Saturday, 12 November 2016

SDOAR Update: The Photo-Shoot


When Dave agreed to pay for me to fly back to Virginia to take the photographs necessary to complete the bridging sequences for SDOAR the only favor he asked in return was that I document the trip and do a post about the shoot.

I got in late Wednesday night, November 2nd, and was immediately taken to a community college where a friend teaches an introductory Humanities course. He asked if I would come cover the art aspect of the chapter the class is currently reading since he is a literature guy. Sure. Sounds fun. Good excuse to see a friend. What is the topic of the chapter? Feminist activism in art and literature. I got a pretty good laugh out of that but did my best to present the motivations behind the art from the side of the artist as well as engage the students in a critical assessment of the rhetorical strategies used in the works.

Luckily, another friend/ex-student, Devon (Das) Avant, was willing to house me for the duration of my visit. Das is also a photographer. When he saw my cheap camera he insisted that he take the photographs I needed with his much higher quality camera. Double score!

Being an artist has forced me to be much more flexible than I would be if left to my own devices. One of the biggest skills I have developed is the ability to sleep pretty much anywhere. On this trip I got to sleep with Das' dog Fenn

 as well as on the floor underneath the desk at a hotel,

where Das-and-friends were staying Friday and Saturday night so they could attend the local cos-play convention,  Nekocon. This was the first con I have been to since San-Diego in 2001. I apologize to society for the fact that efforts to gain mainstream acceptance for comics has lead to the kind of crazy I saw at Nekocon. Furries are pretty much entirely our fault, I think. A lot of what I saw reminded me of the warnings Dave gave in "Comics and the Mass Medium" about what will happen when television gets a hold on comic-book properties.

The photo-shoot was scheduled for 8 pm on Saturday night, which had me a little bit worried because I was leaving Sunday morning. No margin for error. I flew in on Wednesday hoping to have a few nights to get the pictures I needed, but Jack was confident that we could get everything done in one night.

On Saturday at about 3pm I got a text message from Jack saying she couldn't find the clothes that she wore during the previous shoot. She thought she might have donated them but was going to go home after closing shop to take a second look. We were now looking at a 9 pm start time, and the possibility of a totally different wardrobe. As stressed as I was by all of this I was also amused by thinking back to every conversation I had with Dave about this trip. The one worry he expressed over and over was along the lines of, "I hope she still has that outfit. We all know that girls do not hold onto clothes for very long."

Luckily, come 9 pm Jack has found the outfit and is back at the shop. Das, looking like a stylish, goth, Mr. T, is all ready to take way better photos than I can and we are off to the races.

All I had to do was direct,

prop up the model,

and insist that it really isn't THAT cold out.

We got about three-hundred photographs in less than three hours thanks to the dedication and focus of both Das and Jack, who went above and beyond for me. About two-hundred-fifty of the pictures are awesome, usable material. I am so grateful for the time they put in and am blessed to have had them as students and now as friends. Thanks, you two!

Per Dave's request I will now mock-up the pages as I imagine them, as well as send him all of the photos so he can mock up his own pages if/as he sees fit. I will post my mock-ups when they are done. Until then, here are a few of the photos from the shoot. See if you can spot which images from my previous post they are indebted to.

And, because this was a Dave Sim themed trip through-and-through, on the flight back I was seated next to two devout Catholic women who were on their way back from Medjugorje, Coratia, where they had traveled exclusively to be in the presence of a group of people who receive visions of and messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary. I was amused when they proclaimed that they read the Bible all the way through over the course of every three years. Their minds were totally blown when I encouraged them to treat it like any other book and read it cover to cover in a month or less. More concerning was their effort to convince me, loudly, on an airplane flying over America, and against all known history, that Muslims (they wouldn't say 'Islam') did not preserve the Western tradition through the Dark Ages while the Catholic Church was burning it all down. Apparently the Catholics preserved math, astronomy and Greek philosophy, etc. all along. Who knew!

Thanks for the interesting weekend, Dave!


Jeff Seiler said...


And, here, I thought *I* was bat-shit crazy!

Thanks, Carson, for the ref photos.

Jeff Seiler said...

I do like the sleeping-with-the-dog photo.

Every morning, last week, when I was in Key West, I would wake up, half-asleep, and reach over to pet the cat, only to wake up fully and remember, "No, he's still back home in Minneapolis."

I missed him, and he missed me. Well, mostly, he missed getting to go outside.

Dave Sim said...

Carson - This, I think, is going to be GREAT! Can't wait to see what you do with the transitions. Please extend my thanks to Jack!

With girls/women, it's usually a matter of the number of sources for their clothes and cycling and recycling pieces out of their wardrobe on an on-going basis. If it's a t-shirt you got for $1 at a rummage sale and there's something about the fit you don't like but didn't discover until you'd worn it a couple of times and a girlfriend really likes it and it doesn't have the same "fit problem" with her -- "Oh, hey! Take it! It's yours."

OR, as Julie E --our resident magicienne -- explained to me: there are very well known clothing chains which have inexpensive clothes because they'll only survive two or three washings. No way of knowing if that t-shirt was in that category.

All I had were your DRAWINGS so I couldn't tell what the likelihood was.

No, they all look like "keeper" pieces. :)