Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Spontaneous Comics!

I think one of my problems with writing and drawing a comic story to completion (other than finding uncountable excuses of why I can't) is all that fancy-shmancy cleaning up and layout of straight lines for panels and stuff.  I like what color adds, but I don't necessarily enjoy coloring.

Then I thought (as I spent last week posting sketchbook stuff) hey, this is a blog, not a commercial comic.  It's OK to show work at all stages, even if it never goes beyond the working out stage.  And the reason I started this cockamamie thing is, I wanted to work things out and possibly get some feedback.

Part of what I don't like about slick-finished cartoons sometimes, is they loose a lot of the spontaneity of what makes cartoons awesome to me.  They are tweaked so that they can LOOK spontaneous, but they rarely are.

Jules Feiffer's looked spontaneous, but I'm not sure if they were as free-wheeling as they appeared, not knowing how he worked.  Shultz didn't use pencils, except in laying out the placements of characters...any cartooning waited until his inks.

When I get the idea for a story, I want to see it through to it's conclusion.  If I take the time to do it formally, I seem to loose the point by the end.  Again, these are probably things a lot of cartoonists have already worked their way around and I just don't know it yet, forgive me if I'm going over ground that is probably already trail-blazed.

Here's a quick one from yesterday.  Took maybe 1/2 hour to do.  I like the feel of it and only a little time will tell if I like the thing totally or find it something I have to explain.

I know my penmanship is pretty illegible, so I'll type the dialogue before each panel.

TV ANNOUNCER;  And THAT's the news for tonight!

JEFFY:  Incoherent mumbling

JEFFY'S ANGEL:  What's the matter, Jeffy?  Too much bad news in the world got you down?  Penny for your thoughts!


JEFFY:  It's not so much the BAD news, per se...it's the amazing contrast between IT and the GOOD news.

JEFFY:  In the past 2 weeks - amidst all the other horrors that we're accustomed to...war...famine...We've seen 2 mass shootings of innocence in our own back yard...innocent people in innocent places...

...a movie theatre in Colorado....a church in Wisconsin...Innocence lost.

The worst of the worst of what humanity is capable.


JEFFY:  And in the same time frame, we've witnessed the best of the best excel at athletics.  Push the physical boundaries past their limits!!  A man with no legs ran...THE most awarded Olympian dove down and swam o even MORE MEDALS THAN ANYONE EVER HAS...

JEFFY:  Our brightest minds hurled a 2,000 pound robot at the sky and then it landed 352 MILLION miles away, over 8 1/2 months later...RIGHT where we said it would!!!!!


JEFFY:  The BEST of the God damned BEST of what humanity is capable...and a hint that MAYBE we can do more!!!  BE more!!!  That 2 million years of us trying to be better, hasn't been a WASTE!

JEFFY:  The contrast of these things, good and bad, make them seem even MORE extreme I think!  The good makes the bad worse and the bad makes the good seem better. 

I wish we could have the good without the bad...but we can't...the good needs the bad to be better than.  The contrast is what MAKES each side.


JEFFY:  And I'm not the first person to realize this...I can't be.

...But O will be the first to reject it.

I say I CAN see the light without the dark to frame it.  I CAN see the good and it's value!

I choose robots on mars over dead bodies inn our street.

I choose.


Not the most light-hearted of comics as I re-read it.  But a balance will come as I do more.

This is the way we did comics when I was a kid...just doing it, from start to finish, not knowing where it's going to end until you end it.

I like it.

Talk to you soon.

9 comments:

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Jeffy, I like where you're going. This is a literary approach, you're thinking like an author and illustrating your thoughts. and working it out in a sketchbook leaves room for editing — not necessarily refining it, but being able to insert material and make side trips with various thoughts. You're storyboarding in real time.

You're demonstrating that art is not always a bum!

Jeff Overturf said...

Thanks, Thom for seeing what I'm going after.

Now to keep going and flexing these natural feeling muscles and see if it flies to a reader without the dry explanation from me.

I like your explanation best, but I daren't use it on myself ;) "Art ain't always a bum!"

Pappy said...

Jeff, love those spontaneous and fun cartoons of yours. I also happen to agree with everything you said. Sometimes we can get so bogged down in negativity it's easy to forget that there are always positive things to balance out.

I'd love to see more of your cartoons. You obviously have a lot of fun drawing them and it comes through in your art.

Pappy said...

Jeff, love those spontaneous and fun cartoons of yours. I also happen to agree with everything you said. Sometimes we can get so bogged down in negativity it's easy to forget that there are always positive things to balance out.

I'd love to see more of your cartoons. You obviously have a lot of fun drawing them and it comes through in your art.

Jeff Overturf said...

Thanks a whole heapin lot Pappy! High praise comin from a comic afficianado as yourself.

I do dig doing them..I think I have no choice but to do more. In fact, I look forward to it.

Lysdexicuss said...

Fine with me if yer Blog stays fast & loose like yer sketchbook. Super whimsical, and, heaven forbid, THOUGHT-PROVOKING !

Jeff Overturf said...

A finer batch of words couldn't be heard, my friend. Fast, loose, whimsical and thought provoking. I llike them all.

Paul Tumey said...

Nice cartooning, Jeff. I enjoyed it a lot. No need to do a bunch of refinement. This has life and and love and beer -- what more could ya ask for? So glad you shared it. I encourage you to keep going down this path. More, please!

Jeff Overturf said...

Thanks much, Paul...I'm pleasantly pleased at the response this page has gotten.

Doing what comes natur'ly seems to always be the case.

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