Saturday, 1 April 2017

SDOAR: You Don't Know... Jack!

Another page of how-long-until-you-just-stat-these-things in the bag.

No real change in approach from last time. I worked panel by panel unless it made sense to work on them all at once, like while filling in the blacks and hatching the shelves.

The best moment of drawing so far in all of the SDOAR material came to me in panel number ten. I had a friend over drawing and talking to me while I inked panels seven through eleven. The distraction helped me be more spontaneous with the brush marks. I was mid-sentence when I whacked in Jack's right eyebrow (our left) all in one beautiful stroke.

It was that moment you hope for while inking with a brush where the perfect one-stroke calligraphic representation of the essence of what you are drawing is captured. I think this is the first one I have achieved. When I look at Raymond it is like every line is that pure. I think that is what people mean when they envy his lines, more than how tiny they get. At least that is what I envy.

Anyway, I was so elated by what happened that I never finished my sentence. It took me about a minute to recover.

Guess I need to keep people around when I ink.

Also, since Dave and I are playing around with the idea of a You Don't Know ...Jack! spin-off gag-strip along the lines of CIH?, and Jack has agreed to take part, I got all excited and threw together some rough cover image jokes.

Edit: Now that Dave is going to be working without a computer I am much less interested in producing this strip. I think it could be a great strip but I am not going to spend time and money mailing physical mock-ups back and forth just to make some gags that could be hashed out through e-mail in a matter of minutes.


Paul Slade said...

Your story of achieving that perfect line reminded me of something.

I've got no talent as an artist, but I've always enjoyed drawing just for the fun of it. Bought myself some technical pens, laboured over lots of teeny-tiny lines, tried to copy my favourite comics artists etc. Never achieved any result that rose above the "more or less OK" category - and even that quite rarely.

Then, one evening many years ago, I was slumped in my armchair half watching TV and half flipping through a coffee table book about the old Warner Brothers cartoons. I had an A3 sketchpad to hand and a cheap felt tip, so I started trying to copy the book's drawing of Foghorn Leghorn. I had the sketchpad balanced on one knee, the book on the other and only a flickering desk lamp to see by. The TV was still chuntering away. Circumstances could not have been less promising.

And yet every line fell perfectly - and I do mean perfectly - into place. I added copies of Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Pepe Le Pew and a bulldog in a derby hat. All of them came out perfectly. I've got the drawing in front of me as I write this, and there's not a wasted mark on the paper, not a false start, not a flaw, nothing. Just five perfectly rendered Warner Brothers characters.

And that's what's weird, because the fact is, I can't draw anywhere near as well as that. Never could before, never been able to since. But just for those three or four hours - I could. A very strange experience and one I still can't begin to explain.

Jeff Seiler said...

Paul, I think we all have those few hours of perfection buried somewhere inside of us. For me, it was writing short stories (fiction) and the occasional sportswriting endeavor that wasn't merely pedestrian. In ten years of sportswriting, I had maybe one or two transcendent moments of writing per year--moments where I would ask myself why I couldn't do that all of the time. Of course, the answer was, you're writing against an impending drop-deadline, dummy. But, still...

Carson, I left a voicemail message for Dave yesterday in which I addressed the computer issue and passed along your comment.

Those covers are very clever!

Also, FWIW, those panels all hand drawn have just enough differences to them that the overall effect (to me, anyway) is more than a little bit creepy.

Carson Grubaugh said...

That is awesome. Everyone should experience that. I suspect that being distracted by the T.V. let your brain forget what it thought it knew about the visual input in front of it and let your hand just consider the lines as lines. That is the most basic trick.

I am not trying to change Dave's mind. More power to him. There are a lot of days I envy that he has built a life where he can disconnect from the madness. But, why go out of my way volunteering time on a non-essential project if it is going to be necessarily difficult to produce?

I will call Dave in a couple of weeks when I am all done with my contribution to Vol. 1 to hash out how we are moving forward in all regards: printing and distributing Vol. 1.. You Don't Know...Jack!, and Vol 2. forward.

Carson Grubaugh said...

I think the second cover would be even better if Dave responded to my "Bad Girls" comment with, "No. No. It is Nasty Women." Me: "Oh, right. I try to keep up." Jack: "I you tried as hard as you stare at my ass..."

Something like that.

I think having a three way banter with Dave being Anti-Feminist Dave, Jack being annoyed, explainy feminist, and me being caught in the middle trying to make sense of it and appease both sides, would lead to the funniest and fairest strips.

Another one I have in mind has the punchline being Jack saying "Intuition trumps strategy," me drawing a Clinton 2016 logo onto her shirt, and Dave saying, "*snort* *chortle* Trumps?" Not sure how to lead into the gag, though.

Tony Dunlop said...

Is this like when I go bowling (about once every ten years or so) I throw strikes for the first two or three frames, until i start thinking about what I'm doing, at which point I throw gutterballs and splits?

Carson Grubaugh said...


Kind of, yes. It is like that blocking your own shot, trying too hard, combined with the issue of how we go about perceiving.

Most of us only really perceive enough of a thing for it to tell us how we can use it. We all have a massive repertoire of what amounts to computer icon images of objects our their minds. Door = rectangle that lets me get through wall and circle that opens rectangle. A beginner would see a cup, mentally pull up the "cup" icon, then draw that crude icon of cup on the paper, usually trying to reconcile the most pronounced features of the particular cup in front of them with the iconic cup in their head; all sense of spatial placement and perspective usually be damned.

Realists either have a predilection for slowing down and looking at things divorced from consideration of their use, or have been taught a series of strategies for doing so.

So, Paul was probably distracted enough by the TV that he was just letting his eyes see lines AS LINES and not components in a representation of a character he knows about and then letting his hand mirror the path of the motion of his eyes over said lines.

Jeff Seiler said...

Explainy Feminist.

Good name for a band.

The lead singer could just talk all night.

Really good name for a band.

Jeff Seiler said...

See, you guys don't get it.

No, really, you guys don't get it.

No. Really.

We're trying hard, here, to make something work, like we want it to work. But, you guys don't get it.

So, try, TRY, to see what WE are trying to do, and then, maybe, we can move forward.

Because, we ALL want to move forward. Right?