accessories, poses and colors seem to come faster and make more sense. Oddly, even clients react to the names, responding to them like they were real people. In high school people would just stare at characters I drew without names. Now, with names, clients comment, make requests, the floodgates open up.
Rarely do I pick a person first, then base the character on them. (the exception being when I "cast" a comic book.) However, I do make exceptions, for me very rarely, and sometimes if the client has a special request.
It's always fun to create a character no matter what the use. These characters were for a McSoft project that I think never saw the light of day. Little avatars that you would be able to dress up like paper dolls and take shopping. Cute huh?

The named characters may reflect a part or perceived part of their namesake, but, as far as making a good illustration goes… "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."